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Safety Commission Proposes Rules For Automatic Garage Door Openers

Release Date: March 18, 1992

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) today published proposed certification and recordkeeping rules for automatic residential garage door openers.

The proposal is a follow-up to the entrapment protection provisions for automatic residential garage door openers mandated by Congress. CPSC codified these provisions as a Commission standard in June 1991. The standard requires that all automatic residential garage door openers manufactured on or after January 1, 1991 must conform to the entrapment protection requirements of the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Standard for Safety, UL 325. The openers will have to comply with additional entrapment protection requirements in 1993.

Since 1982, the Commission has reports of 48 children between the ages of two and 14 who died after becoming entrapped under doors with automatic garage door openers. The entrapment protection provisions of the UL standard incorporated in CPSC's mandatory standard include:

-All garage door openers must reverse the motion of a closing door within two seconds after the door contacts a two-inch high test block placed on the floor in the door's path.

-All garage door openers must re-open the door within 30 seconds of the start of movement in the downward direction if the mechanism senses that the door did not fully close to the garage floor.

CPSC urges consumers with automatic garage door openers to test their openers to make sure they have a reversing feature. The reversing feature should then be tested monthly.

Additionally, owners of automatic garage door openers should teach their children about garage door safety and keep transmitters and remote controls out of children's reach.

The Commission's proposed certification rule would require a label on automatic residential garage door openers manufactured on or after January 1, 1993. It also provides for a "reasonable testing program" on which the certification is based. The label allows consumers to distinguish between complying and non- complying garage door openers, and tells consumers what standard the opener meets. Openers certified by UL could use the UL logo as their certification label.

The proposed recordkeeping rule would require manufacturers to maintain written records of tests that demonstrate the basis for certification. It would also take effect on January 1, 1993.

The proposed certification and recordkeeping rules are being published today in the Federal Register for public comment. The public has 75 days to submit comments. These comments will be reviewed by the Commission before the Commission decides whether to issue final rules.

The CPSC is issuing these proposed rules 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 21,600 deaths associated each year with the 15,000 different types of consumer products under CPSC's jurisdiction.

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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. 

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