Letters to the Editor: CO Detector Warning

© 2004 Door & Access Systems
Publish Date: Fall 2004
Author: Tom Wadsworth
Page 62

Letters to the Editor

CO Detector Warning

To the Editor:

In the Clippings column in the summer issue, you posed a question about carbon monoxide detectors and garage door operators.

A garage is an ideal place for a homeowner to install a carbon monoxide detector. The consumer has two basic detector options. One is a stand-alone CO detector that can be installed in the garage. It sounds an alarm when dangerous levels of CO are detected.

However, I would caution dealers about the second option: CO detectors that can be wired directly to the controls of a garage door operator. Upon sensing carbon monoxide, the intent is to open the door. There are four things I would like to point out.

1. Carbon monoxide is not only present when a car is running, but also when a fire is smoldering. If fire is the source of CO, then opening the garage door provides additional air to fuel a fire.
2. Carbon monoxide poisoning can result when a homeowner leaves a car running in either open or closed garages. See www.epa.gov for more information about this danger.
3. Carbon monoxide detectors wired to an operator might not be able to determine whether to close or open a garage door. A detector might actually close an open door upon sensing CO, thus increasing the risk rather than mitigating it.
4. Some add-on carbon monoxide detectors have a constant pressure control that might override the external entrapment protection devices of a garage door operator.

IMPORTANT: Check with the manufacturer of your garage door operator to verify if this second kind of sensor has been tested and recommended for use on your operator.

In order to maintain a UL listing, UL 325 requires that operators be tested with all accessories. At this time, Chamberlain has not tested or approved any CO detectors to be connected to our operators.

Barbara Kelkhoff
Manager of Regulatory Affairs
The Chamberlain Group, Inc.

Next Big Thing Is Big Opportunity


I think you did a wonderful job on “The Next Big Thing,” the Steel Carriage House story in your summer issue.

I believe this new product is an opportunity for our industry to bring good things to the manufacturer, dealer, builder, developer, municipality, and the homeowner. We have in our grasp the tool to make it happen. We just need to educate those that need to be educated, and give them a new perspective on the change that now happening to our industry.

Keep up the good work.

Jeff Jellá
Vice President, Sales and Marketing
First United Door Technologies

Questions Eglin Radio Tests

To the Editor:

Many years ago, before I entered the GDO business, I was a radio technician for the Los Angeles County Communications Department, responsible for the maintenance of all public safety radios in the county.

Due to radio interference and the decrease in the available frequencies allotted by the FCC, we were mandated to modify our radios from wide band to narrow band. It was similar to the mandate to the military mentioned in your "GDOs vs. The Military" story.

Narrow-banding actually decreases the interference to adjacent frequencies rather than increases this interference. If frequencies on 390 MHz were interfered with at Eglin Air Force Base, I question if these tests were conducted with modified narrow-band transmitters. Tests conducted with wide-band radios would guarantee this type of interference.

Joe Tedros
Tedros Automation
Monterey Park, Calif.

Likes IDEA Coverage

Dear Mr. Wadsworth,

We just recently received your Summer 2004 issue here in at our office in Toronto, Canada. We’d like to thank you and everyone at DASMA magazine for including the Residential IDEA Certification article on pg. 36 in your magazine.

Articles such as this illustrate the need for IDEA certified installers in our trade, which will ultimately set the bar for a standard and professionalism in our industry. Our technicians are already preparing for the Rolling Steel Fire Doors certification test here in Toronto, Ontario.

We express our gratitude for distributing such an informative and quality magazine each year, and we look forward to your future issues.

Nicholas Kent
Superior Door & Gate Systems