Many of us take precautions to protect our families against hazards like food poisoning, falls, and fires. Unfortunately, accidents caused by garage doors are not always at the top of that list. Yet, 30,000 adults and children are injured in accidents involving garage doors every year, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Accidents include injuries and fatalities caused by falling doors, section joints, DIY projects, broken doors, entrapment, racing to beat the door, and riding the door.
Garage doors are typically the largest moving objects in a home. Like all machinery, proper installation, operation, maintenance, and testing are crucial to providing safe operation.
An improperly adjusted garage door or malfunctioning opener can cause a door to slam shut with tremendous force — enough to have deadly consequences.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the National Safety Counsel and the Industry Coalition for Automatic Garage Door Opener Safety have identified some routine but key, steps you can take to protect the health and safety of your family and keep your door operating properly.
- Reinforce the fact that garage door openers are not toys. As tempting as it may be to open and close automated doors, children should not be allowed to play with them. Take the time to discuss the dangers they can cause, including being trapped under the door. Also, stop the practice of “beating the door” to run out of the garage if you haven’t already done so. This practice has led to serious injuries or, in some cases, death.
- Take the time to understand how your door operates. Although you may never have to use it, locate the emergency release and practice how to use it. If someone gets trapped beneath the door, you can quickly engage the emergency release. Teach other residents of your home on how to use it as well.
- Perform routine maintenance and safety checks. Like other equipment and appliances in your home, your garage door system may malfunction. Regularly perform inspections and testing of the opener, door and other parts to make sure that it is functioning properly. Check the owner’s manual for a schedule of recommended maintenance for your specific model. If you can’t locate the manual, contact the manufacturer for a copy or directions on how to locate the information online.
For more tips on how to keep your family members safe from garage door accidents, read the complete guide at the International Door Association website.