Garage door accidents are more common than many people think. According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS), 15,000 people visited the emergency room for injuries related to garage door accidents in 2018.
It is important to ensure that you and your family are practicing proper safety and maintenance techniques to reduce the chances of there being an accident. In honor of Garage Door Safety Month and to spread knowledge of proper safety procedures when handling a garage door, we have created a guide to help keep you and your family safe while in and around your garage.
1. Check Safety Sensors
All modern garage doors are equipped with safety sensors in order to prevent accidents from occurring. It is important that once a month, you check to make sure your safety sensors are working properly. Garage door safety sensors are typically attached to the rails which your garage door rides along, usually six inches off of the ground. These sensors force the garage door to reverse in direction if a person or animal walks underneath it.
To test the functionality of your sensors, push the down button on your controller to start the garage door. Before the door fully closes, place a broom or a similar object in front of the sensors to set them off. The door should stop immediately and reverse in direction. If your safety sensors are not working, you need to call a garage door specialist to come and check the sensors for the source of the problem.
2. Keep Passwords a Secret
Some garage doors have keypads on the outside to open the garage door. Make sure that you keep your password or codes a secret in order to reduce the chances of an intruder breaking into your home.
3. Teach Your Kids Proper Safety Protocols
Kids are frequent victims of garage door accidents. The most common actions that lead to accidents with kids are:
- Riding on the door handle as the garage door is rising
- Sliding under the garage door to get inside as it closes
- Playing with the remote controller/opener of the garage door
Doing any of these activities can lead to serious injury or, in the worst cases, death. For this reason, it’s important to teach your children about garage door safety. Make sure that your children understand that a garage door is not a toy, and express the serious consequences that come from treating it as such.
4. Watch Your Fingers
In the United States, 7,500 garage door accident injuries are caused by fingers getting caught in the joints or the door panels. Make sure that you keep fingers away from the joints and panels of your garage door, especially when the door is in motion. You may also want to consider upgrading your garage door to a newer model that is equipped with hinge protection.
5. Visually Inspect the Door Each Month
An inspection of your garage door each month will help keep you updated on its health. Make sure that you keep a lookout for heavy wear on springs, cables, rollers, and pulleys. If they are looking worn-down, it may be time to get them replaced.
6. Do Not Leave a Garage Door Partially Open
Even though it’s tempting to do when you are trying to cool off the inside of your garage, it is extremely dangerous to leave your garage door partially open. This is due to the nature of the closing and opening mechanisms. When reactivated, the door may travel downward which can cause it to come into contact with any object or person blocking its path, leading to the garage door breaking or injuring someone. Make sure that you always keep your garage door either fully open or fully closed to ensure that it can operate safely.
Garage Door Safety Month was made to spread awareness of the potential for garage door accidents. Following these safety tips will allow you to make the most out of your garage and reduce the chance of a disaster. If you are having difficulties with your garage door, you are looking for an upgrade, or you want to have a thorough inspection done, you can rely on the team at Action Garage Door Repair Specialists. We are dedicated to excellent service and we will help ensure that your garage door has properly working mechanisms to keep you and your family safe.