Garage doors are often taken for granted, but they demand the utmost respect from homeowners and users. The truth is garage doors can cause serious, even fatal, injuries if they are misused or abused.
That’s why it’s important to make safe use a high priority when it comes to garage doors. Below are four important safety considerations for homeowners to keep in mind.
VERIFY THAT THE AUTO-REVERSE MECHANISM IS PROPERLY ADJUSTED
Modern garage doors are equipped with a host of federally-mandated safety features designed to prevent injuries and damage to vehicles. One such feature is an auto-reverse mechanism that causes the door to automatically reverse, if it encounters too much resistance during lowering.
As a result, if a person, pet, car, or other object is in the path of the door, the door will immediately stop motion and begin raising. Since the amount of pressure required to initiate this response can be adjusted manually, it is important for homeowners to periodically check for proper adjustment.
To verify the settings are correct, place a two-by-four board on the spot where the door meets the ground when lowered. Next, lower the door and allow it to strike the board; if the door stops and reverses travel, then the pressure setting is correct.
Should the door stop and remain in place after striking the board, the pressure sensitivity is too low and should be increased. Consult your garage door opener owner’s manual to see how to adjust the pressure mechanism and make the appropriate corrections. After increasing the pressure sensitivity level, perform another test with the board to ensure the door opens properly.
DON’T ALLOW CHILDREN TO PLAY WITH DOOR
Another important safety consideration to keep in mind is that garage doors are powerful devices and not toys. That is why it is crucial to keep children away from garage doors and educate them about the dangers involved in playing with them.
For example, don’t allow children to use the opener without supervision. Even though safety mechanisms are in place to prevent accidental injuries, misuse of the opener to manually open and close the door can still result in harm. In addition, be sure children don’t climb on doors or hang on them during raising because they could fall and get injured.
KNOW HOW TO EMERGENCY DOOR RELEASE
Garage doors are equipped with a lever that immediately releases the door from the electric opener trolley. This mechanism permits door users to manually raise and lower the door during an emergency situation or if power to the opener is disconnected.
Homeowners should know how to use the emergency door release and train others how to use it in case of an emergency. If a door accidentally shuts on someone or won’t budge during a power outage, then the emergency door release can save lives.
In most circumstances, activating the emergency release mechanism is a simple matter of pulling a handle attached to a cord. However, be sure to read the owner’s manual for specific instructions relevant to your door.
AVOID PINCHING INJURIES
Another potential source of garage door-related injuries is pinch-points. There are numerous locations where individuals can suffer pinches during operation. These include the joints between door panels as they fold, rollers, rails, and springs. While some of the pinches suffered are more painful than serious, others can cause amputations and other significant injuries.
That is why it is important to be cautious when touching a moving garage door. Never attempt to raise or lower a garage door by hand without using a handle designed for that purpose. Keep fingers away from springs and rollers, as well, while the door is in motion.
If you have questions about garage door safety or operation, or if your door isn’t functioning properly, be sure to contact Garage Door Pros for help. Our friendly team of service professionals can help by repairing broken or defective doors and openers to restore safety to your home.