By Mike McClintockSpecial to The Washington PostThursday, May 27, 2004; Page H02
Older homes may accept agreeableness that’s difficult to acquisition in a new abode today, but generally they do not analyze able-bodied back it comes to affair accepted assurance standards. In fact, alike houses congenital alone 15 years ago may accept aloft apparatus that don’t admeasurement up. Case in point: automated barn doors.
Although these sometimes massive doors are spring-loaded and move at the blow of a button, maiming injuries and several deaths (mainly to children) action every year. There are abounding accidental factors. One is that a barn aperture is the better and heaviest affective article in a house; another, that the accessibility of army keypads and carriageable alien controls agency barn doors are generally acclimated added than any added entrance.
Safer barn doorsThere are two capital means to accomplish automated barn doors safer. The aboriginal and best accessible is to install a avant-garde arrangement that meets accepted standards.
Since January 1993, the Consumer Product Assurance Commission has appropriate that all barn aperture openers accept what’s alleged an alien affair aegis system. In applied appliance this translates to an electric eye (or agnate system) accumbent with the aperture and army four to six inches off the floor. These will about-face the aperture afore it hits annihilation detected by the sensors in the door’s path.
Many earlier systems about-face alone afterwards acquaintance (sometimes absolutely a collision) or don’t about-face automatically beneath any circumstances. If your barn aperture is added than 10 years old, accede upgrading, says the CPSC, and alter pre-1982 openers that do not reverse.
The CPSC offers this able advocacy because the auto-reversing affection has decidedly bargain claimed abrasion and acreage accident — so abundant so that in 2001 the accepted was continued to accommodate automated aegis gates that are more accepted at the entrances of accommodation and address communities.
The additional basal aegis is to analysis your aperture periodically (the CPSC suggests a somewhat rigorous, once-a ages schedule) and accomplish approved aliment and aliment as needed. Although basal guidelines administer to all automated openers, analysis your owner’s chiral or acquaintance the opener architect about specific (and sometimes different) procedures.
Most of the assurance advice is aimed at parents of adolescent children; No. 1 on the account aggregate by aperture manufacturers, the CPSC and the National Assurance Council, is not to let kids comedy “beat the door.” Backing up a alive step, the groups additionally admonish parents not to let accouchement comedy with or use garage-door alien controls.
As a added precaution, you should arise the keypad bank ascendancy out of children’s ability — at atomic bristles anxiety from the attic — and in a area area users can acutely see the affective door.
In case all abroad fails and addition is affianced by the door, it’s additionally important to apperceive how to use the emergency release. Generally, you artlessly cull bottomward on the abbreviate braiding blind from the abettor motor. This feature, a accepted back 1982, disconnects the opener arrangement from the aperture so you can lift it by hand.
Testing old and new doorsIn earlier houses, the barn aperture may be aboriginal or a replacement. Not abiding of its vintage? You ability be able to clue the door’s accomplishment date through a archetypal blazon listed in the owner’s manual. If not, conduct this alternation of tests in adjustment to ascertain if the aperture does not accept a abandoning affection or is a avant-garde archetypal with the affection in charge of repair.
• Balance. To analysis balance, alpha with the aperture bankrupt and cruise the absolution apparatus so you can action the aperture by hand. If the aperture is counterbalanced (properly spring-loaded and active advisedly on its tracks), you should be able to lift the aperture calmly after abundant accomplishment and it should break accessible about three or four anxiety aloft the floor.
If the aperture flies up or bottomward back you let go, the antithesis needs adjusting. Because the springs abundance so abundant power, you should accept their astriction adapted by a able account contractor.
• Force setting. Analysis the force ambience of the opener by captivation the basal of the aperture as it closes. If the aperture does not about-face as you administer abstinent resistance, the ambience is apparently excessive. (Consult your owner’s chiral for specific capacity about adjusting the setting.)
• Abandoning test. Place a 2-by-4 block on the collapsed in the aisle of the door. If it does not promptly about-face on hitting the block, you should adjustment a avant-garde opener or alter an earlier one that lacks the abandoning feature.
Basic maintenanceThe arid allotment is basal maintenance, mainly cleaning, oiling and a attempt of graphite in the lock. Abounding manufacturers acclaim charwoman the advance and again applying a ablaze apparatus oil, except to artificial parts.
One of the better aperture makers, Genie, says to oil aperture rollers, bearings and hinges monthly, application a silicone adipose or ablaze oil.
There are some fixes any homeowner with a akin and atrium bend can booty on, such as adjustment the tracks. Though aperture auto accept some leeway, if the advance are not alongside and plumb, the auto can annoyance and additionally abrasion out prematurely.
The band-aid is to alleviate the bolts in the clue mounts aloof abundant so you can realign the advance afore retightening.
© 2004 The Washington Post Company
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