Prevent Garage Door Accidents
Automatic garage doors are a handy convenience, but it is important to use them in a safe manner. The following are some tips for insuring garage door safety for you and your family. In a sense this is a garage door repair issue, because often garage door accidents result in damage to the door as well as to cars and people. So you want to prevent accidents any way you can.
Make Sure of Safety Features and Adjustments
One of the most important safety controls on a garage door is its ability to reverse and come back up when it hits something that is blocking its path. First of all you need to make sure that the garage door does this. You can test this very simply (as noted in another post on this site) by putting some kind of object such as a 2X4 or concrete block in the way of the garage door, closing it, and seeing if it reverses and reopens when it hits the obstruction.
If it does not, you have several options. One is to check the force and travel adjustments on the garage door. These are generally screw or knob type adjustments. You can usually adjust both the total length that the door travels and the force with which the door ascends and descends. Try adjusting these controls and retesting whether or not the door reverses, as well as how quickly and responsively it does so. This is obviously very important, as you wouldn’t yourself, your children, or anyone else to be pinned down by the door as it closes.
If you can’t get the door to reverse quickly and responsively when it hits an obstruction, your other option is to call a service professional. You may also wish to do this if you feel that you’re not particularly handy and simply want to have someone else make sure the garage door functions safely.
Discuss Garage Safety wit Children
Garage door safety is important for children to understand. Whatever their age, they need to know that the garage door can close by itself and that playing around with the garage keypad remote is a bad idea. Opening and closing the door repeatedly and trying to run under it is an obvious sort of game. But these and similar games can be dangerous and should be discouraged by parents.
Depending on the particular situation you may want to hide the remote, lock the garage entry door, or any number of things to keep children from playing in the garage. If you do allow them to play in this area, make sure at least that they understand safe garage and garage door related behavior – basically to only open the garage door when they need to go in and out and not to play reckless sorts of games with the garage door.
Make Sure People Know When it’s Locked
Sometimes with manually locking garage doors, damage occurs when somebody tries to pull it open by hand not realizing it is locked. Often this bends the lock or damages the handle. So if you have one of these types of doors, make sure people understand well when it is locked and when it isn’t. This simple step will save you some annoying repair or replacement work.
People ramming into garage doors on the way in and out is a major cause of garage door accidents. In a distracted state you can forget that the garage door is closed or is in the process of opening. If you’re impatient and preoccupied, you might grab a remote with dead batteries and run right into a closed door or in a hurry to exit or enter hit the garage door when it is in the process of opening. These mistakes can be prevented by simply being more alert and looking around carefully before entering or exiting the garage.
Check and Maintain Garage Door
You want to periodically give the garage door a once over to make sure that it is in good working order. Check the frame of the door for loose or bent parts. A good routine thing to check for is loose bolts and screws. If you find any loose ones tighten them. This is a good basic way to make sure of the structural integrity of the door itself and all its parts. Inspect the garage door opener box as well periodically to get a sense of its condition. Pay attention to electrical burning smells, stripped gears, and the like. If anything looks overly worn you can consider either replacing them yourself or calling a technician. Springs and rollers should also be checked periodically for rust and integrity and replaced if necessary.
These simple steps will help to prevent garage door accidents. The garage is not an area to take for granted as regards safety. You need to make sure that this area is as safe as other parts of your house.