How You Can Prevent Unnecessary Garage Door Accidents

Most garage doors today are equipped with advanced safety features, but when they’re not well maintained, serious and sometimes even fatal accidents can occur. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), thousands of injuries are caused each year by accidents involving garage doors. Unfortunately, many of these accidents involve children who get hurt while playing with the garage door opener, remote, or keypad. Other common causes of garage door-related injuries and property damage include DIY projects gone wrong, malfunctioning safety features, and neglect of routine garage door maintenance.

Here’s what you can do to prevent garage door accidents from happening at your home.

Have your garage door professionally installed

Serious garage door accidents can occur when attempting to install the door yourself instead of having a professional do the job. Garage doors are very heavy and held under extreme tension by cables and springs. If something in the apparatus snaps during the installation process, it could send the entire door crashing down on you. Plus, without the right expertise, you could end up putting the door together incorrectly, which could cause it to malfunction and/or breakdown. A certified garage door technician will be able to do the job right the first time and make sure that all important safety features are correctly installed.

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Inspect your garage door monthly

The best way to prevent accidents caused by malfunctioning garage doors is to catch problems early. Once a month, stand inside your garage with the door closed and inspect your door’s cables, springs, rollers, and mounting hardware for signs of rust, wear, and damage. If something doesn’t look quite right—or if you notice any strange sounds when opening and closing the door—you should request a service call with a NationServe technician in case it’s a symptom of a serious issue. For more about garage door upkeep, check out our maintenance tips.

Test your opener’s reversing mechanism and safety sensor beams

Garage doors manufactured after January 1, 1993, are required by law to be equipped with an anti-entrapment device and photoelectric eye sensor beams to prevent injuries and fatalities. These features direct your garage door to automatically reverse if they detect on obstacle in its pathway. If your garage door isn’t equipped with a reversing mechanism or photo eyes, we strongly recommend that you replace and/or upgrade your garage door system immediately.

You can test your door’s anti-entrapment features by placing a piece of wood underneath the door and seeing if it reverses when it touches the wood. To test your door’s photo eyes (mounted just above the ground on either side of your garage door), press the button on your remote or keypad to close the door and then run a piece of wood through the sensor beam. If the door doesn’t automatically reverse in either situation, contact a NationServe technician right away and we will get back to you within 24 business hours with an appointment.

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Choose a garage door opener with integrated safety features

At NationServe, many of our garage door openers are equipped with advanced security features that help keep you and your family safe. These features include motion activated lights for preventing accidents and discouraging intruders, battery backup so you can open and close your door even when the power is out, smart monitoring for controlling your door from your phone or tablet, and the latest in photoelectric eye sensor beams so that the door won’t accidentally close on a child, animal, or vehicle. When choosing a new opener, opt for a model that has all the latest safety solutions.

Don’t attempt major repairs yourself

Although it’s a good idea to know how to clean and lubricate your garage door yourself, you should avoid attempting major repairs on your own. Unless you have professional experience working with garage door systems, performing major repairs is very risky and could put everyone in your household in danger. Never attempt to fix a door that’s off balance or replace a broken torsion spring on your own. These types of situations could easily lead to safety issues for you or a member of your family. Follow best safety practises and contact a NationServe technician instead.

Teach your kids about garage door safety

Too often, it’s children who are the victims of garage door accidents, so it’s important to teach them about garage door safety starting at a young age. Explain to your kids how garage doors work and how dangerous they can be if you’re not careful around them or if one of their parts breaks. Emphasize that they shouldn’t play around the garage door and that the garage door remote control shouldn’t be treated like a toy. Consider mounting the opener keypad on the wall out of reach of young children.

Avoid disaster and schedule professional tune-ups every year

Once a year or so, call in one of our garage door specialists to look over your garage door and make sure there are no accidents waiting to happen. A certified garage door technician will be able to identify potential safety hazards, such as problems with the door’s balance and alignment, torsion springs, and auto-reverse safety features. These types of issues sometimes go undetected until disaster occurs. In addition to ensuring your family’s safety, planned garage door maintenance can save you money in repairs and replacements, add value to your home, and extend the overall lifespan of your door.

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Team Up with America’s Garage Door Specialists to Keep You Safe!

At NationServe, we are committed to supplying high-quality Wayne Dalton garage doors and installing, maintaining, and repairing garage doors and garage door accessories that keep our customers across the United States of America safe. Contact us today to learn more about our products and services or find a NationServe location near you!