Is it the nanny state or the plaintiffs' lawyers that require safety sensors on new garage door openers?
This past weekend I installed a new Chamberlain garage door opener to replace an old Overhead Door brand opener. The old one worked fine, but the plastic housing of the remote controls was deteriorating from old age. Sure, duct tape works just fine, but sometimes a redneck simply wants to go the extra step and upgrade to new stuff.
So I spent all weekend measuring, drilling, lifting and bolting to finally get it in place. It had a pair of safety sensors -- (cheaper here) -- which I figured I would omit. But dammit, the machine would not close the door unless the sensors were hooked up and aligned.
So after another few hours of work and another two trips to the hardware store they were hooked up and pointed at each other. Only then would the garage door not only open but close, like it's supposed to.
But why did it require the sensors? This particular garage has been on location with the same electric opener and no sensors for at least three decades, maybe longer, and not one single child was crushed the whole time. But it was installed in another era when kids were supposed to be able to watch out for themselves. They could walk all over town if they had a mind to. They could ride their bicycles to school without helmets!
But I suppose the world available to modern kids has shrunk to the house, the yard, and the garage. They can wipe out half the universe in a video game, but they can't play in a garage without getting crushed by the door. Violent mayhem in Grand Theft Auto, but overly protected in an ordinary garage. It's a strange world we've designed for the children.
By the way, the garage door opener has been in place and operational with the safety sensors for two days. Let's assume a death rate of one per day attributable to an unsensored garage door. Yes, that takes some speculation, but if we accept that then the lives of two youngsters have been saved. No thanks necessary. It's for the children!