6 Safety Tips For Your Garage Door
In April 2013, a three year old girl living with her family in Waldorf, Maryland fell victim to a closing garage door and, unfortunately, was unable to be revived. Though it is believed that the family’s garage door was working properly, their garage door opener was within the child’s reach, and accidents are always possible.
The gravity of this situation brings to light the importance of home safety, and the garage door cannot be overlooked.
Here are some great ways to help you stay on top of garage door safety:
1. Read the Owner’s Manual
Reading about your garage door is the best and most thorough step you can take to make sure everyone’s safe. The owner’s manual is built as a reference should you need guidance using your door. Giving it a read-through will help you understand all of its functions and the way that the door is intended to work for you.
The owner’s manual includes useful information such as a complete layout of the garage door parts, their purpose, how to inspect and maintain your garage door, and often includes a list of replacement parts. It can also guide you through various problems you may encounter throughout the life of the door.
2. Learn About the Emergency Release
The emergency release handle will disconnect the garage door from its opener. This can be used in emergencies to allow human power to lift and move the door. It is an emergency-only function and should not be used for any other reason.
Your owner’s manual should have full information on the emergency release handle, including how to operate it, what it does, and how to reconnect your garage door to the opener. Stay educated on how the entire process works and consistently re-read so you are always ready in the event of an emergency.
3. Stay Away From Moving Doors
A moving garage door is dangerous whether it’s moving up or down. Clothing and fingers can get caught in the track and cause bodily injury. A door that isn’t properly maintained can fall off of its railing and jeopardize your safety. A closing door can crush objects underneath it. The dangers are rare but serious. The best course of action is to stay clear of a moving garage door. If your garage door opens manually, make sure that it’s easy to open. Opening any garage door should never be difficult.
Some doors have a reverse mechanism. It is a safety mechanism that will reverse the action of the garage door if it detects an object in its path. You can test this action with a soft, malleable object like that has resistance such as a couch cushion or roll of paper towels. The garage door should reverse once it makes contact with your test object.
4. Keep Children Away
You should never allow children to operate your door under any circumstances. All garage doors are heavy pieces of equipment that weigh in excess of 200 pounds. They also have extra mechanical and electrical parts. The door cannot be treated as a toy. Proper operation of the door requires careful attention and forethought, so it’s always best to keep kids away.
Consider keeping the opener away from children. Many automatic doors have both a remote and a wall-mounted button, both of which can be either installed or stored away from curious kids. Keep them away from doors without exception. Moving doors, open doors, closed doors, and broken doors are all extremely dangerous and should not be used for play.
The best way to keep kids safe is to properly teach them about the door and why it is dangerous. Safety education is a powerful tool for kids and adults alike, so don’t neglect your responsibility to teach your children about garage door safety.
5. Inspect the Door As Often As Possible
Do a proper inspection on a monthly basis. Check all of the garage door’s parts. Look for damaged metal, blockages, and unusual alignment. Make sure all objects and children are clear of the door, then open and close it to make sure that it’s operating the way it should. Small errors are easy to miss when using your garage door on a daily basis.
Even if you’re just on your way into your car, take a moment and watch your garage door as it opens. If its movement is shaky or seems misaligned, it won’t hurt to inspect further in case you need to repair your garage door.
6. Do Not Repair Broken Springs Yourself
Broken garage door springs are one of the top reasons garage doors won’t open. The springs on your garage door use tension to hold the heavy weight of the door and help it move with ease. Broken springs can store extraordinary amounts of tension and, if they are not handled with the proper tools, can cause damage to your door and severe injury to you and your loved ones.