Garage Door Security Linked to Kidnapping

© 2002 Door & Access Systems
Publish Date: Fall 2002
Author: Tom Wadsworth
Page 40

Garage Doors and Openers in the Media

Garage Door Security Linked to Kidnapping

Source: Associated Press (AP), 06/17/2002
Article: Missing Girl's Dad: Garage Door Open
Author: AP Staff

An open garage door may be linked to the widely publicized disappearance of 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart of Salt Lake City. The girl's father says he left a garage door open for two hours on the night his daughter was taken.

According to this AP story, Edward Smart said someone could have slipped through the open door and into the basement. Later that night, a gunman entered Elizabeth's bedroom and kidnapped her.

Smart said other doors were locked that night, but a kitchen window was left partly open and its screen was ripped. Police are unsure of the kidnapper's exact point of entry.

Editor's Note: This kidnapping may have been prevented by an inside-the-home device that warns the homeowner of an open garage door. Such a device was announced in our summer issue.

Swedish Garage Doors Touted for Safety

Source: What's New in Building (UK), 05/20/2002
Article: Safety in Mind - By Design
Author: Unknown

In this British trade magazine, Crawford Door of Sweden is describing its new line of garage doors as "one of the safest … in the world."

All moving parts from tracks and rollers to hinges have protective covers, and the springs are encased completely within the aluminum door tracks. Section joints are finger-protected, inside and out. If the handle is released when the door is not completely open, the door remains stationary.

Heloise: GDO Nearly Killed the Cat

Source: (Dixon, Ill.) Telegraph, 07/06/2002
Article: Cat Gets Caught in Garage Door Incident
Author: Heloise

Writing to columnist Heloise, a reader tells the story of a hot day when she left the garage door open. To close the door, she reached through the entry door and pressed the push button. While walking away, she heard a faint "meow."

Curious, she looked back in the garage. At the top of the garage door, there was Darq Moon, her black cat, caught in the door frame "with only her head and a front leg visible." She pressed the button again to open the door, and Darq Moon dropped outside the door. "She was very sore but not seriously injured."

Heloise responded, "Garage-door openers are a nice convenience, but they can be quite dangerous to pets and children."

Gone in 30 Seconds

Source: The Arizona Republic, 05/23/2002
Article: 'Gone In 30 Seconds' / Foothills Residents Told to Shut Garage Doors
Author: Patricia Biggs

Garage doors are the target of "Gone in 30 Seconds," the latest anti-crime campaign of Phoenix police. Starting in May, police began warning residents of the danger of leaving garage doors open.

The campaign was developed after crime statistics showed a high number of burglaries to homes with open garage doors. Police now knock on the doors of homes with open garage doors and warn residents of the danger.

Lack of GDO Leads to Rape

Source: The Press (Christchurch, New Zealand), 05/28/2002
Article: Woman Dragged into Home, Raped
Author: Jarrod Booker

A woman from Burwood, New Zealand, went outside to shut her garage door when a man grabbed her, dragged her into the house, and raped her, police say. The incident occurred around 7 p.m.

Police are warning homeowners of the importance of home security. "People should lock their doors and draw the curtains of their homes once darkness falls," police said.

Editor's Note: Could a garage door opener prevent a rape? Security has likely never been as important as it is today.

Did the GDO Kill the Neighborhood?

Source: The Christian Science Monitor, 08/07/2002
Article: A Garage Door is the Key to Neighborliness
Author: Melissa Gaskill

This heart-warming Monitor essay tells the story of a mom who bought a garage door opener, but never installed it. She found that manually opening her garage door helped her build relationships with neighbors.

Her repeated stops in the driveway became the starting point for chats, swapping favors, and building a community. "None of this would happen if I pulled into my driveway and slid silently into the garage, the door closing quickly … behind me," she writes.

A pouring rain sometimes makes her think about installing the GDO, but she fears losing contact with neighbors. "When all is said and done, a neighborhood is simply a collection of people … who open their own garage doors."

Editor's Note: Nice try, but she apparently didn't read our rape story.