SAFETY TIPS FOR GARAGE DOORS & OPENERS
- Replace Old Springs. Your garage door’s springs are one of the most important parts of your door. Unfortunately springs wear out and can become the most dangerous part of your door resulting in serious injury. If you have an older garage door, have your springs inspected by a professional serviceman and replaced if needed. If your door has two springs, replace both, even if only one is broken. This will prevent any damage caused by the breaking of the second spring, and make your door last longer.
- Check Your 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 in danger of breaking, which can cause injury. Due to the dangers associated with high spring tension, these cables should be replaced only by a trained technician.
- Squeaky Springs? Springs can squeak and be noisy. This is caused by normal use and does not necessarily indicate a problem. Before calling a professional service technician, use a spray-on lubricant (recommended especially for garage doors). If the noise persists, call a professional garage door installer for service.
- A Do-It-Yourselfer, huh? Garage door installation can be dangerous and isn’t recommended for those inexperienced. DASMA recommends that professional door systems technicians install garage doors. If you need to attempt the installation by yourself, closely follow the manufacturer’s installation guide carefully.
- Safety Cables. Does your Garage door have extension springs? If not, you should install a safety cable that runs through the spring and is secured to the wall/ceiling at each end. When your garage door is closed, extension springs are under high tension. If the spring breaks with someone around, it may cause injury. A safety cable can keep a broken spring contained. If you have extension springs but no safety cable, call your local garage door dealer for a safety inspection.
- Struggling Door? If your door does not easily go up and down, you may have a problem and unsafe condition. Even older garage door systems should operate smoothly. If the door is still moving awkwardly when the door is manually operated, your door may have a spring system that is out of balance. This can cause extra wear and tear on other important door components. Again, spring systems can be dangerous so they should be repaired by trained professionals.
- Watch Your Fingers! Every year, many unsuspecting homeowners injure their fingers by pulling down on the door with their fingers between the panels. According to DASMA Standard 116, if your door doesn’t have pinch-resistant joints, you should have special handles or gripping points on the inside and outside of the door. Even if your door has an opener, the door should be manually operable. Never place your fingers between the door’s panels. If you do manually open or close your garage door, use the handles or the safe gripping points!
- Tamper-Resistant Brackets. The bottom brackets on a garage door are connected to the door’s springs which are under extreme tension. Only a trained door systems technician should adjusted any part of your garage door system. Many manufacturers include tamper-resistant technology that prevents loosening of the brackets by a novice, but you still should be aware of these brackets.
- Use the Old Track? If you’re replacing your garage door, don’t be tempted to save a few dollars by putting a new door on the old track. Know that your old track may not fit with your new door, because there are many factors for compatibility. Thickness of your sections, weight of the door, headroom required, location of the garage door opener, and other considerations should all be taken seriously. The track and sections work together as a system so for maximum performance and extended life, you should use the track that is specifically designed for your new door.
- Regular Service. Your garage door is most likely the largest moving part in your home and is used every day. Over time, parts can wear out or break, creating potential safety issues. An annual visit from a trained garage door systems technician will keep your door operating properly for a long time.
- Man the Manual. Keep your owner’s manuals in the garage for easy reference. Each door and opener model has specific safety instructions unique to it. Where is your manual?
SAFETY TIPS FOR GARAGE DOOR OPENERS
- Do It Yourself? Installing a garage door opener is typically easier than installing an actual garage door, but improper installation can be problematic. DASMA recommends that a trained garage door system technician install your opener, but if you do it yourself, follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
- Not in Sight? Not Safe! When closing your garage door with a push button or remote control, you should always wait until the door is completely closed. This ensures no person or animal gets caught under a closing door. A few seconds can save a severe injury.
- Have a Reinforcement Bracket? Some do-it-yourselfers forget to install an opener reinforcement bracket on the top section of the door. Failure to do this can damage your door. All Do-it-yourselfers should double check the installation manual for instructions.
- Get a More Powerful Opener? If your door feels unusually heavy, it’s probably out of balance and needs adjustment. Many problems can be the cause, and if you try to fix it yourself, you could get hurt. Call a trained door systems technician to diagnose any problems and offer solutions. The answer is not a more powerful garage door opener. Openers are designed to open doors that are properly balanced.
- The Six-Inch Rule.Photo eyes should not be installed more than six inches above the garage floor. If they are installed higher, you run the risk of a person or pet not getting detected by the photo eyes.
- The Five-Foot Rule. The push button for your garage door should be at least five feet above the floor so it’s out of the reach of children. Teach your children to not play with the garage door.
- Do You Know Where Your Remote Controls Are? For the reasons mentioned above, keep remote controls for your garage where children cannot play with them. Warn your children of the dangers of playing with a garage door. Also, be sure to keep your remote controls locked up. If you park a car outside, be sure to lock your car so no unwanted people can access your remote and garage door.
- Rolling Codes. Some thieves use technology to “record” your transmitter’s signal. Then, after you’ve left, they replay that signal to open your door. If your transmitter (the remote control) has rolling code technology, no one can replay your signal. This renders the thieves’ technology useless. Contact your garage door opener manufacturer or one of our garage door service personnel for more information.