Your Garage Door Safety Checklist
OK, it’s not the retractable roof at the Rogers Centre, but your garage door is the largest moving part of your house. And it usually opens and closes at least a couple times a day.
A major moving part that’s used as much as your garage door should be regularly inspected for any signs of trouble before the trouble happens. And spring is as good a time as any to go through the following safety checklist for your door.
1. Do a Visual Inspection
Take a close look at your door and its components, paying special attention to the parts that manage the operation of the door, including the springs, cables, rollers, and pulleys. Look for wear and tear or uneven operation. These parts are under tension, so don’t do anything to them if you spot a potential problem. Give us a shout here at Markham Garage Door and we’ll be happy to answer your questions and service the door as needed.
2. Check the Door’s Automated Reversal System
Your garage door opener is equipped with a system that automatically reverses the closing door if it comes in contact with anything solid. To check if the system is working properly, place a length of 2×4 wood on the floor of the garage where the door comes in contact with it. Close the door. If it doesn’t reverse when it touches the wood, you need to get the door opener serviced.
3. Check the Electric Eyes
The photo eyes, or sensors, that are located inside your garage on either side of the door frame, are designed to stop the door from operating if the signal that passes between the sensors is broken. Never test that the photo eyes are working by using yourself or anyone else in the path of an operating door.
Instead, find an empty cardboard box that you don’t mind if it gets crushed. Place the box in the path between the two sensors and push the ‘close’ button on the door’s control panel or remote. The door shouldn’t move, or move a little and then reverse. If it doesn’t and closes on the box, you need to have the sensors inspected.
You should run through this checklist at least twice a year – the safety of your family and vehicles depend on it.
5 Tips to Childproof Your Garage
Do you remember what it was like when your children first came along? Among the many massive changes to your life, there was one small detail. You had to go through your entire home and remove or lock away almost everything that was within your child’s reach. Suddenly anything that was breakable or could be swallowed was strictly prohibited. You probably never knew your home could be such a dangerous place.
But did you think of doing the same in your garage? While it’s not a problem while they are still infants, once toddlers begin to walk, they can get places that they’re not supposed to be. And they can do so in the blink of an eye.
Even if your children are always under your supervision, it’s still a good idea to childproof your garage to ensure no accidents happen. Here are just a few things you can do in your garage to protect your children.
1. Dangerous Chemicals
Just like the cleaning solutions and prescription medications in your home, the things you store in your garage can be very harmful. And some are quite inviting to inquisitive children – like bright blue or pink windshield washer antifreeze. Store them out of your children’s reach – and remember, they like to climb – or lock them away.
2. Items You are Storing
You know that battery you took out of the car you’re storing for the winter? You don’t want your children to come into contact with it.
If you use your garage door for storage – and who doesn’t – make sure things on shelves, hanging on the wall or stacked in boxes can’t fall and harm your children, or anyone else.
3. Your Car(s)
Just because it’s in the garage doesn’t mean you shouldn’t lock your car doors whenever you leave it – if only to stop your children from getting into it when you’re not around. And definitely, don’t leave your keys in the car.
4. Tools & Equipment
Your garage is a great place for a workroom. But if you have children, the tools and equipment you keep can be very attractive to them; and very dangerous.
5. Your Garage Door
It’s heavy and its always under tension. That makes your garage door potentially dangerous. Regularly check all the safety mechanisms of your garage door opener, including eye sensors and its automatic reversing function, to make sure they are working properly.
In the end, you have to treat your garage the way you treated your home when your children first arrived. Go through it with a sharp eye for anything that might be harmful and take whatever steps are needed to make it safe.
Things to Do and Avoid During Garage Door Safety Month in June
Garage Door Safety Can Be Heightened with Greater Awareness and Attentiveness
There are no shortages of warnings on packages and product labels with respect to risks of personal injury when the item is used incorrectly or without proper precautions. While this is often mandated by law for the manufacturer/supplier, it is the responsibility of the user or the consumer to read and heed these recommendations and warnings.
For the most part, the purchasers or users of these goods do adhere to their responsibilities, and particularly when there is some risk/danger to the well-being of their children and pets. This is not to say that adults are carefree, or careless, in such circumstances but rather that there is a heightened awareness on their part when safety concerns apply to their children.
There is at least one circumstance, however, where precautions and attention to safety may be lacking, even though it may be unintentional; this relates to injuries that can be directly attributed to the garage door –injuries to adults, children, and pets that can be prevented with a little education and some added attention when in proximity to the garage door itself.
The month of June has been designated as Garage Door Safety Month; the intent, of course, is to bring attention to the types of injuries that can be attributed to garage doors and their parts and to educate homeowners and their families on increased safety and methods of prevention. Here are some of the more common ways in which people can and do sustain injuries from a garage door, in no particular order:
- Children opening/closing the door as part of a game
- Racing to enter the garage before the door fully closes
- Fingers caught in the tracks, springs, or between the rollers
- Hand, wrist, or finger damage from attempts to repair a spring
- Gashes that result from clean-up/repair of broken window inserts
- Unexpected door movements from broken/malfunctioning sensors
- Cuts/possible infections caused by metal tracking, other sharp edges
There are likely other exotic or curious-and-unusual types of injuries that will undoubtedly occur as a result of individual inattentiveness or a lack of respect, for want of another word, for the force, weight, hardware, and mechanisms associated with garage doors; however, there should be sufficient evidence presented here to raise garage door safety to a greater level of consciousness. And if this can begin in the month of June, in alignment with Garage Door Safety Month, it can and subsequently should be applied on a year-round basis also.
Garage Door Inspections Are an Integral Part of Practicing Garage Door Safety
Another important aspect to garage door safety relates to ongoing maintenance and repair. When garage doors are kept in good and proper working order, it can help to minimize or reduce the risk of injury to homeowners and their family members.
Garage doors are subjected to repeated use on a regular basis and they are also exposed to seasonal weather extremes. Both of these factors can have a negative impact on overall door performance as well as its general condition; therefore, it would be prudent to conduct a thorough garage door inspection on an annual, if not semi-annual basis, to ensure that all aspects of the door are in an optimal working state.
Such inspections can be performed by technicians from an experienced and reliable garage door services provider like Markham Garage Doors. These knowledgeable technicians will conduct a systematic/comprehensive garage door inspection to assess the ongoing viability of all components, including:
- Torsion springs
- Cables and pulleys
- Rollers and tracking
- Door panels/hardware
- Door opener and sensors
- Insulation/weather stripping
Subsequently, should the garage door inspection identify any maintenance or repair needs, the Markham Garage Doors technicians have the skills necessary to quickly and effectively remedy the issues; this will return the garage door to a more optimal state in relation to:
Please visit our Website for additional information on the garage door inspection and repair services available from the professionals at Markham Garage Doors.
June is Garage Door Safety Month, with the intention of bringing heightened awareness and attention to the potential risks for garage door-related injuries. One important step in this process will be to ensure that your garage door is in prime physical condition and in proper working order. Call the specialists at Markham Garage Doors today at (905) 472-9178 or (416) 570-3667 to book a garage door inspection and determine whether any repairs or maintenance actions are needed to help protect you and your family from possible injury.
Garage Door Safety and Security Tips to Prevent Break-Ins
Garage Doors Can Provide Easy Access to Toronto Homes for Would-Be Burglars
A home should be a sanctuary, a place of refuge for the family to feel comfortable, safe, and secure. Unfortunately, for some unscrupulous people, a home may also be targeted as an opportunity to acquire money and/or personal property, albeit in an illegal manner. And perhaps even more disconcerting is the fact that this attitude of entitlement seems to prevail regardless of whether the home is occupied or not when the thieves decide to make their entry.
For a majority of Toronto homes, the garage is the area most vulnerable to intrusion by thieves. Avenues for unauthorized access include:
- garage doors
- any and all windows
- side or service doors
- garage door openers
Furthermore, once inside the garage, a would-be burglar often has uncontested access to the home because the inner door may be unlocked and/or the main garage door acts as a shield to any passersby.
There are several ways that homeowners can protect themselves and their property from unwelcome intrusion through their garage. Such steps consist of the following:
- Garage Doors
- Install and regularly use a locking mechanism for the door
- Regular and proper maintenance of all parts and mechanisms
- Padlock throw latch from the inside during extended absences
- Do not leave ‘emergency’ house keys hidden within the garage
- Include a ‘garage door open alert’ on the home security system
- Ensure that the door from the garage to the home is solid/secure
- Garage Windows
- Cover windows in walls and doors with an opaque material
- Install frosted glass or apply a privacy film to existing panes
- Keep windows locked and/or reinforce them with metal bars
- Side or Service Doors
- Upgrade the quality of this door if/as required
- Upgrade the quality of the lock for this entrance
- Strengthen/fortify the frame, hinges, and window
- Garage Door Openers
- Use a keychain-style remote versus the visor-clip variety
- Remove remote devices from vehicles parked in the driveway
- Install a keyless entry system for outside access to the garage
- Use zip-ties to secure the emergency release for the opener
Many of these measures can be implemented by homeowners on a do-it-yourself basis; others may need the support of a garage door technician from Markham Garage Doors.
Installing or Upgrading Garage Door Openers Can Improve Home Security
Many families prefer to use their garage as the primary means of access to/egress from their home. This can be especially true for families with young children and/or for those who park their vehicles in the garage rather than in the driveway when they are home. In addition, the garage, or portion thereof, is often dedicated as storage space for more expensive equipment, tools, or other possessions that are only used on a seasonal basis.
For such reasons, homeowners may choose to rely on garage door openers for purposes of safety and security as well as greater convenience for entering and exiting the home. As a result, manufacturers have focused the efforts on combining reliable performance with the latest in security-related technologies. In the latter case, some of the available security features now include:
- Wireless keypads
- Rolling code applications
- Fingerprint-activated keypads
- Solenoid-driven electric bolt locks
- Smartphone-activated door openers
Installing or upgrading to garage door openers with such technology can improve home security and give homeowners peace of mind that their families and personal property are safeguarded from unwanted access to their homes. All such devices and accessories are available to homeowners in Toronto and the GTA from the garage doors specialists at Markham Garage Doors.
Looking to improve your garage security with a new or upgraded garage door opener? Call the installation experts from Markham Garage Doors today at (905) 472-9178 or (416) 570-3667 to discuss the type of garage door opener and related accessories that will best suit your needs and those of your family.
The Importance Of A Garage Door Torsion Spring Often Goes Unnoticed
One of the little-known aspects of a properly functioning garage door is the role played by the torsion spring. For most homeowners, their belief may be that manual strength or the power of an automatic opener is the force behind opening or closing their garage door – but in reality, it is the torsion spring that does the majority of the work in lifting and lowering the weight of the door.
Further exemplifying the importance of a torsion spring to a garage door is the extent of the damage, and the related repair costs, that can result when the spring happens to break. These circumstances will often go well beyond the stage of minor inconvenience and can consist of:
- The door will jam in a partially-open or unbalanced position
- Door slams to the ground causing major damage to panels
- Cables, hinges, rollers become loose or break
- Tracking gets distorted or bent-out-of-shape
- Performance issues with an automatic garage door opener
- Damage to vehicles or other personal property
Although garage door torsion springs have a lifecycle of 7 to 10 years (often equated to approximately 10,000 open-and-close cycles) there are several reasons why a spring may break, including:
- Aging/repeated wear-and-tear
- Improper installation
- Added door weight (glass windows, insulation)
- Poor or inadequate maintenance
- Loose door components (tracking, cables)
- Door weight out of balance
- Prolonged exposure to cold temperatures
- Accidental impact damage to the door
When a torsion spring does break, it will obviously be important to have a new spring installed as quickly as possible. Regardless of the primary function of the garage – parking vehicles, storage, workshop, or entrance to the home – it is simply too inconvenient to have a garage door that is basically non-functioning. Furthermore, there may be safety concerns with respect to egress from the home in the event of a fire or other emergency.
Garage Door Spring Installation Is Not A Recommended Do-It-Yourself Project
Although it would likely be the less expensive option, garage door spring installation is simply not recommended as a do-it-yourself project for a homeowner.
A torsion spring fundamentally helps counterbalance the actual weight of the garage door throughout the opening/raising and closing/lowering processes. As such, a garage door spring must operate under a high degree of tension to moderate the speed or rate of opening and closing and prevent any unwanted/unwarranted damage to the door itself or its associated components and accessories.
For individuals who lack experience and training working with any mechanisms subjected to this amount of tension, there can be serious implications and consequences relative to their personal safety and the safeguarding of their property. Therefore, to ensure that the spring will function as it is designed and intended, its installation is best left in the hands of trained professionals, such as the technicians from Markham Garage Doors.
Contracting a professional garage door spring installation service offers a number of advantages and benefits to homeowners beyond the critically important aspect of their personal safety. These returns will include:
- Installation of the proper size spring for the weight of the door
- Setting the appropriate level of tension for the weight of the door
- Assessing/adjusting the garage door alignment/balance post-install
- Assessing/adjusting cables, tracking, drums, hinges etc. as needed
- Workplace insurance and general liability insurance coverage
- Fast and efficient service, including emergency service, if/as required
If you need to replace a broken or failing garage door torsion spring, call our expert technicians from Markham Garage Doors today at (905) 472-9178 or (416) 570-3667 to ensure that the job is done quickly and safely.