The Peak Parts for Your Safety05/08/2014 Back To Blog
The pink roses, bright yellow poppy flowers and daises embracing the sides of this beautiful overhead door catch your eye. The “on sale” sign at the front yard of this house signifies that this might be the house of your dreams until a small gap under the garage door draws your attention. You come a bit closer and your husband argues that this will be a great security hazard while you can't help but complement his words with similar worries mainly concentrated on the safety of your children. Suddenly, the house of your dreams doesn't look as a very good idea after all. The cost of garage door repairs might exceed your budget and till then your family will be at risk.
So, there is a lot at stake when garage doors are not in their best shape. Surely potential buyers will have second thoughts and if the problem is immense, your home will not look good in the first place either. Most significantly, homeowners will constantly worry about their security and surely about their own safety. All because you failed to do garage door maintenance at the right time!
The odd thing is that we install strong overhead sectional doors in order to ensure the security of our car, personal stuff we keep in the garage, valuables and of the whole house. In the long run, we discover that all the more people stop worrying so much about their security and talk about safety issues. Is that a paradox? It is certainly not! The smallest problem with any of the parts might make the whole system problematic and actually lead to injuries. Damaged garage door tracks that won't allow the full and smooth rolling of the wheels causing the door to remain a tad open will certainly be a significant security issue. In fact, many perpetrators take advantage of such small or bigger weaknesses and enter properties from the garage.
Though, the safety hazard caused by malfunctioned garage systems is of the utmost importance, too. It's not peculiar that the percentages of official statistics about accidents reported are related to damaged garage door springs and other components. In the case of springs, the components are a hazard themselves. Other parts might not snap and, thus, they won't hurt you but they will cause other problems, which will make the door unstable and unreliable. So, let's focus on these parts. Which ones are the most dangerous ones? Can they really be significant potential hazards and why? What we should do about it?
Find out more about the potential hazards and protect your family
It's not a question of bad systems but a question of proper installation, use and maintenance. A large number of people get injured because they insist on attempting to fix their roll up garage door on their own. Some people are injured because they neglect the basic, golden rules. They might approach the parts closely just to check the springs but chances are that the spring might snap, hands get caught in between joints, eyes get irritated from debris collected in the tracks and the ladder might fall dragging you along on the floor. Keeping away from the door is the best way to avoid injuries. After all, don't forget that people have also been amputated or even died due to malfunctioned systems.
Is it due to badly manufactured garage doors? Although it is not fair to exclude such a possibility, on the other hand manufacturers scrutinize the process of garage door production and construction to the last detail and are obliged to follow certain specifications and rules. For this reason, the new electric garage door openers are definitely safe and additionally they integrate a number of safety features to help people have better protection. The problem is that people ignore rules. They might even like to play with fire. Consider the following top list of the most hazardous parts of your system or parts that could lead to major safety problems.
- Garage door springs. These parts are always at the top of all safety hazard lists. This is not peculiar at all. After all, they are by nature dangerous due to the tension hidden in the coils. That's the purpose of having a spring. If you think of the power tiny bed springs have, for example, imagine the energy hidden in garage door springs! Since their role is to lift garage panels, which weigh at least 400 pounds, it is natural that springs are made to carry such heavy loads and they are installed accordingly.
The question is: are they installed properly? Don't forget that springs will also need lubrication maintenance and periodical checking. The easiest way to understand whether your springs work fine is to disconnect the automatic opener, move the door manually mid of the way and check whether it stands still or not. It's supposed to stand in place or the springs will need replacement.
- The sensors. There is a very serious reason why the new electric openers must have photo eyes, timers and safety sensors integrated according to the 1993 UL 325 regulations. They are the best solution to keep overhead door systems safe. They can protect people from getting caught under a collapsing door. Don't forget that children can be naughty. They always try to prove that they are faster and smarter. They will speed under the closing door despite of your instructions and malfunctioned sensors won't save their life should anything goes wrong with the garage mechanism. After all, pets run similar risks.
Most definitely, sensors are not to be blamed. The door won't collapse because the sensors won't work but because some other garage door parts are not working right. Though, keeping the sensors in excellent condition will help you prevent an accident. After all, checking the sensors is easy. You just have to make sure they are clean and, most importantly, well adjusted. They must face each other and reverse the door when you place a small object under its path.
- Joints. Do you know how easily fingers get injured from panel joints? It's good to remember that garage doors have several hidden points, where your fingers can be easily caught. It's not odd that most victims of such accidents are small kids. They like to put their hands everywhere and it is your job to protect them. Do you remember what you usually tell your children about putting their hands on the hot stove? You must give them similar instructions for the garage door joints as well.
- Tracks and rollers. When these parts are worn and the garage door tracks are dented, there is a high chance that the door might get jammed. It is also highly possible for the door to come off tracks and this might compromise your safety if you are standing by. The combination of having secured and well lubricated tracks with strong rollers will ensure the proper movement of the door. It will not vibrate, jam or move half way and then stop but it will open and close all the way and properly.
- Loose parts. We usually underestimate the importance of small parts and of weird sounds. Remember that the tiny parts, like the garage door brackets, bolts and nuts, keep the larger ones in place. When they are loose, there will be intense vibrations as the door is moving and a higher possibility of accidents. Don't forget that hinges hold the panel in place, the opener is secured on an angle iron and the tracks on brackets, and nuts and bolts ensure that these parts remain well-secured and complete the cycle of the door without problems, loud noises and vibrations.
- Remote controls. These tiny devices might be the best accessories for your safety but they can also be a great safety hazard when used by children. They might find the clicker a very amusing game. What's more entertaining than seeing the door coming up and down while pushing a few buttons! The child might push the button and then rush under the door to prove he can make it outside before the panel closes down.
This is the usual “speeding” game of children and perhaps the most dangerous one, especially if your sensors are not in their best working condition. In any case, keeping the remote hidden and placing the switch for the opener on the wall up high and out of the kids' reach is smart and one of the most effective preventive measures.
- Be careful of the door. When you need to use the emergency release cord or check the door, make sure you stand in a safe distance. You cannot risk the door closing down on you. For the same reason, don't stand under the door for any reason. People forget the safety hazards and engage in various activities exactly under the open panel. Are you sure it is perfectly safe? Who can guarantee that? Plus, don't press the garage opener remote to close the door behind you before your car has fully entered in the garage. Otherwise, it might be damaged by a faulty door.
- Unplug the electric opener. Although garage door repair is not your job, if you decide to check any part of the system or engage in any small task, make sure the electric opener is disconnected. You never know with electricity and you don't want to take your chances.
As an overall, accidents may happen for many reasons:
1. Improper installation of the door
2. Poor maintenance
3. Improper use of the garage system
4. Negligence to repair small problems
5. Interference with things you know little about
6. Children messing with the remote
The secret of having a safe garage system is service and periodical checking and testing of the parts. Though, it is vital to remember that the best handyman cannot handle garage door problems and there is always a risk of getting injured while you are trying to fix something. So, if you insist on checking closely and repairing some problematic parts, you must at least wear safety glasses and thick gloves. It is also crucial to speak to your child about the dangers of the garage mechanism and take some action in regard to their safety.
Maintenance is surely the best way to avoid accidents. Keeping an eye on these particular parts of the mechanism and actually to the entire system is vital but since there is no full guarantee that there will be nothing wrong with your system, keep away from it. Perhaps the best way to ensure safety and avoid problems and injuries is to know which parts are more dangerous, how to keep your distance and how to react when the mechanism is kind of noisy. Knowledge is certainly power! If you know the dangers behind the convenience and beauty of your glass doors, what it takes to keep them in perfect condition and how to avoid accidents, you can keep your family safe.
Besides, it's good to keep in mind that the garage is not only used to park the car. We all use it to store things and mostly to carry out everyday activities and projects. We do our laundry, keep our gym, relax or watch television and for a great number of more reasons. The more you spend time in the garage the more you need to make sure the garage door won't give you any trouble. Imagine inviting a friendly couple over for the weekend and use your garage as the guest room. What will happen if the springs suddenly break? Of course, you cannot predict everything and although modern garage systems are safe and strong, you may never know what parts will break or cause problems and when. So, it's best to invest in their good installation and maintenance. Prevention is always best and basically the only thing you can do to avoid the worse possible scenario!