Garage door safety is serious business. Although you may not think about it often, your garage door is the largest, heaviest moving part in or around your home. Understanding your equipment and its proper operation is crucial, as is teaching children the importance of garage door safety. An experienced maintenance and repair service is also critical to keeping your system in good working order. Read on for some important safety tips to use at home.
Become Familiar with Your Equipment and Test Regularly
Whether you installed your garage door equipment yourself or it was already in your home when you purchased it, the first step is to familiarize yourself with its components and their proper operation. Start by reading your owner's manual, reviewing each part of the door system visually as you go and testing it according to the directions. Locate the emergency release latch and ensure that you can operate it correctly. Instruct your family members in this procedure as well, and have them take turns demonstrating their competency in using it. Once each month, test the reversing function and visually inspect all sprints, rollers, cables, track and hardware. Finally, keep your manual and service records in a handy location, easily accessible in case of emergency.
Children and Garage Doors Don't Mix
The weight of your overhead door can deliver a deadly blow to children and adults alike. Never allow children to play with the garage equipment, automatic opener, transmitter or remote devices. Always keep remotes safely out of reach, but teach children the risks associated with the system as well, as they may encounter similar situations at the home of friends or family members. Teach them never to dodge under a moving door, and set a good example with your own actions in this regard. Ensure that wall-mounted controls are out of the reach of children, but within sight of the door. Teach children never to touch or tamper with springs and other components of the door system. Finally, keep little fingers from being pinched. If your door doesn't have pinch-resistant joints installed between the door sections, teach kids to only touch the door handles or, better yet, to simply stay well clear of the door when it is in motion.
Utilize a Licensed Garage Door Contractor
The Door and Access Systems Manufacturers' Association advises homeowners that the most effective way to keep garage door and automatic opener systems safe is to utilize the services of a trained door systems technician for regular inspection and maintenance services. Although monthly homeowner inspections are especially helpful for identifying potential problems before they escalate, many conditions may not be apparent to the untrained eye. In addition, many maintenance tasks require both the experience and specialized equipment used by garage door contractors. For example, the brackets located at the bottom of your door are tamper-resistant, designed to prevent criminals from loosening them in order to gain access to your home. If these brackets require adjustment to ensure complete closing, this must be performed using those specialized tools.
Using a combination of education and good safety practices will go a long way toward protecting your family, but there's more. If you haven't had a professional garage door inspection in the past 12 months, contact a local company today to schedule service.
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