Is Your Garage Door Safe?

All garage doors can be very dangerous if the proper safety precautions are not followed. The largest moving object in your home is what? You guessed it … the garage door. While offering us the convenience of parking under cover to protect ourselves and our cars from the elements, they come with substantial risks to consider.

First of all is the weight of the door, which can range from 100 to 400 pounds. Since all garage doors operate with at least one spring to act as a counterweight, even the heaviest door might feel weightless. But what happens when the spring breaks? If the door is open, it will come crashing down to the floor smashing anything in its way. If the door is closed, the danger comes from the spring flying across the garage with the force of a missile.

Secondly, if you have an automatic garage door opener attached to your door, is the force in which it pushes and pulls on the door. To test this force, manufacturers recommend placing a block of wood on the floor and closing the door on it. If the door reverses and opens completely, it’s considered safe.

Shawn Hoyle, owner of Joe’s Genie Sales & Service is very safety conscious and uses a more realistic approach. He recommends using a new roll of paper towels instead of the block of wood. Hoyle says that, “this will give you a better understanding of what can happen if a small child or pet would become trapped under a closing garage door”. “Even if the door reverses, it can still cause serious injury if it is not adjusted correctly.”

If your garage door opener was purchased after July 1996, it should have an infrared beam reversing system. This safety feature consists of a transmitter and receiver located on either side of the garage door just above the floor. If the invisible beam is obstructed, the door will simply reverse and open back up. The infrared system is strongly recommended by Hoyle for any household with children. “Kids are a major part of my life and I consider safety for every child that I can”, stresses Hoyle.

Some things you can do to prevent injury or property damage from a garage door:

  1. Always watch your garage door open and close to be sure no one is in the way. Never run under or drive under a moving garage door, a spring gives no warning before it breaks.
  2. Test the force reversing system of your opener once a month by closing the door on a new roll of paper towels. Also test the infrared beam reversing system if your garage door is equipped with one.
  3. Inspect the lifting cables for any signs of rust or fraying. If wear or damage is suspected, the cables should be replaced immediately. Check the overall condition of the door panels, track, and hardware. Look for any loose or missing nuts or screws.
  4. Call an experienced garage door service professional to inspect, repair or replace your garage door or opener.
    Joe’s Genie Sales & Service of Alliance offers free safety inspections of garage doors and openers to Alliance area homeowners. Shawn can be reached at 330-823-9004.

© 2019 Joe’s Genie Sales and Service LLC