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When a customer wants to leave a room and then return, a door chimes.
The doors, which are typically mounted to the ceiling, don’t have the power to open, but a switch can be triggered by the door’s proximity to the door opening.
“The owner will get a text message saying, ‘Do you want to come out?’ and he or she will have to wait a few seconds before they can get out,” says Andrew Tumas, owner of Tumac Products in Westport, Connecticut.
“So if you are in a restaurant or a coffee shop and you see a door that’s opened, you can say, ‘Oh, yeah, I want to go in,'” says Tumass.
He has already heard from a few customers who have complained about the chimes in their homes.
“We’ve had some people come in and leave with no chimes,” says Tumbas.
But the chime system isn’t foolproof, he says.
“People think it’s automatic,” he says, “and then they don’t open the door, because they’re afraid they’ll be locked out.”
Tumaskas has been contacted by people who want to cancel the system and have not yet received an answer.
If you do decide to cancel your automatic door purchase, you’ll have to replace it yourself.
If your doors are installed incorrectly, the installer will be responsible for the cost.
And if your doors break, you could end up with a bill for $2,000 or more, depending on the state of your insurance, according to the American Home Automobile Association.
If the chirps sound when the door is closed, the homeowner can call the local police department.
But if you have a complaint about your chime or your installer, you should contact the National Home Safety Association, a trade association that represents manufacturers, to learn how to file a safety complaint.
According to the National Association of Home Builders, about 1.3 million of the 1.2 million automatic door installations nationwide have been inspected by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the agency has determined the system complies with the federal National Fire Protection Association standards.
The manufacturer, Tumakas says, would pay the repair cost, if any, but the company has yet to be contacted.
But there’s another option.
The National Association for the Advancement of Home Automotive says it has created a website called Auto-Ease that will help you find out if your home’s automatic door is up to code.
There’s a “Homeowner Guide” that shows the cost, and then there’s the National Safety Council, a group of more than 30 industry and consumer groups that has worked with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on automated door safety standards.
For now, it says, you will have until January 30 to contact your local police.
If it’s an emergency, the council recommends calling 911.