On a daily basis, the majority of homeowners pay little attention to their garage doors as they are not the most interesting of things. However, when you begin to look at them in closer detail, what looks like a simple piece of engineering is actually pretty complex and as such requires careful installation, operation and maintenance. This is because, due to the size, they can weigh upwards of 250kg`s and would pose a real danger to anyone unlucky enough to be stood underneath it should the door ever fall down.
As a result of the above information, we strongly advise you to only buy new garage doors that have been CE marked to show full compliance with the latest safety legislation. In addition, should you wish to employ the services of a door installer, always ask to see proof that they have public liability insurance which will cover you should something go wrong.
Detailed below are some of the key features you should expect from a high quality garage door. As such we recommend you use this when selecting you preferred supplier.
Any high quality garage roller doors should be fitted with a means of protecting the user against it dropping unexpectedly. This generally entails having either an anti drop device fitted or ensuring that a number of springs are used to provide tension. Multiple springs will ensure that should one break, the others are capable of preventing the curtain from dropping unexpectedly.
Advice: Ask the garage door company for proof of CE marking showing the doors have been tested to meet the required standard by an independent body such as the BRE (British Research Establishment)
Wind Loads: Covering a large structural opening, the wind can exert forces onto the door that will effect its performance. As such they should be certified to be resistant to wind loads. This will vary from door to door however EU legislation dictates they should all be tested to achieve a rating of 1–4 (with 4 being the highest possible rating).
Advice: Check to see what wind loading data is available for your preferred design. If the manufacturer cannot provide this data, switch to another company that can.
Uncontrolled Movement: A fully compliant door should have a system in place to stop uncontrolled movement. This is generally in the form of a brake of balance system that will engage once the curtain is stopped in any position.
Advice: A correctly balanced door will remain in the same position at any given point during its path of travel. As such, be sure to ask any potential supplier if the type of doors that appeal to you will meet the given criteria.
Finger Protection: To ensure the user remains safe at all times, a quality garage door should be designed so as to pose the minimal risk to cutting, crushing and shearing. At present, this applies to doors up to a height of 2500mm. Whenever possible the design should feature the minimal amount of gaps or where this is not possible, warnings should be in place to warn the user of the danger.
Advice: Find out from your supplier if the garage doors on offer are CE compliant.
Once a garage door is fitted with a motor it is classed as a “machine” under The Machinery directive. As such, it is essential that the combination is capable of working safely together without posing a risk of causing injury to users or damage to property. For this reason, it is vitally important that features such as photo cells, safety edges etc are present that will stop the movement should something come into contact with it during its opening and closing cycle.
Although all the above information might seem a little confusing and daunting for someone new to the terminology involved, the crux of it is that to be certain you are getting a high quality product, always stick to a European manufacturer such as Gliderol, Seceuroglide or Garador and you can pretty much be certain that the products will meet all of the above criteria and more.
Where you need to be extremely careful is when looking at purchasing non branded garage doors from parts unknown. Legislation is not as tight in some parts of the world and as a result will not achieve the same high standards of safety and durability.