Skip to main content

Government And Industry Move To Reduce Garage Door Opener Child-Entrapment Deaths

Release Date: December 03, 1991

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and The Industry Coalition for Automatic Garage Door Opener Safety today announced a joint program to address the problem of child entrapment by garage doors with automatic openers.

Since 1982, the Commission has received reports of 48 children between the ages of two and 14 who died after becoming entrapped under doors with automatic garage door openers.

In response to the 48 deaths, Congress required that openers manufactured for sale in the U.S. on or after January 1, 1991, must have entrapment protection. Congress also required industry to undertake a public notification campaign, in consultation with the Commission.

In the notification program announced today, the Coalition will provide information to the public on garage door opener safety and maintenance, including a free self-adhesive safety label to be placed next to the door control button and a free brochure. The brochure describes how to teach children about garage door opener safety and how to test the opener. The label is intended to be a constant reminder that death or serious injury can result if a child is pinned under a garage door. It contains information about what to do in an emergency and how to test the reversal system of the opener.

To receive a free brochure and safety label, consumers can call 1-800-727-2338.

CPSC Chairman Jacqueline Jones-Smith asked consumers to determine immediately if their openers have an automatic reversal system. "Openers without automatic reversal systems should be replaced immediately. This precaution could help save a child's life," she said.

Industry Coalition leader Ray Sobel urged consumers to take advantage of the publications. "Properly installed, tested, maintained and operated, garage door openers provide convenience and security. Because a garage door is the largest moving object in the home, proper testing and safe operation of the opener are very important. To improve consumer awareness of these issues, we are pleased to join with the Consumer Product Safety Commission in this educational campaign to promote safer operation and maintenance of garage door openers."

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is announcing this action as part of its mission to protect the public from unreasonable risks of injury and death associated with consumer products. The Commission's objective is to reduce the estimated 28.5 million injuries and 21,6000 deaths associated each year with the 15,000 different types of consumer products under CPSC's jurisdiction.

Release Number

About the U.S. CPSC
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risk of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product-related incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products has contributed to a decline in the rate of injuries associated with consumer products over the past 50 years. 

Federal law prohibits any person from selling products subject to a Commission ordered recall or a voluntary recall undertaken in consultation with the CPSC.

For lifesaving information:

Media Contact

Please use the below phone number for all media requests.

Phone: (301) 504-7908
Spanish: (301) 504-7800

View CPSC contacts for specific areas of expertise

Report an unsafe product