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Garage Door Safety Measures

How often do you think about your garage door other than to push the remote button to open or close it as you come home or head out?

Automatic garage doors are designed to be as simple for you to use as pushing a single button and the door opens or shuts. With keyless entry systems, your children can come home from school to a locked house and quickly get in the house by entering the code, rather than having to worry about taking care of a key all day long. You have the convenience of pressing the button, waiting a moment while the door opens and driving your car into the garage to unload your groceries.

You may not realize that there are safety measures built into garage doors. However, if your doors are not properly adjusted, they may not work properly and could possibly cause damage or injury. If the door were to suddenly close without the button being pressed, you can imagine the problems that it could create.

Even though we often take garage doors for granted, we should teach our children to be careful around them and never let small children play with the remote opening devices. It is never a good idea to push the button and then run out of the garage, beating it before it closes; that sets a poor example for the children.

The best thing to do is to lead by example and wait until the door is either fully open or closed before getting close to it. One of the most important safety measures utilized by garage doors is the safety sensor system. This system sends a beam of light from one sensor to the other. When the beam is broken, the door does not continue to shut. This helps you keep your kids and pets safe, because if a small child were to cross the path of the garage door when it was closing and it did not stop, you could have some serious injuries.

It is a good idea to check your manual on how to care for these sensors, but the most important thing is to keep the clean of dust, dirt, and cobwebs, and to occasionally check their alignment. If you have ever pressed the button to shut the door and just got a blinking light rather than a shutting door, you know that something is in the way of the security beam and you can check out the problem and remove it before proceeding.

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My Door Won’t Open! Arrrrg!

You wake up early ready to go to work only to find out that you cannot get to your car and the reason behind it is that the garage door doesn’t open. Eventually, the door opens but it cannot open fully, you must push it quite hard to provide way for your car. If you have enough strength, you could succeed but if you are not, all you can do is go find some help. This is why you should ensure that your garage door repair is well done to avoid such inconveniences.

One of the best ways you can ensure that the repair is well done is by seeking service repair from a remarkable service provider. However, remarkable services do not come in handy. They must be sought after and their credibility researched. Seek information that will lead you to the best service providers from the internet and referrals.

Know what this entails and you will know what to expect from the repair. Usually this consists of the opener and the door itself. Whether their operation is based on a spring tension, swing up as one piece of roll in sections, they all operate under a similar mechanism. They move on the metal tracks present on the walls whereby power is provided by a heavy spring.

You find that the units need fixing when they become loose. You can ascertain this by checking metal tracks present inside the units. All you need to check is whether the mounting brackets holding tracks on the garage wall are loose. The services you get should leave the screws and bolts tightened.

To ascertain that the work is completely done, check the alignment of the tracks. You should ensure that the horizontal tacks slant slightly toward the back of the unit. The tracks should also be of the same height. If they are not well aligned, the service provider should remove the bolts or screws holding the mounting brackets so as to tap track into position. On this, you should not take any chances.

The openers are also fundamental when it comes to security measures. A typical opener comprise of reversible motor used to drive a carriage beside the rail positioned above the opening. A drawbar attached on the carriage moves the unit closed and opened positions. Modern openers have a radio receiver that enables a person to open the unit by signaling the car through an electronic module.

When fixing, ensure that the manual push button and radio receiver are reinstalled. For the push button, the repairer can uses the ordinary bell wire but you should ensure that it is placed where you can have a view of the operation of the door open immediately you push the door button to avoid delays.

Importantly, you should remember that even though substantial knowledge regarding garage doors repair will help you ascertain that the work has been well done, a well done repair is dependent on credible garage door repair service provider. Seek one and you will avoid inconvenience that might cost you your job or keep you from making a good project deal by getting late and disappointing potential clients.

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Is Your Garage Door a Soft Target?

As the economy tanks, crime is going up. The bad guys will be looking for soft targets and your garage – especially if you leave it open – is one of the softest.

What can you do to reduce the odds you’ll be victimized?

Don’t flash what you have

Try to avoid leaving your garage door open so that everyone who drives or walks by has a full view of your stuff. Even if you’re working in the garage, it’s best to leave the doors down. Try to keep what you have under wraps – and keep a low profile.

Keep the door locked

This is just common sense – but it’s a fact that many thieves never have to break into anything. They just walk right on in – and walk away (or drive away) with your stuff. Use a high quality door lock, plus a deadbolt. If you have an outside electric keypad opener, don’t use an obvious code or tell too many people what the code is.

If your garage has doors with windows, consider replacing them with solid doors

As nice as it is to have a door with an upper glass section to let the sun shine in, glass allows a would-be thief to see inside your place – and getting in is as simple as smashing out the window.

Install a bright light near your garage

Ideally, one with a motion sensor. The light should be of the floodlight type – and either far enough up or otherwise out of reach that it would take at least a little bit of effort to defeat it by smashing the bulb or some such.

Consider an alarm system

You might even get a rate reduction on your homeowner’s (as well as your classic car) insurance. Or get a fake alarm – dummy closed-circuit cameras or blinking red LED lights near doors and windows can accomplish the same thing (but forget about the insurance discount).

Make your stuff harder to steal

Tools should be secured in heavy, hard to remove/move (and locked) tool cases; ideally, cases permanently fixed to hard points such as the floor or workbenches. Locked cabinets bolted to the wall studs work well. Garage doors should have heavy metal lock bars and other such devices to make them difficult to open for an unauthorized user.

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Garage Door Operator Problems? Let’s See…

When your garage door opener suddenly stops operating properly, the explanation and solution are usually pretty easy to deal with.

Here are the most common problems, along with the most likely repairs for each. For adjustments and repairs that aren’t self-evident, check the owner’s manual or contact a professional.

Garage door opener does not operate with either the remote or the wall switch.
The power source has probably been disrupted. Make sure the motor unit is plugged in. Check the circuit breaker, fuse or GFCI.

Garage door won’t close all the way.
The close limit switch needs adjusting. If not, see if the door is binding when raised and lowered manually.

Garage door reverses immediately after hitting floor.
The close limit switch probably needs adjusting.

Garage door reverses before hitting floor.
The close force probably needs adjusting.

Garage door does not open completely.
The limit switch may need to be moved toward motor unit.

The garage door opens, but the motor won’t stop running.
The limit switch probably needs to be moved away from the motor unit.

The garage door won’t open or close with remote control.
There are several possible solutions: (1) Move closer to the door (you might be out of range); (2) Make sure that the antenna on the motor unit is hanging down; (3) If the door functions fine with the wall switch, replace the battery in the remote; (4) Reprogram the remote.

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Your Automatic Garage Door Opener (AGDO) works just fine, you say. It’s opened and closed your door reliably for years. All you’ve needed to do is change the light bulb or the battery in the remote control once in a while. Replace it? What more could you want? What could be new in garage door openers? Plenty!

Safety First

If your opener was installed prior to 1993, you may be missing out on a great safety feature that is now required on all U.S. and Canadian openers manufactured since that time – photoelectric eyes or some other device that provides equivalent protection against entrapment.

Photoelectric eyes – mounted about six inches above the floor – cast an invisible beam across the door opening. If a door is closing and, for example, a child or pet were running underneath the door, they would “break” the beam, causing the door to automatically reverse 

Because your garage door is the heaviest and largest moving part of your home, a new opener with entrapment protection makes a great deal of sense, particularly if you have small children. (Note – It’s important, too, to teach children that the garage door system is not a plaything.)

 Your local professional door dealer can help you choose the system that makes sense for your needs – and he or she is also fully trained to install and test the system for optimum performance and safe operation. 

Key to the Castle

Many folks don’t carry a house key anymore. Why? Many find it easier to enter their homes through the garage door, using a remote control or an external keypad. These devices have become the new “house keys” for many homeowners.

These keypads are especially popular with “latchkey kids” – kids who come home to an empty house. Millions of children come home every day and enter their homes using an exterior garage door keypad. In fact, one survey shows that 33 percent of parents whose homes have external keypads say that the keypad is the number one way for children to enter the homes.

Latchkey kids are now keypad kids. Keypad use has more than doubled in the past 10 years. Convenience is the driving factor behind this trend – no more worries about lost or stolen keys.

The new fingerprint-activated keyless entry pads have created a whole new level of convenience. Now, you don’t even need to memorize an entry code. Convenience is literally at your fingertip.

You’ve Always Got the Power

Entrapment protection and keypads are great, you may say – but how do we open and close the garage door when a storm rolls through and knocks out the power? Today’s openers won’t keep you waiting outside in the rain, or force you to manually disengage the opener and lift the door by hand. A popular accessory sold with new openers is a battery back-up system that allows you to use your garage door opener 24/7, regardless of any loss of power to your home.

Speaking of power, chances are you have a surge protector in your home to safeguard your computer from voltage spikes. Surge protectors are also available to shield your garage door opener as well, keeping your door operating system running and protecting your investment.

If You Can Dream It …

It’s probably available. Garage door opener accessories abound. Would you like your garage door opener to switch on lights in your home as you’re pulling up the driveway? Or alert you if you left the garage door open? It’s all now possible with new garage door accessories. You can even make a fashion statement with your garage door remote by customizing it to match your car’s interior. Call a garage door specialist.

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Mysterious Garage Door Opening

There was a local news piece about a homeowner reporting to police about a possible crime working its way though her neighborhood. She told them that one of her garage doors randomly opened late one Saturday night. She was worried someone was driving around with a garage door opener, hoping to find a door that opened with it, and then perhaps break into the home at a later date.

Police checked on it, and here’s what they found.

When the homeowner saw her garage door open by itself, she first thought it was a family member.  She went to check it out, and once she got to the front of the house, she heard a car driving away very slowly.  She got a bad feeling about it, so she went back inside. 

The police told her that there were no other occurrences in her neighborhood. But that they would keep an eye on the neighborhood.

There are stories like this all over the country. Thieves are using old remotes and driving down neighborhoods to find garage doors that will open.

Is your home safe?

It depends on the age of your garage door opener.  If it’s 93 or newer, it has what’s called a rolling code.  That means the code between the opener and the remote changes constantly.  Mathematically speaking, that’s about 16.8 million combinations for your garage door opener.  If your opener is older than a 1993 model, the chances of a random remote opening your door is,

There are 80,000 possible combinations.  It’s an absolute freak chance that someone could remotely come close to opening your door at your home with a random opener.

A precaution is to always make sure to lock the door between your garage and your house for extra safety. If you experience the same situation as this homeowner, it’s best to call police.

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Get Qualified Help!

Installing a garage door isn’t a thing that could be carried out without having the qualified help of someone who is specialized and experienced in it. A garage door professional will have sufficient hands on experience to correctly install or repair your garage door.  Improper installation of a garage door could create a hazardous situation.

 Kids or tiny pets or animals could be caught under the closing door or get themselves hurt while closing the door. It must be closed correctly. Give ample time for closing when using a remote control transmitter or push button and look carefully for a complete shutdown. The opener must be given particular attention while using the door. If the door feels heavy and more energy is necessary to open the door than usually, there may be a problem with the balance or proper adjustment of the door. Realizing the issue, a professional technician should be contacted to analyze and fix the issue. Self adjustments or just keeping it heavy may possibly trigger much more hazardous circumstances in the end. A stronger garage opener is not necessarily the answer as maintaining the appropriate adjustment and balance of the door is the proper remedy. 

Garage doors are normally installed with sensitivity sensors. These doors are equipped with this powerful safety measure, as if there’s some barrier or blockage while door operations, it will revert back. This would be to sense any obstruction or presence of somebody. If it doesn’t move in reverse direction upon obstruction, the sensitivity sensors must be either adjusted properly or proper servicing should be scheduled, otherwise this could result in a really dangerous scenario. The safety reverse feature is set up for each and every garage door. 

If a remote control function is set up on the door, then this remote control unit must be kept with extreme care, as putting it in the incorrect place or in wide open access to everybody not only will it result in loss, but it may cause damage at the same time. Kids need to be educated accordingly not to play with remote control unit as inappropriate and inadequate usage or careless handling can cause serious harm not simply in terms of parts and material loss, but it might also open the access to possible burglars. A secured enclosure is advised to hold the remote unit secure and in control. 

There’s a unique function in remote-controlled units. The frequency continues rolling and following each usage, the door remote unit adjusts the frequency, thus this altering frequency cannot be pre recorded by thieves, who sometimes after recoding the frequency might gain access to your garages. This is referred to as Rolling Code Technology. Most remote control transmitters are available with this feature.

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Troubleshooting a Garage Door Opener Keypad

Your garage door opener keypad works by using a wireless remote control that is similar to the one you use to turn your television on.

 Like most types of remote control operated appliances, you will experience problems with your door opener from time to time. In most cases, the problem may stem from the keypad of the remote control. Troubleshooting keypad problems is quite easy and you can easily solve minor problems on this nature in just a few minutes. To help you troubleshoot your door opener keypad, here are some tips for you.

Fix the Frayed Wires

There is a big possibility that only one or two of the buttons on the keypad are problematic so you need to find these keys to solve the problem. The best way to find the problematic keys is to test the keys one by one. To do this, open the box of the remote control and look for frayed wirings between the keys. Loose contact between the wires and the keys is one of the most common reasons why your keypad malfunctions. Once you find the frayed wires, detach these wires completely then reattach them to the keypad. Make sure that the wires are securely attached to the keys before you close the remote control box.

Keys Stuck on the Pad

If the keys on your remote control get stuck to the pads when you press them, you may be facing dirt, dust and grime problems. To solve the problem of sticky keys, clean the remote control inside and outside. To do this, put a few drops of appliance cleaner on a piece of rag then use the rag to wipe away dirt and grime from the outside surface of the remote control. When cleaning the surface of the keypad, make sure that you clean the spaces in between the keys. To clean the inside of the remote control, open the remote control box and use a soft brush to remove the dust. If the keypad is detachable or can be removed completely from the remote control, remove the keypad and clean it thoroughly. Be sure to return the keys in their proper position after cleaning.

PIN Problem

If you have problems with your personal identification number (PIN), do not keep on pressing the keypad of your remote control in the hope of making the door opener work. Pressing the wrong PIN several times may cause your system to malfunction completely so instead of doggedly pressing the keypad, press the “learn” button on the motor then enter your four digit unlocking code. The unlocking code usually comes with the instruction manual of the unit. When the motor light blinks, press the release button on the motor to reset the PIN.

Reboot the Whole System

To eliminate persistent problems on your keypad, try rebooting the whole system. To do this, simply turn off the system and unplug it for about 5 minutes. Rebooting the system should clear the memory of the remote control system and help you get rid of persistent problems on your keypad.

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Lessons Learned From A Garage Door Remote

There are many things that we encounter everyday, and if you dig deep enough into each one of them you will find lessons that can be applied in many different ways.  Today, we will see what we can learn from an everyday garage door remote.

1. Things Don’t Always Work To Plan

Anyone who has used a garage door opener knows that it doesn’t always work when you need it to.  For some unknown reason, when you press the button the door just won’t open, but when you get in the car the next day it works like a charm.

Did it get too hot, were the planets in alignment, why wouldn’t it work?  We will probably never know, and that is exactly the same with life.  Have you ever heard the phrase “while we’re making plans, life is happening?”

That phrase has a much deeper underlying meaning: Your plans don’t necessarily change the world around you.  So as you go through your day and everything seems to go wrong, just understand that you can’t control everything and sometimes the only answer is to just go with the flow.  Always make plans, but understand that something can easily go wrong.

2. Sometimes, Persistence is Required

Sometimes, after hitting the button repeatedly, the door will open.  We don’t know why, maybe you weren’t close enough, but after it opens we are happy that it worked.  The same thing applies in life.  Goals are goals because they aren’t easy to attain.  Any easily attained goal might as well be called a deadline.

In the process of reaching your goals, things won’t work.  It took my wife and I five different financial systems before we found a structure that allowed us to budget our spending, cut our bills, and put the maximum amount of money towards our mortgage.  Persistence isn’t just a good thing, sometimes it is required!

3. If It Doesn’t Work, Fix It

If your garage door remote doesn’t work for multiple days, then something is probably wrong.  Maybe the batteries need to be changed or the remote needs to be replaced.  The same thing happens with goals and plans.  If the plan just isn’t working, or the goal just can’t be reached, then you may need to alter it or throw it out completely.

When I was 16, I set the goal of being a millionaire by 21.  I failed at that.  I have new goals now, as well as new plans, because that goal was empty, thoughtless, and backed by poor understandings of the world I lived in.  My plan was broken beyond repair so I had to get a new one.

4. Different Remotes for Different Doors

Admit it, you’ve probably tried it.  Maybe I’m just the weird one with a huge curiosity, but I’ve driven down the road pressing my clicker just to see if it would open other doors.  I don’t have ill-intentions, I just think it’s funny, and it would let me know who would have access to my door.

But alas, no one else’s door opened.  Often times, different goals and plans must be accomplished different ways.  Sometimes you’ll get lucky and you can duplicate success with the same methods.  We have to agree though, the same “night before” the test cramming may have worked in college, but that method may just fail you when that deadline at work arrives.

5. Doors Will Eventually Open

This is the most important lesson to learn.  If you sit in your drive way and don’t press the button, what will happen?  Nothing. You have to try, you must press the button if you want the possibility of the door opening.  If it doesn’t work, press the button again.  If it still doesn’t work, mash the button down really fast, over-and-over, and if it still doesn’t work then maybe it just needs to be fixed or replaced.

If you don’t go after your goals and you don’t make plans, then doors won’t open for you.  You need to try, you need persistence, and you need enough flexibility that you can adapt to reach the end result you seek.  If you do it well enough and long enough, then the doors will open.

The only thing worse than a bad plan is no plan.

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It’s Getting Colder Out There! Tune-Up Your Garage Door

With the cooling weather, the following can you save you a lot of time and expense!

Keeping it Clean

Clean your garage door regularly with mild soap, such as car detergent, and a soft bristle brush. Avoid using abrasive cleaners and very strong liquid cleaners which could damage the paint or cause delaminating. If you have a steel garage door, you can revive its luster by applying a car wax as it will protect against acid rain and dust. It is best to avoid waxing in direct sunlight to achieve better results.

Weather Stripping

Clean the weather stripping with a good all-purpose cleaner. Lubricate it every 2 or 3 months with a SILICONE-based lubricant. Never use a petroleum-based lubricant on weather stripping as it will dry up and crack. Don’t forget the weather strip between your door panels. It is important to let your weather strip hang 1/2″ below the door base when you readjust your perimeter weather stripping. If the weather stripping is too tight, the door will not function properly. So if your weather stripping has lost its flexibility, it is best to replace it.

Maintaining the Hardware

Lubricate the rollers, tracks and hinges and all moving hardware parts with a little motor oil (e.g.: 10W30) every three months. Wipe off excess oil with a cloth. As for the springs, use the same oil applied with a cloth. You are not only prolonging the spring’s life, but also reducing the noise the springs make when the door is operated.

At least once a year, home owners must check the following :
– the sturdiness and adjustment of the hinges;
– the rollers for worn-out ball bearings, flattened rollers, and crooked rods;
– the tracks for premature wear and tear, loose bolts, and loose supports;
– the cables for wear and tear; especially near the pulleys and the lower support (corner bracket).

Open Sesame: The Garage Door Opener

Depending on the model you own, consult the manufacturer’s guide. If you want to add some white grease on the operator track, again you must first clean the track. By oiling all the mobile parts you will reduce the noise initiated by the motor. If it is still too noisy for your liking, then nylon rollers would help reduce the noise.

Pull on the trolley release cord and operate the door manually. Is it difficult to open and close? The electric operator only replaces manual operation, therefore it must move freely. If you have trouble operating it, contact your local l qualified and licensed garage door installer. For your safety as well as your child’s, check the automatic safety reverse system of the door opener every month.

Get Your Annual Exam

Consider your garage door as an important part of your home. With appropriate annual maintenance, it will operate beautifully. Ask a qualified and licensed garage door installer to lubricate and adjust your garage door at least yearly. In a 10 step check-up, they will lubricate all the above mentioned parts and perform any required repairs.

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