Garage Door Safety Month
June is Garage Door Safety Month!
The sun is shining over Cincinnati, and it seems like the entire city is outside enjoying these much-awaited warmer days. Between kids playing, pets roaming the yard, and DIY projects (finally) getting built, a ton of activity tends to take place in and around the garage during the sunny season. With all that bustle and back-and-forth, accidents are prone to happen—especially if you aren’t properly prepared. June is Garage Door Safety Month, so why not take a few moments to check up on your garage’s entrance and make sure it’s ready for the summer? Keep reading for some tips and advice courtesy of America’s garage door specialists at NationServe.
Are garage doors dangerous?
They probably aren’t the first thing that come to mind when you think about household safety hazards, but automatic garage doors send thousands of Americans to the emergency room every year. Even worse, incidents involving garage doors claim the lives of three children, on average, annually in the United States. The most common types of injuries caused by garage doors in American cities like Cincinnati involve:
- Fingers (or other body parts) getting caught between door panels
- People, especially children, getting trapped under a closing door
- DIY repairs gone wrong
The good news? The number of injuries and deaths has plummeted ever since stricter safety measures targeting garage door manufacturers were implemented in the mid-1990s. All garage doors manufactured after 1993, for example, must be equipped with “seeing eyes” photo eye sensors that automatically reverses the direction of the door if something—or someone—is in its path. But even though modern garage doors are a lot safer than those from a few decades ago, it’s still important to regularly make sure they’re in proper working order. Better safe than sorry, as they say.
Garage door safety tips
When’s the last time you tested your garage door’s photo eyes or inspected its springs for rust? Don’t let a preventable accident ruin your summer fun. Here’s a list of recommendations for keeping your garage door safe and secure:
- Inspect your garage door’s springs, pulleys, rollers, and cables monthly for signs of wear, but don’t touch anything. These components are under high tension and could seriously injure you if you aren’t sure what you’re doing. If you notice something’s amiss, let a trained garage door repair technician take over.
- Remind your kids that garage doors are dangerous and supervise them whenever they’re near the garage. Tell them to keep their fingers far away from the gaps between door sections and to stay clear of the garage door when it’s in motion.
- Even the most modern garage door sensors can malfunction. Never attempt to duck under a closing door.
- Make sure the opener switch or button is out of your little ones’ reach, and don’t let kids play with the garage door remote.
- Test your garage door’s reversal mechanism every month by placing a two-by-four or paper towel roll in the door’s path. The door’s photo eyes should detect the item and reverse the door. If it fails to stop the door from closing, call a repair technician right away.
- If your garage door(s) were manufactured before 1993, we strongly recommend that you have them replaced with newer models equipped with photo eyes and a reversal mechanism.
Don’t stop at the door
Your garage is more than just a place to park your car, especially during the summer. From Fourth of July celebrations to woodworking projects, the whole family has many reasons to hang out in the garage. In addition to keeping the door in good condition, here are a few things you can do to ensure the overall safety of your garage:
- Keep it clean. Not only is it a lot more enjoyable to spend time in a tidy garage, but it’s safer, too. A cluttered garage is full of hazards: improperly stored items might fall and injure someone; a messy floor is a recipe for trips and tumbles.
- Make sure dangerous items, such as sharp tools and toxic chemicals, are properly stored. Keep combustible products (gas, oil, paints) away from heat sources, including radiators, appliances, and direct sunlight. Don’t store propane tanks in your garage; they’re designed to withstand the elements, so it’s safer to leave them outdoors.
- Equip your garage with a smoke detector, a carbon monoxide detector, and a fire extinguisher, and test them regularly.
- Consider investing in additional safety features such as textured flooring designed to prevent falls or extra lighting above your workbench.
Keep your family safe in and around the garage this summer by following common-sense safety rules and monitoring the condition of your garage door. Want to have it inspected? Looking for a place that sells garage door openers? Call NationServe for all your garage door installation, maintenance, and repair needs in Cincinnati.