Steps to Garage Door Safety

30,000 people annually are injured by faulty garage door systems

Your garage door is essentially a movable wall and when combined with an automatic garage door opener, it is the largest and perhaps the most dangerous moving object in your home. Reports from the U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission indicate that over 30,000 people are injured by faulty garage door systems every year. It’s also important to note that these statistics count only those injuries that required medical attention while many other injuries go unreported.

The proper installation, maintenance and testing of these two pieces of equipment are necessary to provide you with safe, trouble-free operation. An improperly adjusted garage door or automatic opener can exert deadly force when the door closes. This could lead to serious injury or death from being hit by a closing garage door or from being trapped under the door.

Take a few minutes to inspect and test your garage door system and make that inspection and testing a part of your regular routine. Garage Door Safety is everyone’s business. If anything is suspected to be unsafe or in need of attention, contact a garage door professional ASAP.

Testing and maintaining your garage door:  Review your garage door owner’s manual. It will provide you with important information on your doors’ specific needs. If you do not have a manual, look for the manufacturer’s name and model number on the back of the door or the lock handle. Request a manual from the manufacturer. You should perform routine maintenance steps once a month.

Visual Inspection

Look at the garage door springs, cables, rollers, pulleys and other door hardware for signs of wear. If you suspect any problems contact your garage door service professional.
Garage door springs and cables are under very high tension. If handled improperly, they can cause serious injury and death. Only a certified technician should adjust them. Do not attempt to repair or adjust springs yourself.

A safety cable should be installed on all extension springs (the springs mounted above the track) to help contain a spring if it breaks.

Never remove, adjust or loosen the screws on the bottom brackets of the door. These brackets are connected to the spring system by the lift cable and are under extreme tension.

Lubrication

Like all mechanical systems, garage doors need regular lubrication. Lubricate the moving parts of the door with a silicon based spray only. However, do not lubricate plastic rollers and plastic bearings. Consult the garage door owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommendations

Door Balance

Periodically test the balance of your garage door.

  • Start with the door closed
  • If you have a garage door opener, use the release mechanism so you can operate the door by hand when doing this test.
  • You should be able to lift the door smoothly and with little resistance. It should stay open around three or four feet above the floor. If it does not, it is out of adjustment. Have it adjusted by a certified technician.