Preventing Garage Door Injuries At Home

Your garage is an important part of your home. From protecting your vehicles to storing holiday decorations, it is easy to see the value of the space. Unfortunately, automatic garage doors cause numerous accidents, which can be devastating to your personal belongings and painful to your family members. While surprising to hear, 85 children in the United States suffered death or permanent brain damage due to garage doors between 1974 and 1995. Thankfully, preventing these accidents in your own home is possible. Using this guide, you can keep your family and belongings safe while improving the function of your garage door.

Maintain Your Garage Door And Opener System

If you are new to living in a home with an automatic garage door opener, you must understand the need for periodic maintenance. To get started, inspect the doors as they open and close for signs of misalignment. Since the garage door is so heavy, it may become unbalanced, which will prevent it from closing properly.

Balancing the door will require an adjustment to its springs. Remove the springs from the track of your garage door and reconnect them to a higher or lower bracket depending on the door's current balance. Determining the correct position for the springs will require some trial and error, but the proper position of the springs will offer the best balancing of your door.

Cleaning your garage door is also necessary, as cobwebs and debris can increase the weight of the door. Every few weeks, sweep away cobwebs, dust, dirt, and other debris with a broom.

Focus on the opener system, as well, especially if your opener system is older. In 1993, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 1990 was revised to include additional requirements in hopes of improving  the safety of garage door openers. Be sure your system offers the following requirements:

  • Sensors – Sensors should be mounted to the interior opening of your garage doors. If these photoelectric "eyes" sense an object, animal, or person, the door will immediately stop from opening or closing. The sensors prevent the door from closing on your belongings and family members.
  • Wall-Mounted Control – You may have a door opener inside your vehicle, but a button control must also be mounted to the wall of your garage, as well. The wall-mounted control allows you to open and close the garage door without using a remote, preventing accidents and offering you more convenience.

Pay Attention

 You most likely live a busy lifestyle that causes you to rush out of the home throughout the week. This rushing around can cause you to forget imperative tasks, such as opening and closing your garage door properly. Losing focus for just a few seconds can cause damage to your home, vehicle, pets, and family members. To prevent accidents and injuries, use the following steps when leaving your garage:

  1. Before entering your vehicle, open the garage door using the wall-mounted control.
  2. Get in your vehicle and check your rearview mirror for items, animals, and people.
  3. Place your vehicle in reverse, checking your rearview and side mirrors at the same time.
  4. Slowly back your vehicle out of the garage, holding your foot over the brake pedal in case you need to stop quickly.
  5. Be sure your vehicle is completely out of the garage, but allow a few feet additionally to ensure you have sufficient space.
  6. Place your vehicle in park.
  7. Use the remote inside your vehicle to close the garage door, but remain parked.
  8. Continue watching the door, with your hand on the opener remote. This position will allow you to stop the door from closing in case a child or pet comes too close to the door.
  9. Once the garage door is closed completely, place your vehicle in reverse and continue backing out of your driveway.

While these steps may seem somewhat time-consuming, they are important for keeping your home, belongings, and family members safe from injury.

An automatic garage door opener is a valuable addition for your home, but precaution is necessary. Using these tips to maintain and manage your garage door, you can prevent accidents. For more information, contact a professional like those at Shank Door.


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