It’s unlikely you’re ever thinking about your garage door. It doesn’t demand much attention unless it is broken, the electricity is out, or worse, someone gets hurt. Thousands of people are injured each year in a garage door accident, but there are five rules for keeping your family, friends and guests safe.
Rule #1: Regularly check and test the auto reverse
The auto reverse is a life-saving function of your garage door. Although it may seem annoying on occasion, especially when you learn your door didn’t shut because of small debris in the way, the reversal function is designed to prevent injuries.
The door is designed to be heavy, so if anyone is trapped, it will take a lot of strength to free them.
You should check the garage door "auto reverse function" once a month. It must reverse with something as small as a 2x4 piece of wood laying flat on the floor in the center between the sensors.
When the door comes in contact with the object, it should reverse back to the open position. If it does not, you will need to reprogram the down travel.
Instructions should be available in your user manual, or call professionals to come and inspect the problem and provide solutions.
Rule #2: Check the force
You want the opener to have just enough power to open and close the door. Sensitivity dials determine the force. If the force is too strong, it will crush the door, damage your car or hurt someone.
In older models, garage doors have manual force dials that require a screwdriver to move one direction or another. Newer models have electronic measurements that open and close the door three times to determine the appropriate amount of force.
Determine the appropriate force by reading your user manual, or call a professional to answer your questions.
Rule #3: Ensure the safety sensors work
If your garage door won’t close, it may be a sensor problem. The sensors are located near the floor. They are attached to the walls next to the garage door. Their purpose is to prevent the door from closing on people or objects.
If the sensors are not aligned, you may find your door won’t close, and the light on the machine blinks to alert there is something obstructing the area.
Even if there is not a problem, it is best to check the sensors regularly to prevent injuries. Grab several different-sized empty cardboard boxes. Put them under the garage door, and then attempt to close it. The door should immediately reopen the moment it senses an object.
If it crushes the box, then your sensors are not operational, and they should be fixed promptly.
First, try cleaning the sensors. Next, look for tools or items blocking them from working. If it still doesn’t work, then the next step is to either call a professional to examine them, or they may need replacement.
Rule #4: Teach children how to act around the door.
Garage doors may look like a fun playground for small children, so they are the most vulnerable to injuries. They might like making the sensors reopen the door or hanging on the handle to ride it up, but these are very dangerous activities.
Teach children that the door is very heavy, and if something breaks or their fingers get caught in the springs, they will be severely injured.
Make the door opener off-limits to your kids, and tell them that a moving garage door is off limits - no touching and no playing near it.
Rule #5: Conduct Regular Maintenance
An annual tune up can keep your garage door running smoothly. This process should include checking the hardware, maintaining the springs and calling a professional if something seems wrong.
Ask the following questions when you are examining the door;
- Are the nuts and bolts tight enough?
- Does it shake or close unevenly?
- Is it really slow or fast?
- Does make new noises?
- Do the springs look secure?
- Do any of the parts appear rusted or damaged in any way?
- Does it break down regularly?
- Have your energy bills increased?
If you answered yes to any of the questions above, then your garage door might need repairs or replacement. At Top Quality Doors we have experience, and we are committed to top-notch customer service. Give us a call at 405.579.DOOR so we help you and answer your questions.