GDO Acquitted in Fire Injuries

© 2000 Door & Access Systems
Publish Date: Summer 2000
Author: Tom Wadsworth
Pages 38

Garage Doors and Openers in the Media

Clippings are brief synopses of recent news articles in the consumer media. They help us see how the world sees us.

GDO Acquitted in Fire Injuries

Source: San Francisco Chronicle, 4/08/2000
Article: Jury clears garage opener in fire injuries

According to the Chronicle report, a jury said a garage door opener (GDO) wasn't to blame for severe injuries suffered by a San Francisco firefighter who was trapped in a burning garage.

The article says the incident occurred on March 9, 1995, when a female firefighter entered a burning home through the garage. When flames rushed toward her, she tried to exit through the garage, but found that the garage door had closed and could not be opened. The firefighter was pulled from the garage when rescuers on the outside punched a hole in the door.

According to the Chronicle, the firefighter’s attorney contended that the opener failed to work in intense heat because of a faulty design. The injured, who spent three months in a coma, sued the door-opener manufacturer for $6.5 million for lost pay and medical bills and additional damages for pain and suffering.

In the report, a San Francisco jury deliberated for two days before determining that the manufacturer was negligent in some aspects of manufacturing and testing the opener, but that the negligence was not a cause of the injuries. In a 10-2 vote, jurors cleared the company of responsibility.

Dulley Plugs Rolling Shutters

Source: Sauk Valley Sunday, 3/26/2000
Article: Rolling window shutters can provide security and privacy
Author: James Dulley, Home Improvement Columnist

Dulley, a syndicated columnist, answers a question from a homeowner who asks about the feasibility of rolling window shutters.

Dulley says, "Rolling window shutters have been popular in Europe and along the hurricane-prone regions of the U.S. for many years. Now, with more concern about security, energy savings, tornado protection, and privacy with today’s smaller lots, they are becoming very popular throughout the U.S."

Describing the shutters as "quite attractive," Dulley praises the product’s many colors and energy saving characteristics. For $3, readers can download Dulley’s buyer’s guide of 13 rolling shutters (Bulletin No. 693) at

Warn Customers about GDO Break-Ins

Source: Arizona Daily Star, 3/01/2000; Kansas City Star, 02/23/2000; Tulsa World, 2/04/2000
Article: Several police reports

Around the country, more burglars are breaking into garages and homes by getting access to the GDO remote control in a car parked outside the garage.

In the Arizona Daily Star report, about $5,000 of scuba equipment was stolen from a garage near Tucson. The burglary likely occurred in the early morning hours of Feb. 13.

According to the report, "The victim said the thieves may have used the garage door opener left in the unlocked truck in the front drive."

The Kansas City Star reports that a 19-year-old Kansas City man was charged with one of a series of home burglaries "in which garage-door openers were stolen from vehicles and used to enter the victims' houses."

In this incident, the homeowner said his GDO remote control was taken from his vehicle earlier that day while parked elsewhere.

According to the Tulsa World article, police urged homeowners to be aware of "early morning burglars." Police commented on two incidents where "the burglars had broken into a car that was parked in the driveway and then opened the garage door using a garage door opener."

The article quotes one policeman saying, "If you have a vehicle parked in the driveway, it might be a good time to bring the garage door opener in with you."

Eighth-Grader Honored for Door Invention

Source: Tulsa World, 2/23/2000
Article: Patent pending Byrd students' inventions may take off
Author: Jay Cooper

In this story, the garage door invention of an eighth-grader from Tulsa, Okla., grabbed fourth place at the Invention Convention, a statewide competition that encourages middle school and high school students to invent or improve an existing product.

Zachary Skoch's invention reminds homeowners when their garage door has been left open. Author Cooper quotes Zachary as saying, "I thought of it when I was 5 years old for my mother because she would always forget to close the garage door."

The article calls Zachary’s idea "the Second Chance, a small receiver inside the car that is connected to a transmitter on the garage door. When the garage door goes up, there is a beeping sound in the car, reminding drivers to put the door back down after they pulled into the garage." The invention won fourth place in the overall competition for eighth-graders.

Cooper notes that Zachary is also considering an invention for one of his neighbors who "is always trying to back out of the garage without ever opening the door."

GDOs: "The First Necessity"

Source: Chicago Daily Herald, 3/11/2000
Article: Garage door opener puts home on the right track
Author: Arlene Arends

It’s nice when the media sells your product for you.

"Many new homeowners consider this accessory the first necessity they purchase," writes Arlene Arends.

This well researched article praises GDOs as useful, convenient, and easy to maintain. "No other household appliance can boast daily usage plus be considered a security investment," says Arends.

Quoting Bob Swan, sales manager for Overhead Door in Elmhurst, Ill., the article outlines safety features, monthly maintenance checks, and screw-, chain-, and belt-drive operation.