When it comes to home values, garages typically increase the value of residential and commercial properties by at least 4%. Many families and businesses seek out properties that include garages, and with the increasing popularity of garages comes an increased number of garage door accidents. Garage door accidents are responsible for 20,000 to 30,000 injuries every year. The garage door is one of the most dangerous parts of the household and responsible for several dozen deaths every year. Most of the victims of these fatalities are small children.
Garage doors can weigh well over a hundred pounds. Larger overhead doors are often 16 x 7 feet in size and can easily weigh over 200 pounds. Based on the massive size alone, it is no wonder these magnificent examples of modern engineering are responsible for so many accidents. The good news is that garage door accidents are preventable through taking the proper amount of care, ensuring that the garage door system is maintained properly, and knowing the causes of these accidents so that you know what to guard against. To protect our customers and spread awareness about the hazards of improper care or usage of garage doors, our team created this guide about the most common garage door injuries.
1. The Garage Door Lowering Onto Someone
According to the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS), on average, 2,000 people are crushed by garage doors. The most common victims of garage door crush accidents are children. Unlike adults who can reasonably see the danger of passing quickly under a garage door as it is closing, small children don’t always have this foresight. Thankfully, most garage doors today are outfitted with automatic sensors that detect when a person or object is in the path of the garage door closing. As a result, the garage door will stop and reverse the door’s descent. This helps protect children, animals, and even adults who may have a lapse of judgment and pass through the garage door while it is trying to close.
Even though these safety procedures have been put into place, garage door crush accidents remain one of the most common types of garage door accidents. This is often the result of the sensors malfunctioning or another component of the garage door failing.
How to Avoid a Garage Door Crush Accident
There are a few ways in which you can help prevent garage door crush accidents.
First, never allow children to play in or near the garage without adult supervision. Make sure they know and fully understand the hazards of the garage door. Even newer garage doors with functioning sensors can malfunction. No one should ever attempt to run underneath a garage door as it is opening or closing. Always wait until the garage door is fully opened before passing underneath.
Secondly, invest in a garage door inspection at least once a year to ensure that the garage door and the sensors are working properly. Proper maintenance from a certified garage door specialist can not only save you money by avoiding costly damages and repairs, but can also prevent malfunctions from causing serious accidents.
2. Fingers Getting Pinched in the Garage Door
More than 7,500 people per year get pinched in the garage door and it is once again mostly children who are the victims.
How to Avoid Finger Pinching Accidents:
As with avoiding crushing accidents, the most effective way to avoid finger pinching accidents is to educate yourself and your children about the dangers of the garage door while it is in motion. It is best to steer clear from the garage door as it moves. By giving the garage door space to open or close, you can avoid finger pinching accidents.
3. Getting Locked In the Garage
One of the most important components of your garage door is the springs. The springs are responsible for the raising and lowering of the door itself. Unfortunately, the springs are also vulnerable to many problems, as they can rust, crack, or loosen up, which often leads to failure over time. While failing springs can lead to injury from an overhead door lowering unexpectedly, it can also cause you to be unable to raise the door.
How to Avoid Getting Locked in the Garage:
The most effective way to avoid getting locked in your garage is to have your garage door springs inspected regularly and replaced as needed. Never attempt to replace the garage door springs yourself, as they are one of the most expensive and dangerous parts of the garage door. Only a trusted garage door specialist should handle your garage door springs. Mistakes when replacing the garage door springs could send the full weight of the garage door falling on you or your property, leading to serious injury, damage, or death.
Preventing Commercial Garage Door Accidents
As with residential garage doors, the best way to prevent an accident is to ensure that your commercial garage doors are regularly maintained. Installing safety mechanisms, such as sensors, performing visual inspections, and investing in maintenance at least once a year can keep your garage door running properly. Always make note of rust, damage, or wear on rollers, springs, cables, or mounting hardware. Never try to perform the repairs yourself and always call your trusted commercial garage door specialists.
When opening or closing your garage door, make sure that nothing is blocking the tracks or the path of the garage door. Additionally, make sure all employees know how to safely operate the garage door and the hazards of sliding under the garage door while it is in motion.
Put Your Faith in Action Garage Door Repair Specialists
Garage doors have significantly improved in their safety features over the years, but they will never be 100% safe all the time. Proper maintenance, respect, and knowledge about your residential or commercial garage door can help reduce the risk of an accident. When you need proper maintenance to keep your garage door running strong, you know that your team at Action Garage Door will be there for you. We can help with preventative maintenance, repairs, or garage door replacements to improve the value of your property, maintain the safety of everyone around, and allow you to focus on what matters. Contact our team today for more information on our services or to schedule your service!