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.