Most of us take for granted our automatic garage door openers. However, they can be quite a dangerous piece of machinery if not properly tended to and if you’re not attentive to the warning signs. There is a safety component already built-in, however like anything mechanical, it too can fail. Consider these 9 tips if you have an automatic garage door.
- If you have young children, make sure they cannot access the garage door opener and don’t let any children play with the garage door’s remote control.
- Teach your kids to be cautious around the garage door and hope to use the door safely. This includes only closing the door behind you, not before you cross under a closing door.
- Ensure children don’t play with or around the garage doors. They shouldn’t hang onto the door as they can get seriously injured doing so.
Regular Inspections & Checks
- Many of us don’t bother with owner’s manuals, but this is one booklet you’ll want to study up on. It will explain all the safety features that are part of your garage door and how to release the door in case of an emergency.
- Make sure you inspect your door on a regular or monthly basis. Check that the cables, springs, rollers and pulleys are all working correctly and not broken or damaged. Be cautious not to try to repair these parts on your own as they are under high tension and can cause injury. Professionals can help you repair these parts if necessary.
- Check that the reversing mechanism of your garage door is working on a regular basis. You can include this as part of your monthly check-up. The best way to check is to leave a piece of wood (like a two-by-four) under the door’s path. If the door doesn’t automatically reverse when it touches the wood, it means something is wrong and should be inspected by a professional. Remember, this is a very important safety feature and if it’s not working properly could cause serious damage to a vehicle or person.
- Test to make sure the manual release is working. You should be able to lift the door from the inside or outside without any problems and should be able to stay at least four feet off the ground without falling back down. Should you have any problems, be sure to contact a garage door specialist in your area to check it out.
When Away From Home
- It’s tempting to leave your garage door opener in the car for easy access, however consider attaching it to your keychain or keeping it in your purse instead. Some more modern models might even allow you to program them on your cell phone. The reason being if you are using valet services or your car gets stolen, the thieves won’t be able to access your home from the garage.
- When you go away on vacation, make sure to unplug the garage door opener, this way no one can enter through the garage while your family’s away. Some garage door openers have a security switch you can turn on or off for the same purposes as well.