Did you know that large numbers of maiming injuries and deaths of children and pets are happening with alarming frequency due to garage doors? If you have a garage door that was installed before 1993, your garage door could be at risk for causing one of these injuries or deaths. Here are some ways to prevent that from happening.
1) Make sure your garage door opener automatically reverses before anything actually collides with it. Garage door openers installed before 1982 do not reverse at all, and some doors installed after that time will only reverse on impact. If your garage door was installed within the last ten years you can assume that it has a reverse feature, but it’s always a good idea to double check that it’s working by placing something in front of the sensors to be doubly sure. We recommend doing this check monthly to ensure the safety of your garage door. If installed prior to 2004, it’s a good idea to consider an upgrade, especially if you have children or pets in the home.
2) Check the springs and cables on your garage door. Springs should be installed around the torsion shaft so that if it breaks, it cannot spring off and cause an injury. These springs are extremely heavy and can cause significant injury if one hits you. You should have your springs regularly inspected by a garage door professional and replaced if necessary. The same goes for your cables. Check for fraying ends, loose, hanging down strands or any other signs of wear that indicate your cables may be on their way out. Have worn cables replaced as soon as possible, and be sure to replace both sides at the same time to avoid the newer cable taking more weight or causing strain on the older one. There are certain brands that can safely be installed by the homeowners, although this can be a dangerous job, so be sure that you know what you are doing.
3) Make sure all remotes and the keypad are installed at least five feet above the ground so that children cannot operate them. Be sure to instruct children never to play the “beat the door” game where the try to get in or out before the door closes as this can be a recipe for a serious injury. Your garage door is often the heaviest item in the household and gets major every day use in most families, so educate you children that the garage door is not a toy, and about the dangers of playing with the controls.
4) Learn how to operate the garage door’s emergency release feature in the case of an accident. There will be instructions on how to do this in your garage door opener’s manual and/or the garage door opener website.
5) Never leave your garage door partially open. This is liable to cause injury when you go to close it all the way as it may go down crushing whatever is in its path, especially if your sensors are not working properly.
As a homeowner, you must protect those who enter your home via the garage door, and by utilizing the above methods you can ensure that your family and friends stay safe.