Older-style electric doors must be adapted to new safety regulations. / migue fernández

Around 28,000 communities of owners in Malaga province still need to update their garage doors

New EU safety regulations for automatic doors came into force in 2017 but in the last year alone there have been 50 accidents in garages which have still not complied with the directive

JUAN SOTO Malaga

Garage doors have become a headache for many communities of owners in Malaga province, because around 28,000 do not comply with current EU safety regulations. This is not an insignificant figure, as it amounts to about one half of the garages belonging to communities and private owners in the province.

The safety rules apply to automatic doors and they require rubber anti-collision pads, an orange warning light and a detection and braking system for the doors in the event of a collision, among other features. All those which are being installed at present are obliged to include these in order to obtain the first occupancy certificate, but this is not the case with older buildings.

Accidents

The figure of 28,000 is from the Servihogar Malaga company, which calculates that there are around 70,000 communities of owners in Malaga, of which 80% have access to a garage. Of these, the company says 50% have not adapted their garage doors to EU safety rules. Even worse, in the past year alone there have been 50 accidents in garages in the province with the old-style doors, although none of them have been serious.

The need to adapt garage doors to meet the safety regulations is causing great debate in some communities, where residents are reluctant to meet the expense.

The regulation came into force in 2017 and although at present there is no deadline by which the doors have to be adapted, experts are concerned that if an accident occurs communities or private individuals could be fined.

Emphasis on safety for pedestrians

Installation companies say the change is important because it improves the safety of pedestrians, rather than being aimed at preventing damage to vehicles although that too is important. “A lot of people walk past garage doors and most accidents that involve pedestrians are serious or can even be fatal in some cases,” they say.

The companies are also concerned that some doors have not been adapted properly, for example the doors do not stop moving if there is a collision or hydraulic motors that do not stop if they encounter an obstacle. “These are often double doors and their photoelectric cells do not detect possible movement of a person,” they warn.

They believe the authorities should crack down on this problem, as they have done in the past with lifts in buildings. “Nothing should be too much when it comes to people’s safety,” they insist.