According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, thousands of injuries caused by garage doors happen every year. The summer months are when the majority of the garage door related accidents occur, obviously because it is when the doorway if filled with the most action, like the coming and going of children riding their bikes and playing in the driveway. The most common accidents involve doors closing on people (adults and children), fingers or hands becoming caught in the door’s sections or parts, and failed attempted home repairs. The resulting injuries often include fractures, crushed bones and body parts, and amputations. An average of 20,000 people a year are treated in hospital emergency rooms for these related injuries.
Many accidents can be attributed to faulty parts, malfunctioning doors and openers, and unsupervised children. In order to keep your family and house guests safe this summer try following these 5 garage door safety tips:
1. Keep openers and controls out of the reach of children! Never let a child play with the remote controls. Like any “toy” if a child is allowed to play with it once they will continue to play with it, even without the supervision of their parents. Don’t start a bad habit!
2. Explain the dangers of the garage door to your children. If they understand that there is danger associated with the door, and that it is not a toy then they will be less likely to put themselves in the way of harm. Many residential homes have sectional garage doors. Be sure that children know never to place their fingers or other objects between these sections.
3. Be sure that you and the other adults in your household know how to use the emergency release feature of your garage door in case an accident should occur. The owner’s manual should give the relevant instructions on this feature.
4. Inspect your door once a month. Take a look at its springs, cables, rollers, pulleys, and other parts for any signs of wear and tear. For your safety, do NOT attempt to remove, adjust, or repair any of these parts or their attachments! Only a trained repair professional should handle this job. These parts are under high tension and can easily snap back causing serious injury or even death.
5. Test the safety features of your door every month. Place a small, yet durable object, like a 2×4 board in the path of the door so that it will make contact with the object on the floor as it closes. If working properly, the garage door should stop and automatically reverse direction to return to the open position once it comes in contact with the object. If it does not do both (stop and reverse), then it’s definitely time to give the professionals a call.
Prevention is the first step to making sure that your home is safe and secure for all who enter. Again, if your unit needs repairing, contact a professional garage door repair company to handle the job, for the safety of you and your family.
Every homeowner and every parent should be aware of the danger their garage door can pose to them and their family. By following a few summer safety tips you can keep your family safe and your garage door working in pristine condition.