Every year there are an estimated 13,325 injuries in the United States due to garage doors. These injuries range from being crushed underneath a falling door to being cut by the sharp edges of the door tracks. When properly installed and maintained, garage doors should not represent a safety risk; almost all injuries occur due to damaged doors or misuse. If you’re concerned about the safety of your garage door, you may want to follow these simple tips — or contact us directly at Action Garage Door.
Tip #1: Teach Your Children About Your Garage Door
89 injuries a year are caused by children attempting to ride the garage door, while a total of 7,557 injuries occur because fingers have been caught between the sections of the door. Children should be taught early on that the garage door is not a toy and that it can be dangerous. There are also improvements that can be made to the garage door to further improve safety. A safety cable, safety sensor, and a well-maintained garage door will go a long way towards protecting any children. Safety cables will prevent the garage door from potentially slamming down on a child when the door is pulled, while a safety sensor will identify blockages (such as a trapped child) and halt the door’s operation. Rusty garage doors can also represent a safety hazard to children, as they can easily become cut on the rough surface.
Tip #2: Never Approach Your Garage Door When Rising or Lowering
134 injuries a year occur because individuals are racing to beat the door — they are trying to run through the door while it is still closing. Both a rising and a lowering door is dangerous. As the door moves, it can easily catch on hair, jewelry, clothing, and other loose objects, pulling an individual either towards the ground or up towards the ceiling. Most garage doors will entirely stop their movement if the garage door button or the garage clicker is engaged a second time. It is much safer to halt the movement of the door entirely and then to pass through it than to try to crouch under the door as it is opening and closing.
Tip #3: Always Wait for Your Garage Door When Backing Up
Many individuals get into the habit of backing out of their garage fairly quickly after engaging the garage door. However, it only takes a second of timing to be wrong and to hit the garage door with your vehicle. This is dangerous not only because of the collision damage, but also because it can knock your garage door off the track, where it may then fall directly upon your vehicle or yourself. When opening your garage door to leave your garage, you should always wait until the door has fully risen.
Tip #4: Don’t Touch a Broken Garage Door
A garage door immediately becomes significantly more dangerous when broken. Even trying to raise or lower the garage door could lead to potential injury, as the act of the door moving can knock it off of its track and onto anyone below it. Trying to place a garage door back on a track can also lead to the door itself falling. Additionally, garage doors are made out of many sharp metal components, all of which can become very dangerous when torn or bent. Though a garage door may appear fairly simple, it’s actually a fairly precise machine. When one component fails, the entire door can become dangerous. For that reason…
Tip #5: Call a Repair Service Immediately When Issues Arise
If your garage door starts to wobble or make strange sounds, you should call a repair service immediately. Any malfunction could indicate that there is something seriously wrong with the door that could become dangerous. Even something as simple as a loose wheel in the door track could lead to an injury if it snaps. Furthermore, getting repairs done early on is usually far less expensive, as less damage will have been done to the garage door and its inner workings. Many garage doors remain under warranty, but even those that are out of warranty can usually be fixed at a very affordable cost.
Tip #6: Inspect Your Garage Door Regularly
Perform an inspection on your garage door at the end of every month. If it’s difficult to remember, you can schedule it on the day of some other monthly task, such as bulk trash pickup. During your inspection you should examine all the moving parts of the garage door — without, naturally, touching them. This includes rollers, pulleys, cables, and springs. Open and close your garage door while watching it, while looking out for any signs of damage, such as shaking or shuddering.
Tip #7: Keep Your Garage Free of Clutter
Many of us use our garages as a storage space — and a wide open garage door certainly makes this even more convenient. But the area around your garage door should always be completely free of clutter, both for the sake of your possessions and your safety. Boxes and other hard items that are close to the garage door could fall against it and knock it off track, creating a potential hazard.
Tip #8: Test Out Your Garage Door’s Sensor
If your garage door has a bumper sensor (and most modern garages do), you should still test it out to make sure that it’s functioning. Toss something light and soft underneath your garage door, such as an old pillow. Close your garage door; it should automatically stop once it detects what is blocking it and either stop moving entirely or reverse. If your garage door does not do this (and, instead, continues to go down), you may want to consider the installation of a sensor by a professional.
Are you worried that your garage door may not be as safe as you thought? Contact us now at Action Garage Door for a consultation regarding your garage door equipment. While we’re there, we can give you safety tips for better, safer operation of your garage door, and we can inspect your garage door for any potential safety hazards. Our experienced technicians are waiting to hear from you.