Your garage door keeps your family secure, compliments the architectural style of your home, and can even help you save money on energy bills. You may take it for granted, but because it’s a large, moving object, it’s important always to make sure you practice garage door safety. After all, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System reports that hospitals see around 15,000 garage door injuries each year. By taking a few minutes to learn the following tips, you can ensure that you, your family, and your friends do not become part of those statistics.
1. Ensure the button you press to open your garage door is out of the reach of young children who might be tempted to play with it. Installing it at least 5 feet off the floor is recommended.
2. Do not allow children — or adults — to play with the door. Many people try to run to see if they can beat a moving door, but this is the perfect setup for injury. Don’t allow children to play with the garage remote either.
3. Inspect your garage door monthly to make sure it is working properly. If you see signs of wear and tear, repair it or call in a professional to take a look at the more complicated issues.
4. Keep your garage neat and orderly. You may have a tendency to store everything from your holiday decorations to your sports equipment in the garage. Not only is clutter and debris a fire hazard, but as it piles up, it can block your garage door from working properly.
5. Don’t leave your garage door remote control in your vehicle. Thieves look for this when they want to break into a home, and having access to it puts them one step closer to getting there.
6. If your garage door has windows, consider covering or frosting them, so those thieves can’t see inside. If the time comes to replace your door, consider buying one without windows to remove the problem completely.
7. Make sure your garage door has an auto reverse feature. Test it regularly by placing a roll of paper towels in the way so that it will close on it. If it touches the paper towels and reverses, it is working properly. If not, you may need to hire a professional to make some repairs.
8. Keep your garage door closed when not in use. Leaving it partially open can be a major safety hazard, as it may not go in the direction you think it will when you go to operate it again. It also invites thieves to steal anything inside or get a look at the layout of your doors for a later break-in.
9. When you go on vacation, consider unplugging the garage door. If someone did steal your remote or code, this prevents them from getting inside.
10. Be careful when making repairs. While some tasks are easy for homeowners to do themselves, others can be extremely dangerous, such as replacing tension cables or springs or dealing with the electrical aspects of the door. It’s best to call a professional for these issues.