There are few items in the home that are as time-consuming to inspect as garage overhead doors—with the exception of crawl spaces and difficult attics.
There are numerous things that can go wrong with these large moving devices. Today I am only going to focus on the button that one pushes to open and close them. For more information about them, plus information on how to test them, please see: You broke it—-now you can fix it!
Modern standards require the operator button to be located a minimum of 60″ above the floor; and that there be a warning label posted next to it—-as shown in the following picture.
This warning label warns of the dangers these doors represent to small children. It is placed at 60″ so that children can’t easily reach it. I once was asked how small children are supposed to read the warning if they can’t read—-they were joking I think.
This next picture is of the same push button which, when measured from the house level (two steps up from the garage floor), is easily within reach of small children. While it may not be clear as to which floor surface the regulations require the button to be located 60″ above, common sense (whatever the heck that is) would dictate that it would be safer to use the upper level.
Hopefully all of your buttons are in the right place today.
Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector
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