An electric garage door can provide many benefits, primarily due to the greatly improved convenience and non-existent physical effort it requires to open. However, it is incredibly important that an electric garage door meets safety requirements and legislation to ensure that it isn’t hazardous to use.
In this article, we will be looking at the safety standards that are necessary for electric garage doors, as well as how to know whether your door meets essential safety specifications.
The pieces of legislation in place (Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC; Construction Products Regulation 305/2011/EU; BS EN 13241-1, or equivalent safety standards) are there to ensure that the type of garage door you choose has undergone certification and rigorous safety testing. This testing ensures the electric garage door can be safely operated by the average user and won’t cause injury to a person – through collapsing, crushing, trapping or otherwise – or damage property.
How to know your electric garage door meets safety standards
There are several pieces of physical evidence that you should receive with your garage door which demonstrate that it meets the necessary safety legislation. Placed upon the door itself should be a CE label. This CE marking label confirms that the door has been tested and is therefore safe for use. The label will also have further useful information on it such as the product type and performance characteristics.
You should also be provided with two documents by your installer: the declaration of conformity and the declaration of performance. This paperwork is further evidence that your electric garage door of choice has been sufficiently tested and certified in line with UK law.
To ensure that an electric garage door is deemed safe for use, it will have to incorporate at least one sufficient safety feature into its mechanism which will prevent personal injury or property damage. A professional garage door engineer will be able to talk through the options available to you according to your choice of garage door type. Means by which safety can be ensured in the event of impact include:
- Obstacle detection: this is a form of pressure sensitivity which prevents the door from descending when it comes into contact with an obstacle. This is achieved through either movement sensors which sense contact with an obstruction or an intelligent drive unit.
- Safety edge: another form of pressure sensitivity. This is a rubber strip with embedded sensors which is fixed to the bottom of the door and is sensitive to contact. If the garage door touches anything on its descent, the mechanism will reverse to prevent damage or injury.
- Light curtaining: this is an innovative technology whereby infrared light is beamed across the garage entrance. When these beams are interrupted by the presence of an object, the garage door will halt, therefore preventing harmful contact. Note that a single photo beam is not enough to guarantee safety.
- Hold-to-run: this system requires the user to press a button, which is in sight of the door, to operate the opening or closure of the garage. This relies on the operator deciding when it is safe to use the door. This method removes any need for physical exertion but doesn’t allow remote usage.
If you have an electric garage door installed, it is very important that you stick to a maintenance schedule to ensure it stays in safe working condition. The added complexity of a motorised garage door inevitably means there are more parts which will be subject to wear and tear over time. Regular maintenance activities, such as periodic visual inspections for damage or lubricating tracks and wheels to maintain smooth running, will help you spot potential hazards early and extend the life of your door.
Once your garage door has been installed by a professional, ask them for recommendations for simple maintenance tasks you can carry out yourself. However, if a problem does arise, you should leave it to a professional engineer to carry out the repairs to ensure they are safe and effective.