Potential dangers exist with garage doors, and you owe it to yourself and your family to ensure that your garage door and the opening mechanism are maintained in perfect working condition at all times. Accidents do happen sometimes, and it is your children who are most at risk.
There are two strategies you can employ regarding your garage door that will maximize the effective safety and well-being of you and your family. They are both simple and easy to do: educate your family about all potential risks associated with your garage door, and put in place a regular inspection and maintenance schedule, as well as staying vigilant with regard to your garage door.
Garage door torsion springs
You may think the electric motor does all the hard work of opening and closing your garage door, but it doesn’t. The torsion springs do all the hard work, which allows the relatively low powered electric motor to open the heavy door. If a spring breaks, the sudden release of stored energy can be catastrophic and extremely dangerous.
Do this test regularly. Use the emergency release cord to disengage the door opener, then manually open the door about halfway up and leave it there. The door should stay exactly where you leave it.
If it lowers slightly (or considerably) by itself, this could indicate worn door springs that require maintenance. Don’t try anything yourself, but get a professional to inspect it. Don’t leave it for even a day! Get it inspected by someone who knows what they are doing.
Stay clear of the door while it is opening or closing
Make sure your family know to stay clear of the door when it is in the process of opening or closing. Don’t ever let anyone duck under a door that is nearly closed, or partly open. People have been killed, and continue to get killed, by doing this.
Fingers have also been seriously injured by the door panel joints coming together and trapping fingers that should not be there. Children are especially vulnerable to this. They like to touch things without thinking, so educate your children and make sure they never touch a garage door when it is in motion.
Keep garage door controls away from children
Never leave the garage door remote control where your children can pick it up and use it. Controlling something large like a garage door by clicking a small button is a fascination for them, but it is also fraught with potential danger.
There is usually a wall-mounted control in the garage for the doors as well. Make sure this button is high off the ground, at least five feet up, so children cannot reach it.
Garage door maintenance
Get into the habit of inspecting your garage door opening mechanism at least once a month. Look for anything unusual. If the door starts making an unusual sound, for example, that could be an indication of something not right. If you are unsure about anything at all, get a professional to inspect it. Be safe rather than sorry.