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Garage Door Safety - Fifteen Simple Steps to Protect Your Family

    • 4797 posts
    December 3, 2021 12:07 AM HKT

    Accidents involving garage doors and automatic openers in homes injure people and damage property every year. Garage doors are the greatest and heaviest moving part in a home. Wood doors can weigh over 400 pounds and metal ones can exceed 100 pounds. Investing a couple of minutes to inspect these components at least once each year, or as recommended by producer, will help avoid tragic and costly accidents.

    These procedures affect sectional garage doors, the most frequent type. For doors without openers, disregard the opener related procedures. Consult the manufacturer's instructions for your door and opener. These instructions usually have diagrams that identify parts you should inspect and describe what to do if you have a problem.

    1. Disconnect the opener emergency release, WITH THE DOOR CLOSED. If the spring is improperly adjusted, the door could come crashing down in the event that you disconnect the opener with the door open.

    2. Observe the door hardware like the hinges, rollers, cables, cable drums, nuts and bolts, the bottom door seal and any side seals. Nuts and bolts ought to be tight. Moving parts should move freely. If an opener can be used, disconnect all ropes from the door to prevent injuring someone when it's operated.

    3. Check the track adjustement for garage door and mechanical stability. The tracks ought to be firmly attached with the framing. The points where the tracks affix to the ceiling needs to have a lateral brace to help keep the tracks from spreading and allowing the door to fall off the tracks.

    4. Observe the torsion spring, if any, above the middle of the door. It should be firmly attached with the framing. NEVER attempt to modify or else tamper with the torsion spring. Serious injury or death could result if the stress were improperly released.

    5. Test the door lock. If you have an opener, disable the door lock to prevent damaging the door or opener if the opener is operated while the door is locked. If you have no opener, the lock should operate properly.

    6. Operate the door manually. It will open and close freely without binding on the tracks and without requiring unusual force.

    7. Open the door about 1/2 way, and then open the door completely. It will stay static in each position unassisted. If it does not, have a skilled technician adjust the spring(s). Improperly adjusted springs are a security hazard and increase strain on the door opener.

    8. Reconnect the opener emergency release.

    9. Observe the attachment of the opener motor to the ceiling and the opener drive rail to the framing. Both ought to be firmly attached.

    10. Observe the opener operating controls and safety systems. The controls (button and external remote control) ought to be at the very least five feet above a floor (so small kids cannot reach them), and they must be within sight of the door. The reversing sensors ought to be no more than six inches above a floor at each side of the door. The emergency release cord ought to be attached with the trolley disconnect and hang no less than 6 feet above the floor.

    11. Observe the opener electrical connection, usually at the garage ceiling. The text should either be permanently attached to the electrical connection or it should be attached to a grounded 3 wire receptacle. Electrical cords, frayed wires, and spliced wires violate manufacturer's instructions and are a security hazard.

    12. Observe the opener operation. The door should fully open and close. Operation shouldn't include unusual sounds. If the opener works on the chain drive, the chain should usually be about 1/2" above the rail when the door is open. The opener light should turn on.

    13. Test the opener pressure reverse system. Place a 2x4 flat under the middle of the door and allow the door to close. It will reverse on experience of the 2x4. If it does not reverse, adjust the opener based on manufacturer's instructions.

    14. Test the opener reversing sensors. Interrupt the beam between the sensors while the door is closing. The door should reverse direction and open.

    15. Lubricate the door and the automatic opener based on manufacturer's instructions.

    These procedures take only some minutes per door. Following them may help in How to tune up garage doors and opener keep going longer and may help prevent injury or property damage.

    • 4797 posts
    December 3, 2021 12:54 AM HKT

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