Garage door safety awareness and regular maintenance will ensure that the largest moving door in your home is operating smoothly and safely, and will give you worry-free, convenient access to your home.
The garage door has come a long way in terms of materials and style over the years. It’s interesting to note that the functionality of the garage has also changed.
Did you know that over 70% of homeowners use their garage as their primary entrance, rather than the front door? On average a garage door is raised and lowered four times a day and, with the warmer months, that number often increases as we access our garages for patio furniture, sports equipment, bicycles, camping gear, etc.
With all the use garage doors get it’s important to make sure they are well maintained and are operated in a safe manner.
GARAGE DOOR SAFETY MONTH
In order to increase awareness of possible safety hazards of garage doors and openers, and emphasize the importance of having garage door and opener systems inspected periodically to ensure safe and trouble-free operation, the IDA (International Door Association) and DASMA (Door and Access Systems Manufacturers Association) have marked June as Garage Door Safety Month. Over time, parts experience wear and breakage can occur, also improperly adjusted garage doors or automatic openers exert a lot of force when closing, and can therefore be a potential safety hazard for your family and pets. Regular service and safety awareness are highly recommended to protect you and your family from potential harm.
10 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT GARAGE DOORS FROM THE IDA
It is important to familiarize yourself with the owner’s manual and learn how to use the garage door’s emergency release feature. Here are 10 things the IDA, and the team at Upright Door Service Inc., want you to know regarding safety and garage doors:
1. The garage door and garage door opener are not toys. They are dangerous if misused, and can cause serious injury or even death.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. Never stand or walk under a moving garage door. Never try to enter or exit the garage by racing under a moving garage door.
5. 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.
6. Keep fingers and hands away from door sections when the door is opening or closing to avoid injury. Never place fingers between door sections – always use the handles or the gripping areas to close it. If you manually open or close the door, use the handles or the safe gripping points!
7. 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. (See below: WHAT YOU CAN DO) .
8. Remember that your garage door opener uses electricity, which can shock or kill if mishandled. Service should be performed by a trained service technician.
9. 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.
10. 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.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
A VISUAL INSPECTION
Visually inspect garage door and opener looking for signs of wear in cables, springs, rollers. Look for loose brackets on the garage door, but do not attempt to make any adjustments these parts or any parts near them as they are under extreme tension. Contact Upright Door Service Inc. and we’ll send a trained technician to make any necessary adjustments or repairs.
TEST OPENER’S REVERSING MECHANISM
It is important to periodically test your garage door opener’s reversing mechanism to ensure safe operation.
1. Check sides of garage door for properly installed photo eyes – these should be mounted no higher than 6″ off the ground. If the opener was made prior to 1993, it is highly recommended that you replace it with a new opener that has today’s standard photo eyes/motion sensors and auto-reverse safety features.
2. Block photo eye with object over 6″ tall, and press garage door close button. The door should not close.
3. Lay 1.5″ high object (i.e. a 2 x 4 or paper towel roll) in garage door’s path and press the close button. The door should reverse when it comes into contact with the object.
If the system is working properly the garage door will stop and reverse, if not call a professional for repair.
TEST THE BALANCE OF THE DOOR
It is also important to periodically test the balance of the garage door:
- With the door closed, if you have a garage door opener, disconnect your garage door operator from your garage door. To do so, pull the emergency cord (usually red) down and back toward the garage door opener to release garage door locking mechanism.
- Now you can manually open your garage door. You should be able to lift the door with one hand relatively smoothly, with little resistance.
- The door should stay open around 3-4 feet above the floor. If not, it’s a good indication that it is not properly balanced, and your torsion spring may need to be adjusted. Again, do not attempt to make adjustments on your own. Call Upright Door Service Inc. and schedule an appointment with one of our trained technicians.
- To re-engage your garage door opener, pull the emergency cord down towards the garage door. Raise the door by hand, or click the button on the remote to re-engage your door.
WHAT TO DO IN A POWER OUTAGE
There may be times when your garage door becomes immobilized due to a malfunctioning remote or motor, or due to a power outage. In order to have access to your garage in these situations, it is important to know how to disconnect your garage door from your garage door operator.
1. Make sure the garage door is in the closed position. If possible, only disengage your garage door opener when the door is in the down position. A broken spring, or improperly adjusted spring could cause the door to crash to the ground and cause serious injury.
2. Pull the emergency cord (usually red) down and back toward the garage door opener to release garage door locking mechanism. Now you can manually open and close your garage door.
3. When power has been restored, with the door in the closed position, pull the emergency cord down towards the garage door. Now you can raise the door by hand, or click the button on the remote to re-engage your door.
Garage door safety and regular maintenance should be practiced all year round, so why not get started this June?
Call Upright Door Service Inc. to take care of any adjustments and repairs that are needed, so you can avoid potential injuries to you and your family. Our technicians are highly qualified, and have the expertise to spot and correct potentially dangerous situations, and can quickly get your garage door and opener system in working order, allowing you safe and convenient access.
Our service area includes much of Durham Region, York Region and the east end of Toronto, including Ajax, Pickering, Oshawa, Whitby, Clarington, Port Perry, Blackstock, Uxbridge, Newmarket, Aurora, Richmond Hill, Markham and Stouffville.