A garage door is the largest moving object in your home operated by an electric door opener that is typically used every day. Over time, parts can wear out and break, creating potential safety problems. Proper installation, operation, maintenance, and testing of your garage door and opener are necessary to provide safe, trouble-free operation. We recommend an annual tune-up of your garage door and opener by a qualified technician from George & Sons Garage Doors to keep your garage door and opener operating safely and smoothly. These basic safety tips are provided to highlight the main dangers that may be avoided by following simple precautions and is not meant to be an exhaustive list.

For Garage Doors

Visual Inspection

Look at the garage door springs, cables, rollers, pulleys, and other door hardware for signs of wear. If you suspect problems, call George & Sons Garage Doors today to make the necessary repairs.

WARNING – Garage door springs, cables, brackets, and other hardware attached to the springs are under very high tension and if handled improperly, can cause serious injury. Only qualified technicians should remove, adjust, loosen or repair them, but only by carefully following the manufacturer’s instructions. Your garage door’s springs are arguably the most important and most dangerous part of your door. They wear out and can cause injury if they break. If you have an older garage door, have your springs inspected by a qualified technician and replaced if needed. If your door has two springs, replace both, 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. Doors, springs and openers can squeak and be noisy. This is caused by normal use and does not necessarily indicate they need to be replaced but may just be in need of a service tune-up. What if your garage door does not go up and down smoothly? You may have an unsafe condition as even older door systems should operate smoothly. If the awkward operation continues when the door is operated manually, you may have a spring system that is out of balance. This can cause premature wear and tear on other important door components. Spring systems are dangerous and should be repaired only by a qualified technician.

WARNING – Did you know every year many people injure their fingers by placing them between the door sections to pull down on the door? According to DASMA (Door & Access Systems Manufacturers Association) Standard 116, 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 an opener, 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 handles or the safe gripping points!

Door Balance Test

Periodically test the balance of your door. Start with the door closed. If you have a garage door opener, use the release mechanism so you can operate the door by hand when doing this test. You should be able to lift the door smoothly and with little resistance. It should stay open around three or four feet above the floor. If it does not, it is out of adjustment. Call George & Sons Garage Doors and have it adjusted by a qualified technician.

For Garage Door Openers

WARNING – Keeping your children and pets safe. Take a few seconds to watch your garage door close completely. This way you can make sure no person or animal gets caught under a closing door. Did you know if you have photo eyes that they should not be installed higher than six inches above the garage floor? If they are installed higher, a person or pet could get under the beam and not be detected by the photo eyes. Also, your wall push button for your garage door opener should be mounted at least five feet above the floor, out of the reach of children. Warn children of the dangers of playing with the garage door. Teach your children never to play with opening and closing the door but instead discuss how to operate the door safely. For the reasons just mentioned, keep the remote controls for your openers where children cannot play with them as that they are not toys. If you park a car outside your garage, be sure to lock your car so that potential burglars cannot access your remote control and gain easy access to your garage.

Sensitivity & Reversal Test

Test your garage door opener’s sensitivity and reversing mechanism monthly by starting with the garage door fully open, placing a 2 x 4 board in the center of the door’s path. Push the transmitter or wall button to close the door. The door must reverse when it strikes the obstruction. (Note that the bottom part of “one-piece” doors must be rigid so that the door will not close, but will reverse when it contacts the obstruction.). If the door does not reverse after contacting the object, call George & Sons Garage Doors and have a qualified technician adjust, repair or replace the opener. DASMA recommends that a qualified technician perform this work. Since 1993, all openers manufactured for the U.S. must include a second safety reversing feature such as photoelectric eyes. These are installed near the floor. Once the invisible beam is broken, the door reverses automatically. If your opener lacks a similar safety reversing feature, it’s time to get a new opener.

Force Setting Test

Test the force setting of your garage door opener by holding the bottom of the door as it closes. If the door does not reverse readily, the force setting may be excessive and need adjusting. Call George & Sons Garage Doors and have a qualified technician to make any needed adjustment.

Additional Safety Devices

Many garage door openers can be equipped with additional safety devices, such as photo eyes or edge sensors, to protect against entrapment. Keep in mind that adding more safety devices will not make an old opener meet the current UL standards. George & Sons Garage Doors can make sure the additional safety devices are properly installed and adjusted.