Garage Door Safety

It may not be the first thing you think of when you consider your home’s safety. But if not given their due attention, garage doors can be a real hazard.

According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are approximately 30,000 garage door related accidents per year. Unfortunately, because of their vulnerable size, children who are injured can often suffer serious or even fatal injuries.

Garage Door Repair Can Restore Peace of Mind

Garage doors are meant to improve your home life, not leave you wracked with worry about accidents waiting to happen. Residents of Winchester, Thornton and all of surrounding Colorado can be put at ease by taking some simple matters of safety into their own hands.

Here are some garage door repair tips and tricks for the savvy homeowner:

1. Put it to the Test

Automatic openers have gotten a bad rap in the past for being hazardous, especially to children. In 1993, the Consumer Product Safety Commission took notice and passed a requirement that all automatic garage doors have a safety reverse function and a photo eye sensor. So, first and foremost, if your old door does not have this function, it is probably time for an update.

If it does, this function can be tested simply by placing an object, like a 2x4, in the path of the garage door before closing it. If the door does not stop and reverse its downward motion, the system should be disabled and checked by a professional. It is recommended by the CPSC to repeat this test each month.

2. Find a Balance

In the event of power loss or disconnection from the motor, garage doors are balanced with a counterweight. This means that the massive doors should rest above the ground instead of crashing down, even without the help of the motor.

To test this, start with the door all the way down. Then pull the release handle. This is usually a red cord dangling down from your mechanism. When you lift the door up about halfway and let go, it should fall to rest 3 or 4 feet above the ground. If it falls lower or higher, the springs should be adjusted. In the most dangerous scenario, where your garage door falls to the ground, there is too little tension in the springs and they should either be adjusted or examined to determine whether they need to be replaced.

3. Keep It Rolling

A door that is not operating correctly can add up to a lot of maimed fingers when doors are manually forced to open or close out of frustration, and can even lead to more serious injury or property damage. Rusty hinges or doors that get stuck open are also easy targets for criminals.

Luckily, there’s a simple preventative measure to avoid future garage door repair. Silicone lubricant purchased at any hardware store will do wonders when applied routinely to rollers, hinges, tracks, and springs. Simply add this to your bi-annual home maintenance routine and you’re golden.

4. Get a Technology Revamp

If you’ve been out of loop on garage doors for a while, there’s some great news: they’ve made huge technological advances in safety.

One measure of increasing popularity is getting a rolling-code opener. This opener chooses a different code each time you use it, making it harder for would-be thieves to learn your code and enter your home.

Another hot add-on item is an automatic deadbolt for your garage door. Just as your door opens and closes automatically, you can purchase a smart deadbolt that is conveniently hands free.

5. Know Your Enemy

As important as being able to do safety maintenance yourself is, be aware that this too can come with danger. Know where the greatest risks lie when it comes to your garage door and be aware of your limits.

Garage door springs are notoriously dangerous because they are under extremely high tension. The same goes for the cables that lift your door. While inspecting your garage door for issues of safety and maintenance, note where these are. If you choose to tinker with them, do so only after you have done your research and taken all necessary safety precautions.

Also be aware of the electronic components of your garage door. To prevent electrocution while working (or someone accidentally crushing your fingers by opening the door while you’re working) make sure all electronic components are safely unplugged.

Finally: know when to call a professional! If you feel out of your element, a trained garage door repair expert is just a phone call away.

Westminster and Thornton: Models for Garage Safety!

By practicing some of these basic garage door tips, residents of Winchester and Thornton can rest easy knowing their garage door is doing its job as a safe, secure asset to the home!