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Why Harrison Ford Has Me Considering Garage Door Safety

By Bonnie Massey

Harrison Ford / Garage Door Safety
Credit: Movie Stills Database

I grew up on the Star Wars franchise, binge watching all three original episodes with my dad and three brothers when we could. My favorite was always the second one,  The Empire Strikes Back. Honestly, like many children of the eighties, the main reason I loved watching Star Wars was that I thought the rugged Harrison Ford was incredibly handsome.

Years later while working in our family garage door business, I attended the International Door Association Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. While walking through Caesar’s Palace, who did I see sitting alone, but Harrison Ford? Like an excited schoolgirl, I mustered up my courage to talk to him: “Hello?” He raised his head. I continued, “I just wanted to tell you that I have loved your movies since I was a little girl, and I wanted to thank you for making them.” He looked down shyly, shook my hand and smiled. It was an exciting moment for me to meet this actor I had looked up to for so long.

Now Harrison Ford is making news headlines, not for his acting, but for winning a lawsuit regarding an injury he sustained on a London movie set while filming one of the newest films in the Star Wars franchise: The Force Awakens.

There was a lack of communication between the person operating a hydraulic door and the actor on the set of the Millennium Falcon. The operator unknowingly closed the door while Harrison Ford was underneath it, and the door fell like a “blunt guillotine” millimeters from Ford’s face. The steel door hit him with the weight of a small car and pinned him by the pelvis to the ground as he passed underneath it. Disney was fined over $2.6 million dollars over this incident. The court was told that Ford could have been killed by the heavy door and that the production company was responsible for ensuring a safe workplace. Ford suffered fractures to his fibula and tibula, and he had a dislocated ankle. Ford was airlifted to a hospital in Oxford after the incident and later had surgery on his left leg.

Harrison Ford’s injury has raised much needed public awareness of the potential dangers associated with operating any large moving door, and this relates to garage door safety at home.

While hydraulic doors and garage doors are not exactly the same, they share some important similarities. Both are powerful machines, which provide security and convenience, but both can be dangerous if one is not careful.

It’s critical to be aware and pro-active with your garage door in order to avoid possible injuries, and keep your loved ones and yourself safe.  As the International Door Association website states: The “proper installation, operation, and maintenance and testing [of your garage door] are necessary to provide safe, trouble-free operation. An improperly adjusted garage door or automatic opener can exert deadly force when the door closes. This could lead to serious injury or death from being hit by a closing garage door or from being trapped under the door.”

This is some scary stuff! Our company, Entry Systems strongly suggests regular maintenance of your garage door and operator to ensure safe operation. You can do your own garage door safety check by following some simple steps from IDA’s garage door safety reference guide.

Remember, we are always here for our local Orange County residents, and would love to set up a maintenance plan for you to avoid those stressful emergency calls when something breaks unexpectedly!

About Entry SystemsEstablished in 1972, Entry Systems, a subsidiary of Laguna Niguel Garage Door Service, Inc., is one of the longest running garage door and gate repair companies in South Orange County. As a family owned business with over 40 years experience, the company has been an industry leader providing unrivaled service since its beginning.

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How safe is your garage door?

In general, it is thought that products were made better “back in the day.” Furniture was made out of solid wood and steel was used rather than plastic. Over the past 40 years, the garage door industry has only seen improvements with expansive options and security features to allow convenience and safety in every home. The first attempt to make garage doors safe was to require that they reverse when hitting an object on the way down or up. Many garage door openers did not comply with this rule and it was excused with a red warning label.

warninglabel

But–there was a turning point in the early 90’s when new safety standards were implemented. After multiple accounts of children being killed by a closing garage door the law was passed.  All garage door opener manufacturers were required to include safety sensors with every opener sold.  Some manufacturers did not comply with the changes in time and shut down as a result.  It was realized that garage doors needed to not only be reliable but safe. In recent years, manufacturers have gone above and beyond to include even more safety features to make your home as safe as possible.

Below is a statement from LiftMaster, one of the leading manufacturers who’s products we proudly carry:

We are committed to the highest standards of product safety. Over the years, the LiftMaster® brand has led the industry in introducing innovative product safety features. As a company, we have manufactured garage door openers for 50 years with a safety record that ranks as one of the best in the industry.

…In 2008, Chamberlain made the decision to stop supporting the repair of all pre-1993 LiftMaster garage door openers, this includes technical service support and the sale of replacement parts. We believe this decision will provide you with the latest in technology and more safety, security, and convenience features.
To insure the highest degree of safety and customer satisfaction, we believe it is important that pre-1993 garage door openers are replaced, as opposed to being repaired… We believe this decision is in the best interest of our customers, as safety always comes first.
 
 
If you have any questions about the safety of your garage door, please give us a call. We are happy to give recommendations and advice at no charge. Annual maintenance and safety checks are recommended and can be scheduled at any time.

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