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To cover all bases it would be safe to say they are very important and should differ and relate to the intended use and the environment in which they are used as well as the people intending to use them.
Safety devices for any electric roller shutter door start with the most basic of methods – the ‘dead man’ switch – essentially a rocker switch placed in view of the door being controlled. The theory behind this is of course the person operating the door is totally responsible for its operation up and down and must hold the switch constantly for it to operate. There are plenty of examples in the H&S files of instances where very serious accidents and even fatalities have occurred when a large roller door was operated and the user was not able to see the door properly. It is the most basic of controls and with very large doors or fast action roller doors it should be taken for granted that another safety device be fitted recognising the potential damage a very large roller door can do when able to be potentially controlled by anyone capable of operating the switch.
More standard and commonly used safety controls, especially for remote control electric domestic roller garage doors are ‘bottom edge safety devices’ and these are rubber seals with built in pressure detection systems to stop the door the moment it hits an obstacle in its closing cycle.
Another and less common system is using the electric motor itself to detect a power surge when the bottom edge is obstructed and make the motor reverse immediately. This device in roller doors is only used by externally mounted electric motor systems and has been used for many years very successfully. Look at the Gliderol, Hormann and Garador roller garage doors for this technology.
Most importantly these are the required safety devices to comply with the current regulations and any electric door not using this system is not compliant with these regulations.
A lot of manufacturers sell electric roller garage doors with only an infra red beam (or several) in place for safety and claim to be CE compliant but they are not and after July 2013 the regulations change to make this practice a criminal offence. In fact it is not the practice of using infra red beams that is a criminal offence but manufacturing and supplying a door which cannot be correctly CE marked. ‘Maybe another get out clause?’ – We will have to wait and see!
Whatever you think or are told, it is clear that in so many installations for electric operated and more importantly ‘remote controlled’ it is imperative to have a proper and decent safety mechanism. Large, heavy or super fast electric roller doors have them as standard you hope, so at what point do you think it is OK to risk it and save some money? We see electric roller doors without any safety devices everywhere, and even though they may not ever injure anyone we get to see them as we have been called out to repair them and make safe.
An electric roller door without safety devices can close onto an object such as a wheelbarrow and if it does not stop it may unwind at the top and damage many of the slats. There should be some kind of safety to prevent ‘entrapment’ too when the door opens and this can include a full hood so the hand cannot be inserted into the rolling area and some doors such a the Seceuroglide garage door have a system capable of detecting resistance in the opening cycle and stopping to prevent damage or injury
Beyond safety devices of course a door should be fitted in accordance with the structure it is fixing too and more recently a large roller shutter came away from the wall it was installed to in an industrial building and crushed a person underneath it. Very nasty and unfortunately all too common with older roller doors too that are not inspected and serviced regularly.
If you do not think safety is important, we do, Samson Doors only supply and install electric roller doors for commercial and domestic use that are fully CE marked. We can advise on any aspect of a proposed installation and what the best product could be.
Call us now on (01933) 274276