Garage Door Safety
When considering home safety, not many give a second thought to their garage door opener. However, between the years of 1982 and 1992 alone, over 50 deaths, primarily of children, caused by old and outdated automatic garage door openers, were documented by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. How many deaths occurred that were NOT documented? And how many injuries were there that did not result in death? No doubt the number would be even greater if we took into consideration these additional factors.
Because of these risks, in January of 1994, there was a federal law passed that mandates all new automatic garage door openers to be equipped with sensors as an automatic feature. These sensors include an electric eye that shoots an invisible beam across the floor of your garage door opening. If any object is in the path of this door, it breaks the beam, and the door will not open or close. Also, additional safety features include the fail-safe sensor that causes your garage door to automatically stop closing and reverse if it touches or comes in contact with anything.
These new required safety features on garage door openers will no doubt save many injuries, accidents and even deaths. However, the law that went into effect in 1994 did not apply to current garage door openers that are already in use and built before the year 1982. Therefore, if your garage door opener was built before 1982, it can pose certain risks and dangers that can be easily eliminated by simply hiring Complete Overhead Garage Doors to install a new modern day electric garage door opener to replace your older product. Or, even if your opener was built and installed AFTER 1982, but the safety sensors are not performing well, or at all, please be sure to call Complete Overhead Garage Doors right away. We might be able to fix the problem without replacing the entire unit. However, even if you do require a new opener, the cost of a new, fully loaded automatic garage door opener is typically only around several hundred dollars. Isn't your family's safety worth more than that?
This being said, there are SOME procedures that the homeowner can, and should, carry out to their garage door as routine maintenance and inspection to keep your garage door and garage door opener operating in peak condition and to spot any potential problems as early as possible:
- When you mount the control button for the electric garage door opener, be sure that you choose a location that is at least 5 or 6 feet from the floor so that children cannot reach the button. Also, be sure it is located within clear line of sight of the actual door.
- It is always a good idea to hang onto the Owner's Manual for your particular garage door and your particular garage door opener. Each model and type of door and opener is unique and has it's own certain safety instructions. Put the manual near the garage door so it will be convenient for easy reference.
- Discuss garage door safety with your children. Explain to them how to operate the door safely and also explain that the remote control for the garage door opener is not a toy.
- Frequently test the garage door openers automatic reversing feature by putting a wood board or a bucket in the pathway of the door. As soon as the door makes contact with the object, it should immediately reverse. If it does not, then be sure to contact Complete Overhead Garage Doors as this is a major safety risk.
- In addition to the automatic reversing feature that kicks in whenever your garage door makes physical contact with another object, also consider investing in a high quality electric garage door opener that features an electric eye safety beam. This beam is mounted a few inches off the floor and shoots an invisible beam across the pathway of the door. If anything breaks the beam, then the garage door automatically begins to reverse, even though the door did not yet physically touch the object. If something is in the pathway of the beam when you hit the button to close the door, the door simply will not close. This helps to prevent damage to your car as well as injury to your family and is a great safety feature. Complete Overhead Garage Doors offers high quality electric openers that provide such features. IF you already own such a type of opener, then test the function of the electric beam once a month to make sure it is operating properly.
- If the power ever goes out at your house, or the electric garage door opener malfunctions, then you need to understand how to use the garage door's emergency release feature so that you can manually open the door. Read your owner's manual to understand how this function works, and try it out.
- Inspect your garage door visually at least once every month. Check out both springs, all of the rollers on both sides of the door, the cables, etc. Look for signs of wear or anything unusual. Do not attempt to adjust these parts yourself if you find something wrong. Most of these parts are under very high tension and can be extremely dangerous to tamper with. They require special tools for adjustment. If you handle the parts improperly or adjust them incorrectly, the springs or cables can suddenly break, and since they are under such high tension, the results can be deadly or cause serious injury. Contact Complete Overhead Garage Doors right away.
- When inspecting the cables, look for any fraying or indications that the cable is wearing out. This puts the cable at high risk for breakage. Have your garage door technician replace the cable with a new, strong one that has not been compromised. Some garage doors have what is called extension springs. If this is the case with your garage door, then a Safety Cable must be in place which runs through the middle of the extension springs and secures to either the ceiling or the wall on each end. This way, if the springs happen to break, the cable will prevent the broken spring from flying off and causing injury. Check to see if you happen to have extension springs. If so, make sure the Safety Cable is in place. If not, call Complete Overhead Garage Doors immediately and have a technician install this cable.
- When inspecting the springs, keep in mind that even if you do not visibly see anything out of the ordinary with your springs, if they are OLD, then just due to the factor that wear comes with age, you should have them replaced. The springs on your garage door are the most important as well as the most dangerous aspect of your garage door system. You do not want to wait until the spring actually breaks and causes serious injury to whoever happens to be around. Have your springs inspected annually by a professional technician from Complete Overhead Garage Doors. If you have two springs on your door, be sure that you replace them both at the same time. If only one older spring breaks, it can damage the other new spring. Also, your door will not work as efficiently with one tight, strong, new spring on one side, and one older, looser, less reliable spring on the other side. Note: If your springs sound squeaky, this does not necessarily mean that there is a problem. Sometimes this can occur just from normal use. Buy a spary lubricant that is specially formulated for garage door use, and apply to see if this rectifies the situation.
- Before you use your electric door opener to open the garage door, make sure that the garage door is not locked, to prevent damaging your door as well as damaging your opener.
- If your garage door is out of balance, then this can cause extra wear on your spring system, as well as other components. In order to check for balance, use the release mechanism on your garage door to manually open the door. The door should be able to go up and down smoothly, with very little resistance, and it should be able to stay open around three or four feet above the floor. If the operation is awkward or difficult to perform, your door might be out of balance. Call a garage door specialist to inspect and diagnose the problem.
- It is amazing how many homeowners injure their fingers every year by putting them in between the sections of the door when they are pulling it down. Instead, use the door's handles or appropriate grip points on the sides of the door. But do not ever put your fingers in between the door sections!
- When purchasing a new garage door, many homeowners are tempted to try to save a few dollars by using their OLD track with the new garage door. However, the old track was made to fit your old door, according to how thick it was, how much it weighed, how much headroom it required, where your garage door opener was located, and other factors. Your new door will have different specifications. The track and the door operate together as a system. To ensure the safe and correct operation of your door, as well as a long life, be sure to use the track that is actually designed for your particular door.
- Lubricate your garage door track from time to time, using a lubricant specifically designed for garage doors.
- Some garage doors are painted. If this is the case, periodically re-paint the outside of your door to keep it protected from the elements.
Garage Door Security
- If you are going on vacation or will be leaving the home for an extended period of time, then unplug the electric garage door opener.
- If you park your car outside of your garage, such as in front of your house, be sure to bring the garage door opener remotes inside the house with you. Never leave the remote in the car. Also, do not leave your remote with a parking attendant. Your remote should be treated as a key to your house. A thief could easily break into your car, take the opener, and then enter your house from the garage, either right at that moment, or at a later time when you are not expecting it.
- Consider purchasing a top of the line garage door opener from Complete Overhead Garage Doors that is equipped with PosiLock® . This feature prevents intruders by securely locking the garage door when it is down.
- Wireless keypads activate the garage door opener with a personal identification number (PIN) code that you program yourself directly into the unit. This allows yourself or family members to open the door without having to use a key or a remote. For security reasons, do not reveal your PIN to anyone or leave it written down somewhere where it can be easily seen. If you need friends or service people to be able to enter the garage to gain access to your home, you can use a temporary password option without having to give them your personal code. High quality electric garage door openers with all of these security features are available from Complete Overhead Garage Doors.
- Always keep the door from your garage to the inside of your house locked.
- Have you ever gone to bed and accidentally left the garage door open? Never again will you have to wonder whether or not you remembered to close the garage. Complete Overhead Garage Doors offers a high quality electric garage door opener that comes with the option of a garage door monitor. This monitor will let you know from any room in the house whether the garage door is open or closed.
How Can My Garage Door Help to Save on My Electric Bill?
Insulated garage doors help to reduce the amount of heat that enters your garage during Summer, and the amount of cold that enters your garage during the Winter. Since the garage is usually attached to your place of dwelling, transference of heat and cold from the garage to the inside of your house occurs. With insulated garage doors, outside temperatures are better kept outside. This helps to reduce the transference of unwanted temperatures, and therefore reduce amount of energy that is required to cool or heat your home. So, by choosing an insulated garage door for your next project, you can actually save on your electric bill. Ask our technicians at Complete Overhead Garage Doors for more information!