If you’re contemplating garage door replacement it’s a good time to bring yourself up to speed with garage door safety issues and practices. Why? Well, consider this sobering fact: it’s estimated that each year, in the US alone, some 20,000 to 30,000 people are injured in garage door accidents. It’s a sizeable problem that really doesn’t get enough press.
At various times in the past we’ve addressed some common garage door safety issues. But since your home can never be safe enough, especially if you have kids, there’s always room for a few more. This is especially true these days since doors can be opened from anywhere on earth a homeowner can get an internet signal. So, in honor of the New Year, (and the start of the new decade), let’s take a look at five more garage door safety tips.
Before You Replace the Garage Door Consider These Safety Tips
If your garage door opener is connected to the internet of things, or if you’re shopping for replacement garage doors, now’s a good time to take the following safety tips to heart.
Schedule monthly inspections
Whether it’s brand new or 10 years old the best way to ensure your garage door is always operating in a safe and efficient manner is to have it inspected regularly. We recommend monthly inspections, especially for older doors. But new doors should be inspected regularly too. Perhaps every 2 or 3 months.
You can conduct this inspection yourself or you can have the pros from A Better Garage Door over to do it for you. It’s a fast and affordable way to make sure nothing is amiss with this large, heavy mechanism. Should you decide to do-it-yourself make sure you inspect:
- The springs to ensure they’re properly lubricated
- The cables to make sure they’re not frayed or loose
- The rollers to ensure they’re all rolling smoothly
- The tracks to make sure they’re not clogged with dirt and debris
- The panels to make sure they’re not cracked or loose
- The hinges to ensure they’re lubricated
- The auto-reverse mechanism to make sure it works as intended
You can test the auto reverse by hitting the ‘close’ button and then breaking the beam that goes across the opening with a broom handle or other long object. The door should stop and reverse course once the beam in broken. If it doesn’t it’s not working properly.
Don’t let the kids play with the remote
Kids are curious beings. That’s just the way they are. They’re naturally drawn to things they’re not familiar with to see how they work or what they do. The garage door remote is a common target for kids’ curiosity. But they should never be allowed to play with it. This is asking for trouble. When mounting the control panel in the garage make sure it’s up and out of their reach. If you have Homelink in your car make sure the kids can’t reach it while you’re driving.
Keep the kids away from the door when it’s opening and closing
This is garage door safety 101 but you’d be surprised how often kids wind up in the way when the door is in motion. In fact, a good portion of those 20,000+ injuries each year are kids who were running in or out of the garage while the door was in motion and miscalculated. Just as you teach your kids to look both ways before crossing the street they should learn early on to stay clear of the door whenever it’s in motion.
Remove the remote from the car
If you have a standard garage door remote in the car (rather than Homelink or some equivalent) take it with you when you leave the car. That is, every time you leave the car. So if you drive to the supermarket or mall, take the remote after parking. If you drive to a friend’s house, take the remote after parking. And if you get out of the car at the gas station to get something in the convenience store, take the remote.
Why? Because one of the most common ways for thieves to gain entry to a house is to steal the garage door remote from parked cars. Also, removing the remote prevents the kids from playing with it and maybe losing it.
Upgrade to a smart garage door
If you’re contemplating garage door replacement consider making your next door a smart door. But even if you’re not planning to replace the garage door you should consider upgrading your existing door with smart door technology. Smart door technology allows you to monitor in real time all activity related to the garage door right on your smartphone.
So, if you’re at work and the garage door opens you get an alert on your phone. If you have an integrated security cam you can see exactly who has entered. This way, if something untoward happens you can notify the police immediately, instead of returning to find your home ransacked.
Garage door safety is an important issue and one that shouldn’t be left for another day. Take the above tips to heart and you’ll help to ensure your garage door is a source of convenience and not one of grief. And if you’re contemplating garage door replacement this year contact A Better Garage Door.