Garage Door Safety Tips

May is Garage Door Safety Month and Banko Overhead Door is working to increase awareness of the possible hazards of garage doors and automatic opener systems as well as the need for periodic inspection and maintenance to keep you safe. The garage door is the largest moving object and can also cause series injury, or even death. If you have children, you should also take some time to teach them that garage doors are not playthings.

Garage doors were made safer in 1993 when the Consumer Product Safety Commission passed a law mandating that all garage door openers installed have an auto reversing feature and safety sensors that cause the door to reverse if the door meets an obstruction. However, it is still important to perform regular maintenance checks. Banko Overhead Doors recommends these garage door safety tips to insure garage doors are in proper working order. A garage door should provide many years of safe operation if it is installed, operated, and maintained properly.

  • Never stand or walk under a moving garage door.
  • Remember, your garage door opener uses electricity, which can shock or kill if mishandled.
  • Never attempt to repair a garage door springs or cables. These are under extreme tension.
  • Check Your Door Cables for Fraying.
  • Don’t Ignore A Squeaky Door.
  • Have a Trained Technician Install and Service Your Garage Door.
  • Have Containment Cables for Extension Springs.
  • Never Place your Fingers between the Door Sections.
  • Don’t Use an Old Track When Installing a New Door.
  • While on vacation, unplug the garage door opener unit or use a vacation lock to prevent entry while you’re gone.
  • Get Regular Service

Your garage door should provide many years of safe operation if it is installed, operated, and maintained properly. Here are some helpful safety tips.

  1. Replace Old Springs. Your garage door’s springs are arguably the most important and most dangerous part of your door. Springs wear out. When they break, injury can result. If you have an older garage door, have your springs inspected by a trained garage door technician and replaced if needed. If your door has two springs, it is recommended to have both replaced even if one is not broken. This will not only prevent any damage caused by the breaking of the second spring, but also keep your door working efficiently.
  2. Check Your Door Cables. Visually inspect the cables that attach the spring system to the bottom brackets on both sides of the door. If these cables are frayed or worn, they are at risk of breaking, which can create a potentially hazardous situation. Due to the hazards associated with high spring tension, these cables should be replaced only by a trained garage door technician.
  3. Squeaky Springs? Springs can squeak and be noisy. This is caused by normal use and does not necessarily indicate a problem. Before calling a trained door systems technician, coat the springs with a spray-on lubricant recommended especially for garage doors. If the noise persists, call a trained garage door technician for service.
  4. A Do-It-Yourselfer, Eh? Most consumers choose to have their doors installed by trained door systems technicians. These professionals are trained in the challenging and time consuming task of door installation, and have tools and background to install your door properly.
  5. Containment Cables for Extension Springs. If your garage door has extension springs, a containment cable should run through each spring and should be connected to the wall or ceiling at each end. When your garage door is closed, extension springs are under high tension. If a spring breaks, a potentially hazardous situation can result. A containment cable can keep that broken spring contained. If you have extension springs but do not have containment cables, call Banko Overhead Doors for a safety inspection.
  6. Struggling With Your Door? If your door does not go up and down smoothly and easily, you may have an unsafe condition. Even older door systems should operate smoothly and easily. If this operational difficulty continues when the door is manually operated, you may have a spring system that is out of balance. This can cause premature wear and tear on other important door components. Repairing or replacing spring systems can be hazardous, and should be accomplished only by trained door systems technicians.
  7. Watch Your Fingers! If your door lacks pinch-resistant joints, you should have lift handles or suitable gripping points on the inside and outside of the door. Even if your door has a motor operator, the door must occasionally be operated manually. Never place your fingers between the door sections. If you manually open or close the door, use the lift handles or gripping points!
  8. Don’t Touch the Bottom Brackets! Since the bottom brackets on a garage door are connected to the door’s springs, these brackets are constantly under extreme tension. They should be adjusted only by a trained door systems technician.
  9. Use the 5-Foot Rule. Make sure the garage door opener is out of the reach of small children by using the 5-foot rule – openers should be mounted at least 5 feet above the floor. If garage door openers are played with and misused, it can cause serious injury.
  10. Do not leave your garage door partially open! When activated, it can come downward and hit something in its path. A partially open door also becomes a weakness in your home security giving burglars another possible entrance.
  11. Use the Old Track? When buying a replacement garage door, some homeowners are tempted to save a few dollars by putting the new door on the old track. However, your old track may not fit with your new door, depending on the thickness of your sections, the weight of the door, the headroom required, the location of the garage door operator, and other considerations. The track and sections work together as a system. For maximum performance and longer life, you should use the track that is designed and supplied for your specific door.
  12. Regular Service. Your garage door is probably the largest, heaviest moving object in your home and is typically used every day. Over time, parts can wear out and break, creating potential hazards. Although you should conduct monthly safety checks and provide regular limited maintenance to your garage door system, an annual visit from a trained door systems technician can keep your door operating safely and smoothly for a long time. Keep your garage door working properly with annual maintenance checks.
  13. Man the Manual. Keep the owner’s manuals for your door and operator near the door for easy reference. Every model of door and operator has specific safety instructions unique to that model. Where is your manual? For a replacement copy, contact Banko Overhead Doors.