In this discussion of garage door safety, I would like to start with the single most common home garage door project: The installation of a new garage door opener. While most homes built today already have electric garage door openers already installed, it may become necessary to replace an old unit or add an additional door opener to an existing garage door.
Just like any do it yourself project around the home safety should be your number one concern. This can be especially true when moving parts are involved. Remember that the garage door is the largest moving part of a home. When you add the fact that it runs without direct human intervention…
Garage Door Opener Safety
If installing a garage door opener there are many safety concerns that need to be addressed:
- First, make sure the garage door opens and closes properly manually. If the door becomes hung up, or stutters on the way up are down, this could wear down the garage door openers motor, or just plain not work it all. A good rule of thumb is if the garage door does not go up and down smoothly with the use of just one arm, it probably needs to be looked at.
- Make sure that the gap between the bottom of the garage door in the floor does not exceed the 1/4 of an inch, otherwise the safety reversal system may not work.
- When choosing a place to install your garage door opener, especially if you have to finished ceiling, make sure it is attached with sturdy metal brackets to the structural supports. Unfortunately these brackets are not usually included with the garage door opener kit.
- Next, when installing the wall mounted remote control make sure that it is within sight of the garage door. It is also a good idea to keep the controller at such a height as to prevent children from getting to it. A 5 foot minimum height from the floor is a good starting point.
- When choosing how to power your new garage door opener never use extension cords or two wire adapters as power sources.
- Also, you should never tamper with the opener plug or other electrical parts of the opener as this will more than likely void the warranty and is also very unsafe.
- Before actually using your garage door opener once it’s installed, make sure that the door’s closing force is neither too strong nor too weak. This can be adjusted at the openers motor case it needed, details of which can be found in your garage door openers manual. If you have lost or misplaced your manual you can usually download another one from the manufacturer’s website.
General Garage Door Safety
- Don’t walk or stand under a moving door, not even to “duck” in or out of the garage.
- Never make a game of entering or leaving the garage through a moving door. Don’t teach the kids that it is a toy.
- In addition to mounting the wall controller out of reach, keep the remotes away from the kids. I have seen kids playing “crush the can” with a door after disabling the garage door safety sensor.
- Inspect the door every few months. make sure that the mounting brackets and tracks are still firmly secure, and that the rollers operate smoothly and without catching or hanging up at any point in travel.
- Especially if you live in the south, you may want to keep your garage doors closed, lest you receive unwanted visitors, like our friend pictured above.
Just a few common sense precautions will result in years of safe operation, and avoid unnecessary injury and property damage.