Your garage door should provide many years of safe operation if it is installed, operated, and maintained properly. Here are some helpful safety tips.
NOTE: This list is not intended to be a comprehensive list of every safety precaution. Always consult your manufacturer’s installation or instruction manual for safety information about your door model.
WARNING: Garage door springs, bottom brackets, red colored fasteners, cables and supports are under extreme tension, and can cause serious injury or death.
GARAGE DOOR SAFETY TIPS
Your garage door’s springs are arguably the most important and most dangerous part of your door. Springs wear out. When they break, injury can result. If you have an older garage door, have your springs inspected by a trained door systems technician and replaced if needed. If your door has two springs, have both replaced even if one is not broken. This will not only prevent any damage caused by the breaking of the second spring, but also keep your door working efficiently.
Visually inspect the cables that attach the spring system to the bottom brackets on both sides of the door. If these cables are frayed or worn, they are at risk of breaking, which can create a potentially hazardous situation. Due to the hazards associated with high spring tension, these cables should be replaced only by a trained door systems technician.
This is caused by normal use and does not necessarily indicate a problem. Before calling a trained door systems technician, coat the springs with a spray-on lubricant recommended especially for garage doors. If the noise persists, call a trained door systems technician for service.
Most consumers choose to have their doors installed by trained door systems technicians. These professionals are trained in the challenging and time consuming task of door installation, and have tools and background to install your door properly. If you attempt the installation by yourself, be sure you are confident in your skills and training, and possess and use the right tools for the job. Before beginning, make sure you thoroughly read and understand the manufacturer’s installation instructions, and then meticulously follow those instructions.
If your garage door has extension springs, a containment cable should run through each spring and should be connected to the wall or ceiling at each end. When your garage door is closed, extension springs are under high tension. If a spring breaks, a potentially hazardous situation can result. A containment cable can keep that broken spring contained. If you have extension springs but do not have containment cables, call your local dealer for a safety inspection.
If your door does not go up and down smoothly and easily, you may have an unsafe condition. Even older door systems should operate smoothly and easily. If this operational difficulty continues when the door is manually operated, you may have a spring system that is out of balance. This can cause premature wear and tear on other important door components. Repairing or replacing spring systems can be hazardous, and should be accomplished only by trained door systems technicians.
If your door lacks pinch-resistant joints, you should have lift handles or suitable gripping points on the inside and outside of the door. Even if your door has a motor operator, the door must occasionally be operated manually. Never place your fingers between the door sections. If you manually open or close the door, use the lift handles or gripping points!
Since the bottom brackets on a garage door are connected to the door’s springs, these brackets are constantly under extreme tension. They should be adjusted only by a trained door systems technician.
When buying a replacement garage door, some homeowners are tempted to save a few dollars by putting the new door on the
old track. However, your old track may not fit with your new door, depending on the thickness of your sections, the weight of the door, the headroom required, the location of the garage door operator, and other considerations. The track and sections work together as a system. For maximum performance and longer life, you should use the track that is designed and supplied for your specific door.
Your garage door is probably the largest, heaviest moving object in your home and is typically used every day. Over time, parts can wear out and break, creating potential hazards. Although you should conduct monthly safety checks and provide regular limited maintenance to your garage door system, an annual visit from a trained door systems technician can keep your door operating safely and smoothly for a long time.
Keep the owner’s manuals for your door and operator near the door for easy reference. Every model of door and operator has specific safety instructions unique to that model. Where is your manual? For a replacement copy, contact the door or operator manufacturer.