Garage Door Safety Guide

The majority of homes have an attached or stand alone garage. However, not many people understand the importance of maintaining their garages as it relates to garage door safety. This can lead to major issues, even accidents or injuries if left undone. Here are some of the general maintenance issues that often go overlooked. The safety and reliability of your garage doors could depend on a simple inspection to detect latent problem

Garage Fire Safety

garage door safetyYou wouldn’t normally think of a fire breaking out in the garage, but it’s actually somewhat commonplace for residential fires. Think about what you store in the garage — a car, which has some level of gasoline in the tank;  a lawn mower with extra gas; and chemicals that have various levels of flammability. A leak or spill can soak into the garage floor, and still emit fumes that can ignite. These vapors can blaze up from a small spark or even an electric appliance in the garage with a small motor. If your garage is level with or lower than the house, this could be dangerous.

Carbon Monoxide Dangers

If you have an attached garage, it’s possible to experience issues with carbon monoxide gas. This gas is odorless and can make its way through the house without you knowing. Consult a professional garage door company to come and check the garage for you. This problem is not exclusive to garages with heating ducts that run into and out of the garage. It can take many hours for CO levels to be safe after an incident. There have been numerous cases of carbon monoxide invading a home or causing injury and death because a car was left running in the garage.

Safe Garage Doors, Safe Kids

The last thing any parent wants is for their child to suffer an injury. When we think of safety, the garage door typically doesn’t come up. However, more children 1 to 4 years of age die from accidents than from the combined seven next ranking causes of death.  An estimated 40,000 to 50,000 children are permanently injured each year, and a minimum of 1 million seek medical care because of accidental injuries.

Does your garage door have a proper safety cable? Do you know where this is located? One of our All Four Seasons technicians can help you make double sure that your doors are in proper working order. Safety cables and garage door safety sensors being installed can give you peace of mind. Having them installed by a pro, even more so. We can test your garage door’s safety features according to industry leading garage door safety requirements to make sure that kids can’t get hurt by your heavy garage door.

Garage Door Safety and Cable Tension

If you have a set of garage doors that are not so new, you may want to have the cables inspected as well. Having cables that are worn or frayed spells trouble because of the heavy load in tension on them all the time. This is also true of the tension or torsion springs as well. If you have a combination of old springs and worn cables, you’re asking for an accident.

Types of Injuries

There are many ways to be injured by a garage door you may not think of. If you have small children, the most common accident is being crushed by the doors. This happens either from trying to run under while closing, or faulty machinery. This can be relieved by having sensors and safety properly installed. Having your garage checked for issues is the best precaution here. Other injuries include being pinched by the doors and lacerations from window glass.

From your garage door slipping off its tracks to various malfunctions, a lot can go wrong with the door to your garage if it is left to degrade without proper maintenance. Here are six garage door safety tips for homeowners to make sure no one in your family is a victim an accident involving your garage door:

  1. Never allow your children to play with the garage door remote. You might think that letting your child fiddle around with the remote to your garage door is harmless. However, children can get their hands in between parts of the door, which can result in grave injuries. Keep the remote in a place where your children can’t access it.
  2. Inspect your garage door every month. To have a safe garage door, you should check all garage door safety features to ensure that everything is working as it should. You’ll want to examine the rollers, springs, cables, and the pulleys for any signs of wear and tear. During the examination, never adjust, remove, or repair these parts. Refrain from touching the parts attached to the springs, rollers, pulleys, and cables. These parts operate under high tension, so you should leave these repairs to the garage door repair technicians.
  3. To ensure garage door safety, test your garage door’s reversing system by putting a small obstacle down in the path of the door — a roll of paper towels is a good approximation of what happens if a small child is under the door. If the door does not reverse after touching the paper towel roll, immediately call your local technician so that you can have a safe garage door once again.
  4. Garage door safety involves keeping your entire home secure whenever possible. To secure your home, don’t leave your garage door partially open. When you operate the door again, it might interfere with the garage door reversing mechanism. There’s also the possibility that criminals could use that opportunity to gain access to your home.
  5. When working in the area of your garage door, pay attention to where your fingers are. If you and your children are not careful, you or your child can get seriously injured by sticking hands in random places of the garage door. You should never put your hands in between the sections of your garage door. Teach your children to take the same precautions when they’re around the garage door in their home.
  6. When you and your family leave town on vacation, either unplug the garage door opener unit or use a security switch to lock your home garage door. Doing this disables garage door remotes. The security switch actually comes as an accessory to a majority of the garage door openers on the market today. You can also purchase a special garage door lock that secures it against opening from the outside.

In the end, it is up to the homeowner to make sure that your garage doors are safe. Having an experienced garage door professional inspect the property and give you a quote for the work is the best bet. When is comes to automatic garage door safety, the best policy is prevention. You might not think too much about your home garage door until there’s a problem. But the garage door runs on a lot of moving parts, many of which can cause serious injury if you’re not careful around them. Your young children are even more susceptible to the dangers of your home garage door. By practicing caution and teaching your children how to act around the garage, you can prevent many, if not most, injuries that can come from careless behavior around a garage door.