Garages are great for a whole range of reasons—storage, home projects, play—but, for all of those reasons, they can also pose safety and security challenges. Through the International Door Association (IDA) and the Door and Access Systems Manufacturers Association (DASMA), the Overhead Door Corporation has prepared this list of garage door safety tips for keeping everyone and everything safe and secure.
Make sure the garage door opener control button is out of the reach of small children.
Do not let children play with garage door remote controls.
Consult the owner’s manual and learn how to use the garage door’s emergency release feature.
Visually inspect the garage door each month. Look at springs, cables, rollers and pulleys for signs of wear. Do not attempt to remove, adjust or repair these parts or anything attached to them. A trained door repairman must make adjustments to these parts, which are under high tension.
Test the garage door opener’s reversing mechanism monthly by placing a 2 x 4 board or a roll of paper towels in the door’s path. If the door does not reverse after contacting the object, call a qualified garage door professional for repair. If the opener has not been replaced since 1993, seriously consider a new one with auto-reverse as a standard feature.
Never place fingers between door sections and explain the dangers to children. If you have small children, consider a door with panels that can’t pinch.
Do not leave the garage door partially open. When activated again, it may travel downward and come in contact with an object in its path. This also impacts your home’s security as well.
While on vacation, unplug the garage door opener unit or use a vacation lock console security switch, which renders remotes unusable and is an optional accessory to most openers.
If the opener does not have rolling-code technology, which changes the access codes each time the opener is used to prevent code grabbing, be sure to change the manufacturer’s standard access codes on the opener and remote control, or consider investing in a newer model with more safety and security features that are now standard.
A new trend in home invasion is gaining access to the home by stealing the opener or car. Never leave the remote control in the car or with a parking attendant. Consider using a key chain remote and always lock the entry to the inside of your home – especially if your opener is programmed to your vehicle. It is a small inconvenience for safety and security.
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Nick Jewett is the owner of Pro-Tech Home Inspection LLC and is Wisconsin State licensed and Nationally certified. Pro-Tech offers quality and thorough inspection services as well as radon testing in the Milwaukee area.