Just the heavy load of garage doors is enough to cause fatal accidents. Should we be afraid of our overhead doors? The truth is that they don’t fall down out of the blue. There is always a good reason for that and any hazard.
- Improper garage door installation
- Negligence to fix problems
- Broken garage door springs and cables
- Malfunctioning operators
- Lack of maintenance
- Poor quality parts
In other words, every garage door service and all decisions you take about this system will take their toll if they are not done by the book. Don’t forget that accidents don’t happen only due to the heavy weight of the door but the high tension of some parts – springs and cables.
All in all, there are things you can do, things you can plan, and things you can avoid to remain safe.
The 7 garage door safety tips (that can actually prevent accidents)
1. Garage door remotes & children are not pals
Kids don’t understand the risks and see the moving overhead garage door as a huge toy. Teach them. And remember that the remote control should be hidden or kept out of reach.
2. Test garage door balance
Improperly balanced garage doors will be a great risk. Why? Because they will put extra strain on the opener (which might even not work) and the reverse system won’t work. And don’t forget that this is an indication of a problem (weak springs, frayed cables etc.) which might be proven dangerous.
3. Check the garage door opener safety features
Electric garage door openers have two safety systems, which should reverse the door. Check them. Pass your hand under the door when it’s coming down. It should reverse. Put a board or another box on the floor and see if the door reverses when it comes in contact. If not, it’s time to call in a garage door opener repair tech.
4. Invest in tamper-resistant parts, safety cables, & new handles
Today, you can find tamper-resistant brackets, which will not let you tamper with them should there is a problem with the cables. Because if you do, the cable tension is released and you’ll get injured.
Since many people get their fingers injured, the manufacturers have produced pinch protection hinges, which will not allow you to put your finger between the sectional door panels. Also, get handles to pull the door open manually and don’t grab the door from the edges – that’s another common reason for finger injuries.
Install safety cables to the extension springs. If they break, they will fly in the garage and cause accidents and property damage. These cables keep them in place.
5. Learn how to use the release cord…and use it
The red release rope hanging from the opener is not there just for the times of power outage but also in the event of entrapment. Nearly all of them need to be pulled to disconnect the door from the opener but check your opener’s manual for specific details.
6. No walking under the moving door
Never walk under the descending door. If there is a problem with parts or the reverse system, the door will collapse on you.
7. Monthly inspections become your guide
Visually inspect the garage door cables, tracks, rollers, springs, hinges, and sensors every month to make sure they are free of rust, in their original position and aligned. If anything seems to be wrong, call a garage door repair pro.
Garage door maintenance: the key to safe performance
There is no doubt that regular garage door maintenance is key to preventing problems. That’s the purpose of this service, anyway. And so you can actually enjoy the garage door for years without experiencing safety hazards either. Because the truth is that some accidents happen due to wrong momentary decisions (walking under the closing garage door) but some occur due to malfunctions too.
And don’t forget that maintenance solves more problems that the ones related to safety: saves you money from unexpected repairs and premature replacements or energy waste.
What more to do to enhance garage door safety and security
All the same, you can do a number of things yourself not only to ensure your family’s safety but security too. For example, make sure the door is closed before driving off. A single tree leaf might find its way in the descending door’s way and as a result the door will reverse jeopardizing the security of your home.
As for your safety, one last advice: don’t attempt fixing garage doors yourself. It’s dangerous. On top of that, you lack garage door troubleshooting and service skills and thus you might not fix the problem right. So don’t take chances. Trust the pros. And schedule maintenance at least every June, which has been designated as the National Garage Door Safety Month by the International Door Association.