Have you ever imagined what it would be like if your garage door simply fell or if your child tried to duck under the closing door and didn’t quite make it through? Garage door accidents injure an estimated 30,000 people each year. Between 1974 and 1995, 85 children suffered permanent brain injuries or death. Here are 5 ways to make sure your garage door is safe.
1. Automatic Reverse: Garage doors manufactured after 1993 have to have an auto reverse system. This is one of the most important safety features a garage door has. If a child, a pet or an object is under the door as it closes, the door should reverse to avoid a crush accident. SAFETY TIP: Check the door’s automatic reversal function with a large roll of paper towels instead of a wooden block. The paper towel approximates the soft body of a child or pet. This is important because while 88% of doors reversed when they hit the solid wood, only 60% reversed when a child-sized softer cardiopulmonary resuscitation mannequin was used.
2. Spring Containment: Springs are under high tension. Eventually, springs do wear out and fail. This can happen in as little as 6 to 8 years. A spring that breaks and is not contained can cause damage to anything it hits – a person or an object. SAFETY TIP: Check and make sure that your springs are enclosed in a metal tube or have a safety containment cable – both is even better! Make sure that the springs cannot snap free if it breaks. If your springs are not contained, think about replacing.
3. The Springs: If your garage door is older, the springs could break and do harm. You’ve checked for containment, but that may not be enough. The springs themselves should be checked. SAFETY TIP: This isn’t a DIY job unless you have the proper training and tools. Call a professional garage repair company and have a fully trained technician check the springs. If one needs to be replace, replace them both for both smooth operation and your safety.
4. The Bottom Brackets: Once again, you’re working with something that is under very high tension. You should not be able to loosen the brackets at the bottom of the garage door. If it looks like your brackets could be loosened, get professional help from to avoid accidental injury. SAFETY TIP: Every part of your garage that is under high tension should only be repaired and/or replaced by a professional. If you have any doubts about the condition of any of these parts, call a garage service company for help.
5. Education: Many garage door accidents could be prevented by educating your family on the dangers of a garage door. Statistics report more than 7,500 injuries to fingers caught between section joints – including amputations. More than 100 people and children were injured by trying to race the garage door or trying to ride it. You need to teach respect for that door! SAFETY TIP: This is definitely a Do-It-Yourself job. Talk to your kids and the other adults in your family. Make sure that they understand the possibility for serious injury – or even death – from a garage door. Keep openers out of children’s hands and mount keypads above their reach. Teach garage door safety and, then, make sure you follow through by keeping the garage door safe with professional maintenance and inspections.
The second cause of injuries from garage doors are from falling doors. Think what a catastrophe that would be if a person was in the way or if the door fell on your possessions. Every garage door should have a yearly safety inspection from a licensed garage door maintenance and replacement company. It’s very affordable and a small price to pay for garage door safety.