Garage Door Accident

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Investigators say the motions sensors on a garage door that pinned a four year old Canon City boy were too high even though they were only about a foot above the ground.

The little boy, whose name has not yet been released, died at the hospital, after the door asphixiated him by compressing his chest Thursday.

Police say the boy sometimes played a game in the garage. He would aparently push the button on the door, and try to get out before it closed.
It's believed that's what the child was doing when he was pinned.

The first thing homeowners should do to ensure the safety of their garage doors, is check the height of the motion sensors. They should be no more than four to eight inches off the ground.

Kevin Maguire of Overhead Garage Door says new garage door openers are made with several special safety features. Any manufactured after 1993 are equipped with photo-electric safety cells, or infrared beams that shoot across the opening of your garage. The sensors are designed to detect anything in the door's path and automatically reverse, as long as they're set at the correct height.

To make sure yours are working, just lower the garage door and wave your hand in front of the sensor. If it's working properly, the door should automatically reverse direction. Another simple check a homeowner can make, simply place a piece of lumber underneath the garage door. When the door hits the wood it should reverse. If it doesn't the door should be checked.

Garage doors manufactured before 1993 probably don't have sensors, but, they do probably have a reversing mechanism of some kind. Unfortunately, you cannot buy the sensors separately. In order to get them, it will require an entirely new garage door opener.