Florida Media Focus on Garage Doors

© 2005 Door & Access Systems
Publish Date: Fall 2005
Author: Tom Wadsworth
Page 78

Garage Doors and Openers in the Media

Florida Media Focus on Garage Doors

After the four disastrous hurricanes of 2004, the Florida news media are now giving much more attention to the critical role of the garage door in home protection. The following excerpts demonstrate the increased focus on garage doors during the 2005 hurricane season.

The Hurricane Katrina disaster of Aug. 29, 2005, will likely intensify the media focus on garage doors. Correct or not, here’s what is being reported.

Roar Through the Door

Article: “Make Them as Strong as Possible”
Source: Miami Herald, 03/27/2005
Author: Georgia Tasker

“Hurricanes don’t sneak into your home through the bathroom window. They roar into the house through the largest opening they can find: the garage door.

“A house with an attached two- or three-car garage presents an enormous opportunity for windstorm devastation if those garage doors aren’t as strong as possible, at least meeting the Florida building code’s standards for our high velocity wind zone.”

Doublewide-Door Trouble

Article: “Islanders Urged to Prepare for Hurricane Season”
Source: Marco Island Sun Times, 04/14/2005
Author: Jenifer Adams-Mitchell

“During a hurricane, doublewide garage doors can pull out of their tracks or collapse from wind pressure. If your garage door was not built to withstand intense winds, you should install horizontal bracing onto each panel and make sure that the track is strong and anchored to 2x4s inside the wall.”

Poll: People Ignorant of Garage Doors

Article: “New Poll: Floridians Still Unprepared for Hurricanes”
Source: Miami Herald, 05/09/2005
Author: Martin Merzer

“Even in the wake of last year’s catastrophic swarm of storms, many Floridians and other coastal residents are woefully apathetic about -- and unprepared for -- hurricanes, according to a poll released Monday.”

“Among the poll’s findings: … Only four percent knew that the garage door is the structural component of a house most likely to fail during a hurricane.”

Improper Bracing: “Grave Jeopardy”

Article: “Doorway to Disaster in Hurricane Season” and “The Big Hole in Your Wall”
Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 06/30/2005, and Orlando Sentinel, 08/14/2005
Author: Charlyne Varkonyi Schaub

“If you don’t secure your garage door properly, you may be placing your home and family in grave jeopardy. The garage door, the largest and weakest opening in your house, is the area of your home most likely to fail first.”

“Jason Smart, project engineer and building code specialist for the Institute for Business & Home Safety in Tampa, Fla., has seen firsthand what unsecured doors can do in a storm. … ‘One house had the garage door completely blown in,’ Smart said. ‘The house next door with a properly reinforced door stayed intact.’”

“Kurt Gurley, associate professor of civil and coastal engineering at the University of Florida in Gainesville, says older garage doors weren’t engineered to handle the wind pressure … The bigger the door, the higher the pressure, making a double-car garage more vulnerable.”

“The Weak Link in Home Protection”

Article: “Is Your Garage the Weakest Link?”
Source: Gainesville Sun, 07/17/2005
Author: Bob Arndorfer

“The feature of your house that provides safety and security for automobiles … could, during a hurricane, become the weak link in home protection: The garage. More specifically, the garage door.”

“Just how vulnerable garage doors can be has been demonstrated from Hurricane Andrew in 1992 through last year’s record four hurricanes to hit Florida.”

“(Ed Hoeft, owner of Lester’s Garage Doors in Gainesville) said that since last August, his company has replaced about 150 older garage doors with doors rated at the 110-mph wind-load requirement.”

“‘I had seen something that with Andrew, if a roof came off, it was usually because of the garage door,” (Mark) Fetko said. ‘I’m thinking that if we had a big one coming in from the West or East Coast and making a beeline for Gainesville, it would be good to have an upgraded door.’”