The International Door Association (IDA) and the Door & Access Systems Manufacturers Association (DASMA) have designated June as Garage Door Safety Month. Both associations and their affiliated manufacturers and dealers will be working to increase awareness of the possible hazards of garage doors and automatic opener systems, and the need for periodic inspection and maintenance to keep them safe.
Just as you want your garage door system to operate properly every time you need it, you also want it to operate safely at all times.
The garage door is typically the largest moving object in your home. Properly maintained and operated, a garage door and its operating system allow you, your family and your vehicles convenient access to and from your home. They also provide security and protect against the elements. Newer, insulated garage doors even help save energy.
But moving garage doors can also cause serious injury, or even death. While there are some garage door system maintenance chores that you yourself can – and should – perform on a regular basis, there are other tasks (including garage door installation and garage door spring replacement) that are best left to the pros.
You and your family should know how to operate and maintain your garage door system safely at all times. You are the key to garage door safety.
Here are 10 things everyone in your household should know about garage door safety. It’s a good idea to review these with everyone in your household from time to time – especially children. The garage door and its operating system are not playthings.
- The garage door and garage door opener are not toys. They are dangerous if misused, and can cause serious injury or even death.
- Children should never be allowed to play with the garage door or its operating system. Children should never stand, run or play under or near any garage door, especially when the door is open or moving.
- Adults should not allow children access to the remote controls or push button wall controls for garage door opener systems; these should be kept out of reach of children. The push button wall control for a garage door operating system should be mounted at least five feet off the floor, out of the reach of children.
- Never stand or walk under a moving garage door. Never try to enter or exit the garage by racing under a moving garage door.
- When opening or closing the garage door, always keep the door in view until the door is fully opened or fully closed. Make certain that no adults, children or animals try to enter or exit while the door is closing.
- Keep fingers and hands away from door sections when the door is opening or closing to avoid injury.
- Keep your garage door properly maintained to keep it operating safely. Annual maintenance by a trained service technician is recommended. There are other tests and maintenance tasks that you can perform.
- Remember that your garage door opener uses electricity, which can shock or kill if mishandled. Service should be performed by a trained service technician.
- Never attempt to repair a garage door’s springs or cables. These are under extreme tension and can cause severe injury or even death. These are best repaired by a trained service technician.
- If someone has backed into the garage door (yes, it does happen – all of us are in a hurry at one time or another), it’s a good idea to have the door inspected and/or repaired by a trained service technician. Even if the door doesn’t appear to be severely damaged, the operating system may have become misaligned and wear prematurely, creating what could be a dangerous environment.
Although you should provide monthly safety checks and maintenance to your garage door system, an annual visit from a trained door systems technician can keep your door operating safely and smoothly for a long time