Why would you invite a tragedy into your hangar or facility? It’s proven worldwide: bi-fold doors can kill. There comes a point that it’s not about sales, it’s about safety. Over the years, the bi-fold door has been linked to countless accidents and multiple deaths, and finally the door industry is taking notice.
Documented accidents started to impact the bi-fold door industry in 2002, but the bi-fold was a cheap, easy solution to aircraft hangar and building owners. In 2002, according to the US Department of Labor, “one of five lifting, hoisting cables came unfastened at one end of a bifold door, apparently because the saddle clamps had been installed improperly. One cable, immediately adjacent to the loosened cable was missing entirely, and the door began moving downward on the right side. The tilting caused the door roller to come out of its track.” The lower portion of the bi-fold door then struck the man and he was killed.
Because of the way the majority of bi-folds are built, there is no anti-drop mechanism or other device to prevent the door from free-falling if there is a failure in the drive or suspension mechanism.
Throughout the next decade, murmurs of more bi-fold injuries floated through the door industry, but still nothing was done. In early 2014 it happened again. According to CBS news in Minnesota, a northern Minnesota man died after his jacket got caught in a large bi-fold door at his work. The man was standing next to a 40-by-20 foot bi-fold door as it opened. He got caught in some cables and was pulled to his death. Read the full article here: http://cbsloc.al/1kw0wyr
In 2015, the world finally began to take notice of deadly bi-fold doors. After two people were killed in the U.K., the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) of Great Britain sent a country-wide letter “to all known users of powered overhead, bi-folding sectional doors stating these doors “currently do not have an anti-drop mechanism or other device to prevent the free fall of the door in the event of a drive of suspension failure.” (An anti-drop mechanism is required by the European Safety Directive and European Standards.)
The HSE stated that “Without an anti-drop mechanism or other device, any failure of the drive or suspension system will result in the door free falling. This is clearly very hazardous…” Further, the HSE recommends “As there is NO anti-drop mechanism or device available, to TAKE THE DOOR OUT OF SERVICE….. UNTIL IT CAN BE REPLACED.” The HSE will be enforcing action against those who do not take steps to replace the door.
The problems with the bi-fold are critical. With these multiple deaths in the U.S. and Europe, it won’t be long before the bi-fold is banned for good. Technology has moved on from wires, cables, pulleys and straps. The simplicity and safety of hydraulic doors will soon be the only logical choice.