safety-signOlder homes, even those built 15 years ago, often do not meet current safety standards when it comes to automatic garage doors.  Every year, injuries and even deaths, primarily to children occur.

First, to ensure that your garage door is safe, you can always install a modern, new system that meets today’s standards.  This includes the electric eye which is aligned with the opening and mounted to the side four to six inches off the floor.  This “eye” then senses when there is any obstruction in the path of the garage door and reverses the door before it hits anything.

Older systems may reverse, but only after contact, causing injury or damage.  Garage doors built before 1982 do not reverse.  It is recommended by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) that these doors be replaced with the auto reverse models because it will significantly reduce property and personal injury.

Secondly, regular testing of your garage door once a month with regular maintenance and repairs are recommended as well by the CPSC.  Check the owner’s manual or contact the automatic opener’s manufacturer for specific maintenance procedures.

The safety guidelines are primarily aimed at parents of young children.  They promote the prevention of children from “beating” the door or playing with garage-door remote controls.  The keypad wall control should be out of children’s reach and in a location where the moving door is clearly visible. There should be an emergency release in the event that someone is pinned by the door.

Basic maintenance includes cleaning, oiling and a shot of graphite for the lock.  Cleaning the tracks and applying a light machine oil (not to plastic parts) and or silicon lubricant onto oil door rollers, bearings and hinges will generally keep your garage door opening and closing smoothly.

There are three basic tests you can do for the safety of your garage door’s operation.

The first test is checking the balance by opening the door manually.  It should lift easily and stay open about three to four feet above the floor.

The second test is to test the force setting by holding the bottom of the garage door as it closes.  With moderate resistance, the garage door should reverse.  If it doesn’t, then the force setting needs to be adjusted.

The third test is the reversing test which is done by placing a 2 by 4 block in the path of the door.  The garage door should immediately reverse on hitting the block.

Performing this garage door maintenance and testing procedure regularly will ensure the safety in the operation of your overhead door and help to prevent injury.

Call Best Overhead Doors now for a professional maintenance check on the safety of your garage door!