The $50,000 Lesson: Garage Door Work is for Pros

Garage Doors and Openers in the Media

The $50,000 Lesson: Garage Door Work is for Pros

Source: “Garage door spring breaks worker’s arm - $50,000 fine,”, June 23, 2006.

The Ontario Ministry of Labor released this story of a June 5 garage door accident in Canada. On June 22, North Shore Steel Products, a manufacturing plant in Sudbury, Ontario, was fined $50,000 and a supervisor was fined $7,500 for violations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act that resulted in serious injuries to an employee.

What happened? “A worker was helping to dismantle a spring-loaded overhead garage door when the spring began to unwind and struck the worker’s arm.” The worker suffered a fracture to the right arm and lacerations to the right elbow.

The company pleaded guilty to failing to provide information, instruction, and supervision to workers on how to safely dismantle the garage door. In addition, a company supervisor pleaded guilty to failing to take the reasonable precaution of providing written instructions to workers on how to safely dismantle the door.

Editor’s Note: Wouldn’t it have been cheaper, safer, and smarter to just hire the local garage door professional to handle the job? Even if the worker had been able to do the job without injury, the local pro would’ve been able to do the job quicker and better.

The Off-Putting “Snout House”

Source: Linda Case, “Houses That Say, ‘Welcome Home, Cars,’” Hartford (Conn.) Courant, June 11, 2006.

In this commentary, writer Linda Case decries the antisocial nature of the “snout house,” a home with a protruding garage and garage door that dominates the front of the home.

Noting that this design is convenient and often necessitated by lot size, she believes the snout house says, “Welcome home” to cars but “Buzz off” to people.

Acknowledging that three garage doors is “the new status symbol,” she notes that they “loom so large that they look like industrial loading docks.” Her alternative to this “tacky shrine to the car” is a front porch that, she says, fosters a sense of neighborhood.

Editor’s Note: Perhaps Case has a point. But these millions of homes are not about to bulldozed off the American residential landscape. Garage door manufacturers and dealers should feel more compelled to urge their customers to consider the many new charming and elegant garage door designs that are now widely available.

Australians Celebrate the Garage Door

Source: “Door still rolling after 50 years,” ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) Online, July 3, 2006.

During a week-long exhibition, Australia’s National Museum in Canberra marked the 50th anniversary of “the roll-up garage door, part of the homes of millions of Australians.”

This report quotes museum spokeswoman Louise Douglas who says the Australian garage door started in a small workshop in Sydney. In 1956, Arthur Byrne and Paul Davidson launched Australia’s first garage door, the B&D Roll-A-Door.

Since then, it has become a “great suburban icon,” as 5.5 million of these Australian doors have been sold around the world.

Editor’s Note: I think the Australians are on to something. Why doesn’t the Smithsonian Institution have a week-long celebration of the overhead garage door, born in 1921?

After all, this “great suburban icon” was invented in America, not Australia. Now, wherever you travel around the world, you’ll see this great American invention used daily by hundreds of millions across the planet.

I envision an attractive museum display, complete with an early wood garage door, a fiberglass door from the 1960s, a steel raised-panel door from the 1980s, and the latest carriage-type doors from the 2000s.

The thousands who see the exhibit will (1) think about their own garage door and (2) wonder why they don’t have one of the latest models. It would instill American pride and increase awareness of our products. Who’s with me?