The average garage door seems like a relatively benign part of your home. However, your garage door contains a number of hidden dangers that could jeopardize your family's safety. Regular maintenance and safety consciousness are the keys to keeping yourself and others in your family safe while using your home's garage door. Here are some tips you can use to stay safe and keep your garage door in good shape.
1. Inspect Your Garage Door Annually for Wear and Damage
Severe wear and tear caused by years of use or damage caused by horseplay or accidental contact can affect the overall safety of your garage door. Worn or damaged components can cause your garage door to fail catastrophically if left unnoticed. As you conduct your annual garage door inspection, take careful note of the following:
- If you have wood doors, check for any signs of cracks, warping, or rot and schedule repairs as soon as any damage is found.
- Steel and aluminum doors aren't susceptible to rot or warping, but they can rust and corrode if you're not careful; check for dents, scrapes, and other damage that could reveal the metal layer of the door.
- Check your garage door's springs and cables for any signs of rust or wear; unlike other components, you should check these parts on a monthly basis.
- Check the photo eye sensors and replace them if you spot any problems with the units.
2. Keep Controls Out of Reach of Children
Kids usually aren't aware of the dangers that garage doors pose. Leaving your garage door's controls near curious children can easily result in serious injuries or worse. For this reason, always keep your garage door remote in your possession and out of reach of children. In addition, make sure the main garage door control is located at least five feet above the ground.
3. Unplug Your Garage Door Opener During Vacation
As you plan your vacation, keep in mind that an empty home is a tempting target for thieves, especially when your garage door opener is still operational. Before setting off on your vacation or any event that requires you leave home for long periods of time, unplug the garage door unit or shut off power to the unit via the circuit breaker. Some garage door openers feature a lock security switch located on the main power console.
4. Keep Your Fingers Away from Possible Pinch Points
The average garage door is brimming with places where fingers and other extremities can be pinched or crushed. These areas include the track, rollers, hinges, and door panels. Keep your fingers away from these areas at all times when your garage door is active. If you need to work on your garage door, make sure the garage door opener is offline and the door itself is secured against sudden movement.
5. Don't Linger Underneath the Garage Door
It only takes a broken cable or a weak spring for an open garage door to suddenly crash to the ground. When and if that happens, loitering underneath an open garage door can drastically increase your chances of being injured. Minimize the amount of time spent passing underneath the garage door when it's open. Also, avoid parking vehicles within your garage door's path. Don't forget to encourage children to avoid playing underneath open garage doors.
6. Leave the Garage Door Spring Replacement to the Pros
A garage door spring replacement can be an exceptionally dangerous task for the DIY crowd, especially when it comes to replacing torsion springs. Coil springs contain a tremendous amount of force when placed under tension. An accidental release of spring tension during replacement can cause severe injuries. Given the dangers of replacing garage door springs, you're better off leaving this dangerous task to a seasoned professional. Get in touch with a company such as Overhead Doors Unlimited Inc for more information.