Garage door safety is an important consideration for homeowners and renters alike. This is especially true for families with children and pets. A garage door is the heaviest and largest moving object in a house, and should always be regarded as such. Many homeowners or renters can underestimate the hazard presented by a malfunctioning or unrepaired garage door. Additionally, there are several general safety guidelines that can be followed by individuals and families on a daily basis.
Garage Door Safety Tips
Apart from making sure equipment is modern and well-maintained, there are a number of safety tips that homeowners and renters should always adhere to. When installing a new garage door, a safe rule of thumb is to ensure that garage door controls and buttons should be installed several feet off the ground to prevent access from children. Many professionals recommend installation at a height of five feet off the ground or higher.
Auto-reversing Garage Doors
In 1993, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) began requiring all garage door openers to include a feature called an external entrapment protection system. This system features a sensor that is aligned with the door’s opening and mounted off the floor, roughly four to six inches from the ground. When the sensor detects movement, it causes the door to reverse its path instead of continuing to close. This is an integral garage door safety mechanism. Those who live in homes that were built before auto-reversing doors became a standard are strongly encouraged to upgrade to a safer system.
Maintenance and Testing
Another important way to maintain garage door safety is to perform regular maintenance and testing. Creaking or other unusual sounds coming from a garage door can be a red flag for danger. These signs indicate an issue with the components that can lead to hazardous malfunction or breaking. Homeowners and renters are encouraged to perform maintenance that can be performed without a professional, such as checking the balance and performing a reversing test. However, some forms of garage door maintenance require calling a professional.
Garage Doors and Children
Families with children should be especially careful to ensure that children do not attempt to play with garage door openers or other components of the operating system. Children should never be granted access to the controls. When garage doors are in motion, children should be watched. Parents and other adults should ensure that children are not near the door itself when it is moving.