Because a garage door is very and made to go up and down, it is a very dangerous place for people of any age. Coupled with the fact that children usually play in or around garages and most are equipped with electrical motors, you realize that safety is especially important to be aware of in the garage.
Did you Know?
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in Washington D.C. reports that there are over 10,000 hand and finger injuries, related to garage doors, occur annually.
Here are some garage door safety tips:
- Read the safety instructions that come with garage doors and door opener. Make sure that you know how the emergency release works and where it is located.
- Test the reversing mechanism of your door: place a 2 X 4 or full roll of paper towels under the door (beneath the infrared beams) and close the door. As soon as a little pressure is put on the board or roll, the door should pause and reverse. If it doesn’t, contact your installer or manufacturer for repairs.
- After testing the release mechanism, try opening the door manually with the door handles. It will probably only go up three or four feet, but it should be smooth and easy. If it does not, your door might be off balance, causing wear and tear and eventually accidents. Consult your door opener’s manual to find out how to balance your door or contact the installer or manufacturer.
- Since 1994, automatic garage door openers are required to have infrared beams on either side of the door, six inches off the ground. Make sure that the lenses on each are clean and unobstructed. Test them by beginning to close the garage door and placing and object in their path. The door should pause, and some models will open up fully again.
Make Sure Your Children Are Protected
Let’s face it: kids are curious. They fool around with their friends and safety is the last thing on their minds. Some common accidents that occur with garage doors include:
- Children ride on doors and get injured
- Fingers get caught between rollers and track; hands get caught in a closing door joint
- The garage doors can push a child’s arm against the steel bracket; a child’s finger can get pushed against the steel track hole by the roller
- When installing or having installed a control button for the garage door, have it put high enough up that small children cannot reach it. If you remove their ability to control the door, you immediately remove much of the danger.
Protect Your Family … Insist on the Following Safety Features:
- Safety bottom brackets
- Pinch-resistant joints: The joints between door sections should come with shaped edges that push fingers out of the cracks as they close. Steel and plastic doors have this safety feature, however, wood doors have shiplap connections that can pinch down on fingers.
- Torsion springs that are easier and safer to install
- Safety containment cables on extension springs
- Warning labels for operator attachment and bottom bracket removal
- Interior and exterior gripping handles for easier and safer door operation
- And wind-load products are safer for homeowners in the event of a storm
Another Way to Ensure Safety is to Keep on Top of Maintenance
- Parts can wear out and break over time. Have garage doors inspected once a year is a wise safety precaution.
- Read about further Garage Door Maintenance