Princeton Capital Blog

Garage Door Safety Tips

March 26th, 2013

Open garage door in suburbanGarage Door Safety Tips

Today we’re going to look at a few different areas of garage door safety.  The first is keeping it well maintained so it works properly. The second is tips about being safe around children and pets. And the last is keeping your garage door secured so burglars cannot break in.

Garage Door Maintenance

Remember that your garage door opener uses electricity, which can shock or kill if mishandled. So unplug it before starting any maintenance.

Never attempt to repair a garage door’s springs or cables. These are under extreme tension and can cause severe injury or even death. Monitor their wear and tear periodically.  If they start to make strange noises, contact a professional to replace them before they break.

If someone has driven into the garage door, it’s a good idea to have the door inspected and/or repaired by a service professional. Even if the door doesn’t appear to be severely damaged, the track may have become misaligned and wear prematurely, creating a dangerous environment.

Periodically, unplug the garage door opener, and manually open the door to check if everything is well aligned and running smoothly. You may need to read the owner’s manual to find out how to properly disengage the automatic opener mechanism.

Twice a year, spray lubricant on the hinges, rollers, and track to keep everything moving smoothly.

Garage Door Safety

An automatic garage door should have safety mechanisms in place where they stop when they meet resistance. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work properly. And older style automatic garage door openers may not have this, and are still in use in houses built before 1993.

If you have younger children, review safety with them on a regular basis. They need to remember that the garage door and garage door opener are not toys, and someone could get seriously hurt.

Keep the remote controls away from small children, and have the push button wall control mounted above their reach (about 5 feet).

Never stand or walk under a moving garage door. Don’t try to enter or exit the garage by racing under a moving garage door.

When opening or closing the garage door, always keep the door in view until the door is fully opened or closed. Make certain that no adults, children or animals try to enter or exit while the door is closing. This is also important for safety as burglars sometimes slip in when you’ve started the door closing, and then drive off.

Garage Door Security

When on vacation, unplug the garage door opener unit or use a vacation lock console security switch, which renders remotes unusable and is an optional accessory to most openers.

If the opener does not have rolling-code technology, which changes the access codes each time the opener is used to prevent code grabbing, be sure to change the manufacturer’s standard access codes on the opener and remote control, or consider investing in a newer model with more safety and security features that are now standard.

A new trend in home invasion is gaining access to the home by stealing the opener or car. Never leave the remote control in the car or with a parking attendant or at the carwash.They can find out where you live by looking at your insurance or registration in the glovebox. Consider using a key chain remote and always lock the entry to the inside of your home – especially if your opener is programmed to your vehicle.

And, the most important thing is blocking burglars from using a coat hanger to open your garage door.  You can watch a video here on YouTube.  They can use the wire over the top of the door to pull on the emergency release handle allowing the door to be lifted right open.  So what can you do?

1. Shield the quick release lever with a blunt guard of some kind. You could make your own by cutting the bottom off of a plastiuc jug and threading it over the mechanism.  Also you can purchase a commercially made products at a home improvement store or on the Internet.

2. Cut off the toggle at the end of the emergency release pull cord so it could not also be hooked by a wire and pulled. The problem would be if you ever needed to use the emergency release, and there was no more pull cord.

3. Cover any windows on your garage door with blinds or special film to keep the crooks from seeing where the pull cord is, and also so they can’t see what’s in your garage.

Do you have an automatic garage door opener or is yours still manual?

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