Garage doors are heavy equipment and pose an often-overlooked danger in the home, especially for children. Fortunately, you can provide garage door safety in your home by following five important guidelines.
1. Check the Sensors and the Auto Reverse Feature
If your garage door has an automatic opener, make sure it also has a functional obstruction sensor and auto reverse feature. Two easy ways to test this are to block the sensor and see if the garage door stops and reverses, or to stand outside the door and lean your weight against it with your palm. The door should stop and reverse directions when you apply resistance. If it does not, your auto reverse feature may not be functional. Disable the opener and contact a garage door expert to service it. Do not stand underneath it, or place your hand under the door when testing.
2. Check the Balance of the Garage Door
You should be able to able to open and close the garage door smoothly, with the door moving freely over its tracks. If it does not open easily, or you have to use excessive force to shut it, it can often lead to accidents, since the extra force can eventually cause the heavy door to come off of its tracks, or cause the door to close with excessive speed or force.
3. Don’t Let Children Play with the Door
Do not let your children think of the garage door opener as a form of entertainment. To ensure garage door child safety, teach your children how to treat the door respectfully, and do not let them play with potentially dangerous pulleys, cables, or torsion springs that can catch clothing or skin.
Do not let children hang off the garage door, or “race” under the garage door when it’s opening or closing. Children should stand well away from a moving garage door as well. They should not be allowed to play with the garage opener control at all, and if possible, it should be kept above of their reach when it’s a wall mounted version, or locked in the car if it’s portable.
4. Buy a Quality Garage Door
Purchase a garage door made out of sturdy, durable materials. Not only will your garage door be likely to last longer and be more difficult for burglars to vandalize, but having a well-built garage door will protect your family against mechanical failures brought about by flimsy construction.
5. Perform Regular Maintenance
Make sure your garage door gets regular routine maintenance to ensure it is working properly and safely. While doing your routine maintenance, make sure that the area around the garage door and its controls are well lit and free of debris.