Letters to the Editor

© 2003 Door & Access Systems
Publish Date: Winter 2003
Author: Tom Wadsworth
Page 48

Letters to the Editor

Dear Tom,

Since the industry is turning again towards wood garage doors, we seem to be overlooking the current safety standards embedded in the steel door industry. When we sell these custom wood doors that do NOT have pinch protection, are we not incurring some liability as dealers and manufacturers?

With every custom wood door sale, I make it a point to educate the client first about the potential problems associated with wood in weathering, maintenance, etc., but also for the safety concerns, particularly in households with smaller children.

However, in a court of law, I could not document that I had adequately informed the customer of the dangers with wood doors. Even if I produced a waiver-type statement that the client would sign, we would appear to be saying that the doors are unsafe.

So I don't know the best approach to this dilemma. I would appreciate your input.

Scott O’Neill
Sales Manager
Madden Door & Sons, Inc.
Martinez, Calif.

Editor’s Note:

I believe that most custom wood door manufacturers are aware of these safety issues. DASMA 116, the so-called Pinch Standard, fully applies to wood doors too.

If a residential garage door (wood, steel, whatever) does not have pinch-protected sections, DASMA 116 says the door must have handles on the interior and exterior. These handles must be placed in specific locations that discourage the user from placing his hand between the sections. The new custom wood doors look quite nice with stylish handles.

As manufacturers continue to make products that comply with the voluntary DASMA standard 116, and installers continue to install these products according to the manufacturer's instructions, you should continue to educate customers about safety and maintenance issues. Improved consumer awareness is good business practice.