Tag Archives: safety

Advancement in Energy Efficiency, Safety and Curb Appeal

The bitter cold of winter marks the time to rethink that garage door.

This is the season when homeowners usually make efforts to seal up the biggest opening in the home. It’s also a popular time for garage door replacement. It’s that time of year when weather has a distinct effect on the garage door business.

Steel isn’t a good insulator, so to compensate; manufacturers double up the panels and fill the space between them with polystyrene or polyurethane insulation. Polyurethane insulates better than polystyrene, but it tends to break down after a period of time, whereas polystyrene lasts forever.

Polystyrene is a flat, sheet-like material, similar to a Styrofoam cup. Polyurethane is pumped into a door as a liquid, then expands and fills the space between the metal sides of the door. There are some synthetic problems with polyurethane. It can dry erratically, leaving unprotected spots in the door. That problem is detectable when a homeowner sees granulated polyurethane draining from the door. A polyurethane-lined door, however, can often have a better R-value than the rest of the garage.

Polystyrene has a lower R-value, the insulation rating system, and also is less expensive. Single polyurethane doors are rated around R-15 and cost more.

Insulation with polyurethane and polystyrene has made doors so efficient that there often is a 15- to 20-degree difference in a garage after new doors are installed. That can play a big role in heating costs.

While energy efficiency plays a big part in the selection of a garage door, safety is also a key consideration. Safety plays an increasingly important role in garage-door design. All new garage doors incorporate many new safety technologies and innovations such as pinch-resistant door panels, easy-to-set torsion springs and advanced reversing mechanisms.

Garage doors are also more than just practical openings, they often make up the largest percentage of the front of the house and mean a great deal in the appearance of a property. It is, in fact, a home’s fashion accessory. The look of a garage door is important to accentuate the look of a house. Many people would never consider this to be the case because the garage is the traditionally overlooked and forgotten part of the house. But a garage door can draw attention away from the home’s other exterior features. When two of these are these garage doors are placed side by side it seems to take up at least half of the house. Going on three it’s easy to see how the house’s otherwise beautiful look can be swallowed up—unless the doors are thought through carefully.

With houses getting bigger and more lavish, though, the best garage door is one that compliments the house without taking away from it. Because of this need we are now able to walk a street without seeing the same color and style of garage door twice.

One of the most popular features is the carriage house design which originally was made with large hinges on heavy wood that gave the doors a striking presence. Manufacturers are taking these old traditional styles and providing fresh design choices. To enhance appeal, manufacturers introduce “high-definition” lines that feature more complex designs that give the look of texture and create shadow lines.

These days, garage door manufacturers are up-to-date with the demands of the consumer, continually creating better looking and better functioning garage doors. So, no matter whether it’s a remodel or new construction project, and no matter how far out the ideas are for a garage and garage door design, there’s probably one that can be found. Garage doors today are as efficient and aesthetically-pleasing as ever.

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Safety Matters!

June is Garage Door Safety Month. It’s a reminder to make regular safety checks on your garage doors. Educating yourself and your children on correct use and operation as well as taking proper care of your garage door will help you avoid unnecessary accidents and loss of life.

Here are a few precautions to keep in mind:

Safe distance – Garage openers and wall control units should be at least 5 feet away from the floor, and the door opener control button should be high enough that small children cannot reach it.

It’s not a plaything – Children should not, at any time, be allowed to play with the garage remote control or any part of the door. Hitting the door with their hands or even a soft object may cause the interior mechanism to loosen and the door to malfunction when you least expect.

Familiarize yourself with the manual – Read the door’s instruction manual and understand the door’s emergency release feature so that in case of an emergency you’ll know how to operate it.

Monthly visual inspections and maintenance checks – At least once a month, inspect your door and its component parts for wear and tear. Pulleys, cables, springs, and rollers may malfunction when worn out. If your garage gets jammed for some reason, call in a professional. Don’t attempt to repair or replace it yourself; get a trained garage door repairman to do the job. Don’t forget to oil the bearers, rollers, and hinges with a light lubricant oil.

Monthly testing – You’ll never know if the garage door’s reversing mechanism is working properly unless you test it. To do this, place an object – a piece of plywood or a roll of toilet paper – under the door’s path then release the control to let the garage door roll down. If it doesn’t reverse after touching the object, have it repaired. Test the reversing mechanism every month. If your garage door has an electric eye, make sure you test this on a monthly basis as well. If the door is old and has no auto-reverse feature, consider replacing it with a new one that has safety features.

Finger safety – Never place your fingers in between the door sections and caution your children against this as well.

Keep the garage door closed – Never – ever – leave your door partially open. Aside from placing your home at risk for intruders, when the door is activated again it may travel down instead of up and hit whatever lies in its path.

The emergency release – If there’s a power failure and you must open the garage door, use the emergency release to disengage the door from the opener. After the door is released you can operate it by hand. Again, consult your instruction manual and learn how to use this feature.

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Garage Door Safety Tips

While working in the garage the other day, my next door neighbor was outside playing with his toddler son, in front of my driveway. Just as I was wrapping up my project and on my way into the house, I made sure the coast was clear, hit the button for the garage door and it began to close. The last beams of daylight were just beginning to disappear when I suddenly noticed out of my peripheral vision, a pair of legs, belonging to that toddler, standing about a foot from my closing garage door. I quickly hit the door button and fortunately  for myself, the little toddler and his father, the door came to an abrupt stop. Talk about close calls!

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, garage door related accidents account for an astonishing 20,000 emergency room visits every year. The types of injuries range from crush injuries to fractures and worse. And those are just the incidents that were reported. If those numbers don’t impress you, then check these numbers out:

  • 77.6% of garage door injuries happen at a person’s own home.
  • 37.7% of injuries occur in the summer months. (June-Aug)
  • 59% of injuries involve caught or cut fingers and hands.
  • 23.5% of injuries involve doors coming down on a person.

Many families don’t realize the potential dangers that garage doors pose, and that they’re often the largest and heaviest pieces of moving equipment in a home, many weighing around 600 pounds, not to mention those deceptively dangerous torsion springs. So now that you’re aware those dangers exist, here are 6 rules to help prevent garage door injuries and keep your family safe:

  1. Educate your children about the dangers of garage doors. And don’t just talk the talk…walk the walk!
  2. Never go near a door until it has stopped moving.

     3. Don’t turn your back, walk away or drive away until your garage door had stopped moving. (Like my situation, you never know who’s going to allow their child to walk around, near your closing garage door). 

    4. Test your garage door monthly. Your door should reverse when coming down on a roll of paper towels. Do not use anything hard like wood or blocks. If the door fails to reverse, disconnect it and have it serviced.

    5. Move the wall switch/button high enough so kids can’t reach it or play with it.

    6. Keep the remote controls out of children’s reach.

For these tips on garage safety and information about other product safety, go to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (www.cpsc.gov)

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How to Prevent Garage Door Accidents

Garage door accidents, like so many accidents in the home, could be avoided if more care and attention was paid.

A garage is not essentially a play area or a work area, but a place to store your vehicle and household items. You should therefore never let children play around in an open door, especially when we are talking about traditional spring doors, as you are creating a danger zone.

Garage doors should be kept closed. They are not really designed to stay open, and if they were used correctly, then many accidents would be prevented. Although the springs in a traditional garage door are designed to hold a garage door open at half way up, springs can fail at any moment, the garage door falling abruptly down.

Keeping up to date with your garage maintenance is really important if you wish to prevent door accidents. A simple once over, periodically to make sure that none of the moving parts or hardware of the door are broken is all it takes to prevent so many accidents. If you do the simple test of leaving your door half way up, you should be able to determine if the torsion springs are in good order or not. If the door falls down, then the springs are too loose or worn.

When you check over your door and its’ working elements, if you see any corrosion around the hinges or springs, you should not delay to get them fixed straight away; this could prevent a really nasty accident. But what is also the cause of many door accidents each year is the DIY enthusiast who attempts to change door springs.

You only have to think about how much force there is behind the torsion springs of a door when closed to realize that changing the springs is a job that you should never attempt alone, or unless you are totally sure of what you are doing. These kinds of repairs really are best left to the experts, and a small charge to a door repairman could prevent a really nasty accident. In short, to prevent accidents around doors, never allow children to play in the vicinity of an open door, always keep garage doors closed when not in use, and lastly, maintain your doors to a high standard. When in doubt of the safety of your present ones, look to change the doors as soon as possible.

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Be D.O.O.R. Safe

Most folks take their garage doors for granted. Until the day the garage door doesn’t work.

GarageDoorCare.com, a website sponsored by the International Door Association (IDA), can help homeowners learn about garage door safety and maintenance. IDA is the world’s largest trade association of professional garage door and access system dealers and installers.

One page of the website is devoted to children and garage door safety. A special learning tool entitled “D.O.O.R. Safe” contains four brief messages to help parents teach young children the dos and don’ts of garage doors. These messages are:

  •  Doors are heavy – never stand, run or play under or near any garage door, especially when the door is open or moving.
  • Openers are for adults – never play with the button on the wall that opens and closes the garage door.
  • Ouch! – never touch any part of a moving garage door. Your fingers and hands can get hurt!
  • Remotes are for adults – never play with the remote control in the car or on Mom and Dad’s keychain.

 “We encourage parents to teach their children that the garage door and garage door opener aren’t toys,” says IDA Managing Director Chris Long. “Whether a child is at home or at the house of a friend or relative, it’s important they understand that they should never play near or underneath a garage door. It’s also important that they learn not to play with garage door opener remotes or button controls.”

When it comes to maintenance, the website can help homeowners learn about maintenance checkups they can perform themselves, but it also provides helpful guidance about when it’s best to call in a pro.

Homeowners should consider using a garage door professional when it comes to repairs. A garage door system is comprised of many components, including springs and cables that are under high tension and can cause severe injury or even death if broken, tampered with or mishandled.

The site also provides a handy zip code search function that allows consumers to locate the nearest garage door professional if they prefer the help of a seasoned expert for annual or semi-annual checkups, or for maintenance and repair issues.

SOURCE International Door Association

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How secure is your home’s garage door?

There was a news segment that appeared last night on ABC-15 in Phoenix, Arizona, that is worth mentioning.

This past October, a Scottsdale man woke up early one morning to find three strangers in his bedroom only to be assulted. The men broke into his home through the garage. He had installed a new garage door and hadn’t reset the manufacturer’s code on the garage door opener.

Click for the video:

As the largest movable object in any home, the garage door is often overlooked in terms of safety and security. Here are a few other items that should be pointed out when speaking of garage door security.   

·         When you are on vacation or your home is unoccupied for an extended period of time, disconnected the overhead track-operated garage door from inside the garage. This will prevent the door from being opened with an electronic remote control device.

·         Do not leave the remote in your car, should a thief break in to your car and steal the remote he has a way into your home. Consider purchasing a key-chain remote you should be able to find one compatible with your system.

·         Your garage door is only as secure as its weakest link. It is of little benefit in having the best of locks if the door itself is flimsy. Likewise a strong and sturdy garage door will not give you the best security if it is fitted in a weak frame.

As Arizona’s only garage door manufacturer, First United Door Technologies recognizes that the security and safety of garage doors is paramount and provide education and materials with every door manufactured to our nationwide network of licensed installing dealers.

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