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Garage Door Safety Tips

Garage Door Safety Tips

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Here in Chicago we use our garages to store the car, tools, bicycles, lawnmowers and just about anything else. Garages can also be a great place to work on personal projects however, they can also be dangerous places to be if your garage door is not secure.

Let’s take a look at some safety tips that will ensure you and your belongings are safe and secure:

Inspect the Door Every Month

It’s vital that you visually inspect your garage door every month. Check the cables, pulleys, rollers, and springs for signs of wear and tear. If you come across something that needs repairing you should not attempt to fix it yourself. Hire a trained technician to repair the damaged parts.

Keep your Fingers Away From the Garage Door!

While you may be tempted to place your fingers between the sections of the garage door you must keep them away. Any slight movement could cause the garage to close or open and your fingers could get stuck. Make sure children know to keep their fingers away too, and alert them to what could happen if they don’t.

Never Leave The Garage Door Partially Open

Garage doors should never be left partially open, no matter how convenient it is to do so. When a garage door is activated and is told to close it may hit something that’s in its path. If your garage door is damaged your home’s security will be impacted.

Fix a Struggling Door

Doors that struggle to open or close should be fixed as soon as possible. If the door struggles when you manually operate it the spring system may be out of balance. Hiring a professional to repair the spring system is vital especially as an unbalanced spring system could cause problems with other parts of the door.

About to Replace your Garage Door?

If you’re considering replacing your garage door you may be considering using the same track. However, your new garage door may not fit your old track. This is because not all garage doors are the same, they can differ in their thickness, weight, and headroom.

If you want your new garage door to last as long and be as safe as possible you’ll need to use a track that’s been designed to be used with your new door.

Ask the Garage Door Dealer for Additional Safety Features

Your garage door dealer may have some additional safety features or security tips for the make and model you have chosen to buy. You may be able to purchase an automatic lock for your door which could improve the security of your garage and your home.

Keep Remote Controllers Away from Children

Children often love to open and close garage doors as it can be a lot of fun, however, they should only ever use a remote controller under adult supervision. Children can be injured if they’re allowed to play with the remote controller and objects such as your car could become damaged too. Keep the controller out of reach or in a secure location so little fingers are not tempted to play with them.

Stay Away From a Moving Garage Door

You may have opened and closed a garage door many times and you may think it’s safe to walk under a door while it’s moving. However, people often get pinned under doors when they least expect it so it makes sense to wait until it’s fully opened or closed. Learn how to use the emergency release that can open the door should someone be pinned under it. Set a good example and don’t try to beat the door otherwise your children may try to copy you.

Do Not Tamper with the Emergency Release

Never tamper with the emergency release mechanism on your garage door. There may be a time when you need to use the mechanism and tampering with it could prevent it from working as well as it should, if at all.

Always Watch a Moving Garage Door

To reduce the likelihood of accidents it’s vital that you always watch a moving garage door. You should keep an eye on the door until it has finished moving. If you walk away while the door is still moving something or someone may become trapped under it.

Keep Your Garage Door Locked

It’s vital that you keep your garage door locked at all times. Lock all of the doors to your garage when they’re not in use. If your garage has windows make sure you use frosted glass as it could help deter would-be intruders.

Check the Safety Sensors

The safety sensors are usually attached to the rails that the garage door travels on. The sensors are typically six inches off the ground. Sensors reverse the door’s direction if someone or something walks under it while it’s closing.

The sensors should be checked from time to time, preferably every month. Push the button on the controller so your garage door closes and place an object such as a broom in front of the sensors. This should make the door stop what it’s doing and reverse its direction. If the door does not reverse you should call a trained technician out to make the necessary repairs.

Test your Garage Door’s Force

Try to push the door down when it’s lifting itself up, alternatively, you may wish to push on the bottom of the door in an upward direction when it’s lowering itself. Your garage door should stop when you do this, however, if it does not stop it may need to be repaired. Refrain from carrying out repairs yourself as you could damage the door.

Has the Door Been Backed Into?

If your garage door has been backed into you will need to have it inspected. While the door may not appear to be badly damaged the operating system may no longer work as well as it should. Ask someone to inspect your garage door so any repairs can be carried out right away.

Check the Cables

Attaching your garage door springs to the bottom brackets are some cables. These cables should be inspected at least once a month. If any of the cables are worn or frayed they could be susceptible to breaking. While you may be tempted to repair the cables yourself they should only ever be repaired by a technician as they can cause injury if they are not handled correctly. 

Understand What the Safety Features are

Most garage doors come with a lot of safety features installed, however, it’s not always clear what they are. Read the manual that comes with your garage door so you know where the emergency release is. Learn how the garage door will react when the release is pulled and how to operate the door if there’s no power. Understanding what the safety features are and how to use them could keep you and your loved ones safe and free from harm.

Don’t Touch the Tamper-resistant Brackets!

Located at the bottom of the garage door and connected to springs the tamper-resistant brackets are under a lot of tension. If they need to be adjusted in any way please hire a technician to undertake the work. Many new garage doors come complete with hardware that prevents anyone but technicians from adjusting the doors. However, there are still a lot of older garage doors out there so please refrain from adjusting them unless you’re a trained professional.

Test out the Reversing Mechanism

The reversing mechanism automatically comes into play if the garage door is obstructed when it’s closing. Take a roll of paper towels and lay it down exactly where the garage door is likely to touch it. Close the garage door and see if the reversing mechanism works. The roll of paper towels should not have sustained much damage in the process. If the reversing mechanism does not work hire a technician to repair it so it’s in good working order just in case.

Do not Touch the Electrical Components

We’re all aware that we should not touch the electrical components in our home and the same can be said for the electrical components in your garage. A lot of electricity is needed to open and close a garage door and sustaining an electric shock could prove to be fatal. If you think your garage door has an electrical issue please do not attempt to repair the issue yourself. Hire a trained technician to undertake the work no matter how minor it may seem.

Use the ‘Vacation Mode’

Many new garage doors now come complete with a ‘Vacation mode’. This feature makes the remote controller somewhat unusable meaning your garage door will not open while you’re away. If your garage door does not come with this option you may want to consider unplugging it instead as it’ll help keep would-be intruders out while you’re away.

Lock the Door from the Inside

Always try to lock your garage door from the inside whenever possible as it ensures the door is securely locked and can, therefore help prevent would-be intruders from entering.

Repair a Broken or Unbalanced Door

A broken or unbalanced garage door should be repaired as soon as possible. A door that does not open or close smoothly could be hazardous. Please refrain from attempting to repair the garage door yourself as you could sustain injury. Hire a trained technician to undertake the work on your door no matter how minor it may be. 

Listen for Strange Noises

After a while, you should be used to the noises that your garage door makes when it’s opening and closing. Listen out for strange noises as they may indicate that something’s not quite right. Components may have worked their way loose, become misaligned or worn. Try to listen out every time you use your garage door as the sooner you spot an issue the sooner it can be repaired.

Update Old Openers

If your garage door opener was made before 1993 chances are it will not come with the all-important auto-reverse safety feature. You should, therefore, consider updating the opener and opting for a modern model that comes with the auto-reverse safety feature. You never know when you might need it.

Always Remove Locks Before you use your Door

It’s vital that you always remove door locks, cables, and ropes before you open or close your garage door. Failure to do so could result in damage to your door or it may fail to open or close properly. If you think you have damaged your garage door please hire a technician as soon as you can so the damage can be repaired.

Check for Broken Glass

If your garage door comes complete with glass panels you should check them every so often. During the summer check your garage door for broken glass once or twice a month. In more extreme seasons you should consider checking the glass more frequently as cracks may start to appear. If you have found a crack in your garage door ensure you have it repaired as soon as possible.

Install a Reinforcement Bracket

While most garage doors come with a reinforcement bracket, if you installed the door yourself chances are it may not have one. The bracket should be secured to the top of the door, otherwise, your door can become damaged. If you’re not confident about installing a reinforcement bracket ask a trained technician to carry out the job for you.

Make use of Rolling Code Technology

Some would-be thieves have the ability to record the signal that your transmitter gives off. The recorded signal can be used to open your garage door at a later date. If your transmitter (The remote controller) comes with rolling code technology it ensures that the code is changed each time it’s used. If you’re not sure you have rolling code technology please ask your garage door dealer for more information.

While many of us rely on our garage doors to keep our cars and other belongings safe we often fail to look after our doors as well as we should. Using all of the above tips could keep your garage door in good working order for years to come while preventing unnecessary accidents.

Is Your Garage Door in Chicagoland Working Properly? 

If your garage door is exhibiting any warning signs, or you would like to get some preventative maintenance done, contact us to ensure your garage door is working properly. 

Commercial-Grade Garage Doors: Tips for Finding the Right Product

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If you didn’t know any better, you might assume that commercial and residential garage doors are virtually the same. The truth is, your business needs something more powerful and durable than the typical residential garage door. For this reason, it’s important to research available products and make the right choice for your business.

The difference between commercial and residential doors actually comes down to one factor: weight. Because these doors need to be more durable, they generally weigh more. As a result, the spring system is typically more complicated. Most commercial garage doors have at least two torsion springs; many have four.

Now you know some of the basic differences between the two products. The next step is to learn about the available product types.

Types of Commercial-Grade Garage Doors

The type of garage door you need will depend on the nature of your business. Generally speaking, there are four types of commercial-grade garage doors:

Type #1: High-Traffic Doors

When you have an area of high-traffic (such as a loading dock) the best door type will be a traffic door. These products must be strong and able to move fast. Also, because these doors see a lot of wear, they’re typically easy to repair and replace. One disadvantage to these doors is that they aren’t built for security. If you need a protective shield or gate, this product can serve as a door behind a door.

Type #2: Fire-Resistant Doors

In areas of increased fire hazard, a fire door may be the best solution. Most often, these products appeal to owners of factories, hospitals, cafeterias, etc. High temperatures and alarm systems typically serve as triggers to shut the door automatically. This helps prevent further injury and damage. 

Type #3: Rolling Doors

If you need an industrial garage door that is dependable and design-friendly, a rolling door may be the best choice for you. Another bonus with this door is that it can fit into tight spaces-such as small back or side rooms. Security grills for shops and counters fit into this category.

Type #4: Sectional Doors

Sectional doors are the most commonly used amongst commercial garages. These products consist of three to eight panels and slide easily overhead. The advantage with these doors is that they take up minimal space and are pretty reliable. They can also contain windows and serve a variety of industries.

Top Features to Keep an Eye Out For

Once you’ve settled on a type of commercial door, you’ll need to weigh the advantages of different features. Here are some of the top ones you’ll want to look for:

  • Design. In order to maintain your business’s curb appeal, look for a garage door that is aesthetically pleasing. Maybe it’s wood that strikes your taste, or steel. Either way, there are a lot of design options to choose from.
  • Durability. Look for a product that has tough torsion springs and consists of a strong material. This way, you can ensure that it withstands the wear and tear of daily business.
  • Security. To keep your assets protected, you’ll want a door that can keep harsh weather and intruders out.
  • Clean operation. For a product that works smoothly, you may need to be willing to spend some extra money. But there’s nothing better than a garage door that opens quickly and quietly every time!

With this information at your disposal, you have everything you need to decide on a commercial-grade door. If you have questions or would like more guidance, a salesman will be able to provide additional details. Be sure to get in touch with a local expert as soon as possible!

Start Spring Cleaning in the Garage

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Your garage is more than just a place to park your car and store your garbage cans. Whether you like to garden, enjoy fixing things, or just need some extra storage, you can turn your garage into a multipurpose space.

However, for many of us, the garage has become a place where we simply stash our extra things. Just opening your garage door may embarrass you because your neighbors see all the clutter. That clutter may even build up so much that it takes you 30 minutes to find just one thing.

Following the tips below will help transform your garage into a space you can feel proud of. You’ll get rid of the clutter in no time.

Get Rid of the Clutter

First, remove anything that doesn’t need to sit in your garage. This means getting rid of things you don’t use anymore and storingsome things in other areas within your home. Don’t just decide what room you’ll place it in. Actually go there and make a spot for the item so you don’t clutter up another space.

If something takes up too much space and makes it hard to access your garage, move it. In the event of a repair, garage door professionals need between five to ten feet to access to repair, install, and service your door. Make sure you have enough space for that.

One of the best ways to get rid of your clutter in your garage involves removing every item and then deciding where it should go. Make piles for trash, donation, and organization. Make sure to tackle the clutter in manageable bites. This’ll help you stay focused until you get through it all.

Haul Off Hazards

Don’t let your garage be an accident waiting to happen. Get rid of oily rags, dried up paint and cleaners, construction scraps, or anything else that could cause an accident. Make sure you also store a working fire extinguisher in a convenient location in your garage for emergencies.

Deep Clean

Once you’ve made your piles and cleared your garage, give your garage a deep cleaning. Wipe down shelves, sweep the garage floor, and remove stains with the proper products.

Organize by Sections

Now that your garage is free of clutter, rearrange what’s left. Invest in sturdy boxes, shelves, and totes. Common categories for organization include:

  • Tools
  • Nuts and bolts
  • Sports gear
  • Lawn and gardening equipment
  • Seasonal items and furniture
  • Seasonal items and furniture

Make sure to label all boxes, totes, and containers. You’ll benefit from using stackable plastic containers that are easy to label. Label all four sides of each container with a short one- or two-word description about its contents.

Build Shelves

Take advantage of all the wasted space on your walls by installing or building a shelving system. Shelves can attach directly to your walls, or you can build a freestanding system that you can easily move.

Attach Hooks

Not everything you want stored in the garage fits into a bin. Peg boards work well for hanging tools like pliers, hammers, and handsaws. They hang in plain view and make it easy to quickly grab what you need.

Hooks give you another way to hang things like ropes, garden hoses, and even small ladders. You can also use them to hang items from the ceiling. Items easily stored above your head include bikes, skis, and even large ladders.

Add in Extras

Once you have the basics of spring cleaning down, focus on making your garage more functional by adding lighting, accessories, and heating and cooling units.

No matter what you do with your garage, a properly functioning garage door is also an essential. Contact your local garage door expert for regular maintenance and any necessary repairs. A functioning garage door will keep your belongings protected and in great condition.

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