houston garage door safety

All You Need to Know About Garage Door Safety

Garage doors are among the most overlooked household hazards. Surprisingly, these devices cause more than 30,000 accidents per year. Only a few homeowners would think about the essential role that garage door openers play. Most problems result from broken cables or springs, safety equipment failure, or human error. You need to be cautious when dealing with a garage door to avoid an accident. Promoting your family’s safety and knowing when you need professional help for maintenance and repair are also vital.

Human Error

During the up and down movement of the door, one might try to get out or in before it fully comes down. It is not only children who do so since even adults may attempt to get their vehicles out or in before the garage door closes. Kids are fond of playing with remotes or buttons mounted on garage door walls. They may also put their fingers in tracks or hang on the door. The outcome of all the activities in question may be tragic. A garage door should not serve as a toy.

Cable or Spring Malfunction

The overhead door happens to be one of the largest pieces of household equipment, weighing in at hundreds of pounds. Its downward and upward movement follows a track and works on a counterbalance system principle. Hence, there has to be a force to offset the door’s weight. A typical door has some springs to provide this force. If these springs or the cables connecting them to the door break down, the door would crash down and cause a potentially violent accident.

Failure of safety equipment

As per early legislation, garage doors had to have safety reversing techniques as well as light beams or sensors to stop them or reverse them if an object is in the way. This legislation does not make garage doors or their safety features entirely safe. The door can still fail if the manufacturers do not install its safety devices properly. For this reason, garage door safety should be a key consideration during the manufacturing stage. Proper installation of all the door parts and devices is necessary.

Here are some of the garage door safety tips that will ensure your own safety and that of your family.

  • Replace Old Manual Doors and Openers
  • If your garage door opener is old, it is a high time to replace it. The current models have additional safety features, which makes them safer than their older counterparts. Older manual doors open and close via torsion springs, which are often under extreme pressure. On the other hand, newer manual garage doors have a new spring design that allows you to adjust them easily using a bolt. Most of the new houses have garage doors with automatic openers to increase safety. These doors have photoelectric detectors that automatically reverse the door when an object is in its path.

  • Check your Door’s Operation
  • It is necessary to ensure that your garage door operates well without hanging up. It should also stay in a slightly open position. Failure to remain partly open may move your door off track or balance. You shouldn’t flex your muscles here, but instead, call for professional help to ensure precision and safety is in place.

  • Inspect your Garage Door
  • You should inspect your door and make sure that all the bolts and nuts are tight. Use silicone-based lubricants for the springs. To further ensure long-term garage door safety, call in the experts for yearly maintenance or if there is anything that requires elaborate repair.

  • Do Not Play with the Overhead Door!
  • It is advisable to respect your overhead garage door. Your kids should also avoid playing with remotes, buttons, and escape levers. Instruct them to move away from the garage door if they are around when the door is in motion. Careless operation or letting small kids use garage door devices can cause tragic accidents. You should educate your children on garage door safety and explain the dangers that could result from getting stuck under the door. Serious injury can result from contact with a door in motion or its hardware.

  • Test your Garage Door’s Safety Features
  • Use a flat board placed under the door for testing the safety features. If your door doesn’t stop before it hits the board to reverse itself, you need to retest after adjusting the limiter. If this feature doesn’t work consistently despite all the attempts to adjust it, you should call for service. It is advisable to test both the electric eye and your garage door’s reversing mechanism on a monthly basis. To correct a faulty reversing mechanism, adjust the force screw located in the garage door opener.

  • Consult with Garage Door Experts
  • If you suspect an issue with the cables or springs, call in garage door professionals. Most of the accidents reported annually are as a result of spring failure. Remember that a garage door’s spring force corresponds to its total weight.

  • Regular Maintenance of your Garage Door

Houston Homeowners need to check their garage doors monthly to make sure that all the safety features are operational. Garage door experts recommend checking for any damage that could cause rust. It is also essential to lubricate rollers, the track, springs, and hinges using silicone-based oil twice a year. Do not use petroleum as a lubricant since it can prevent the door from sticking to the ground during the cold season. The springs, which help in lifting the garage door, are among the most crucial garage door parts to maintain. You should replace them every ten years. Springs that are functioning well allow a garage door to move easily. If the springs are faulty, then the door is also faulty.

Garage door safety should be everyone’s business. Garage doors are among the largest and heaviest moving devices in your home, which gives you a reason to ensure that they are working properly. Following the tips mentioned above will protect you, your family and your friends from potential accidents. Proper installation, testing, and maintenance are fundamental to provide a trouble-free and safe operation. Instruct your kids on the safety measures to take when handling garage doors. A simple mistake such as failure to properly adjust a garage door opener could cause a serious injury.

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