What’s a Pinch? DASMA Approves New Voluntary Standard

© 2000 Door & Access Systems
Publish Date: Summer 2000
Author: Tom Wadsworth
Page 18

What’s a Pinch?
DASMA Approves New Voluntary Standard

If a garage door is not pinch resistant, it should have handles or suitable gripping points. That’s the bottom line of DASMA 116, a new voluntary standard recently approved by DASMA. The industry worked with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to develop the standard, which is slated to become effective July 1, 2001.

The DASMA Commercial and Residential Garage Door Division led the effort to define and deal with the pinch issue for section joints (“interfaces”) on residential garage doors. So, to learn the specifics of this new standard, we talked to Richard Brenner, president of Amarr Garage Doors and chairman of that DASMA division.

What kind of garage doors must comply with the standard?

The standard applies to all residential sectional garage doors that are “generally used for vehicular traffic.”

What happens if a manufacturer or dealer does not comply with the standard?

Since it’s voluntary, compliance is optional. But the CPSC has stated that it intends to monitor our industry to see if we are complying.

How does a door qualify as “pinch resistant”?

The test procedure is detailed, and it will likely be conducted by engineers at the manufacturer level. The test involves a three-step process, testing whether a specific object or probe can be inserted and crushed, and measuring the amount of force required to remove a trapped probe from a section interface.

Is the standard trying to prevent minor injuries such as blood blisters or abrasions?

No. The intent of DASMA 116 is to reduce more serious injuries such as crushing, severing, breaking, or dislocation.

What if the section joint doesn’t pass the pinch test?

If the section interface is not pinch resistant, the standard requires that handles or “suitable gripping points” be installed on the door. If handles are installed, people will be less likely to try to close a door by placing their fingers in a section interface.

How many handles are required, and where must they be placed?

Two handles or gripping points must be installed on the inside and two on the outside. One must be placed on the bottom section within six inches of the bottom edge, and the other must be installed 20-30 inches directly above it. If a handle is placed within four inches of a section interface, it must “promote vertical orientation of the hand.”

Who installs the handles?

They can be installed at the factory or by the installer. But they must be present on the finished product.

How will we know how to install the handles?

The manufacturer’s installation instructions must clearly state how they are to be installed. Also, if handles are required (because the door is not pinch resistant), a permanent warning label must be installed on the door. The label and the instructions must be provided by the manufacturer, and they must both describe the risk of injury and the necessity of properly installed handles.

To obtain a copy of the four-page DASMA 116 standard, contact DASMA at 216-241-7333, fax 216-241-0105, or dasma@dasma.com.