Have you ever heard the story about a young couple who came home one night to find their cat dead? Sadly, it laid smashed, right under the spot where the garage door came down. The couple was understandably upset and quickly realized the sensor on the door failed. The sensor was designed to retreat if it came in touch with an object.
They also rapidly learned garage doors sometimes have a mind of their own if not properly maintained. If you think about this important part of your car’s home and implement some crucial safety measures, you may be able to prevent another accident.
Here are a few tips:
1. Make sure to instruct your family that garage doors are not toys.
2. Never allow anyone to try to “beat the closing” of the door. Don’t stand or walk underneath a moving door.
3. When closing it, make sure there are no people, pets, hands or fingers within the exit range.
4. Do an annual check up for continual safe operation by a professional service representative. Learn some simple maintenance jobs you can do as well in the interim but don’t ever attempt to repair one yourself.
5. Always keep in mind it uses electricity and can shock or kill if abused.
6. Always have it inspected by a service technician if someone has backed into or rammed your door. Accidents happen and misalignment can result.
The pressure from garage doors can be as much as 400 pounds. In order to prevent deadly accidents with children or pets, you can ask your service technician to lower the sensors a few feet in order to prevent someone or something underneath from setting them off unnecessarily. This is a terrific idea if you have small children in your family or neighborhood.
There are a few things you can do to maintain the safety of these doors.
– Stop and do a monthly visual inspection while standing inside the garage. Look for any broken parts or loose hardware. Listen for unusual sounds upon opening and closing.
– Put a piece of wood in the path of the door, close the door and watch to see if the sensors are working properly. If they are, the door should retreat easily when it comes in contact with the wood.
– Periodically check the beam by waving a broomstick in front of it. If it doesn’t, try cleaning the sensor “eye” with a soft cloth.
A very important tip is to apply a small amount of a good spray lubricant to the rollers, tracks and hinges. This should be done about twice a year.
Using a garage door to keep your car and the contents of its home safe and secure is extremely important. In my opinion, I wouldn’t want to do without one. But garage doors can be killers. Let’s do all we can to ensure our family and pets are safe.