The Importance of Inspecting a Garage Door For Safety


Most houses have garages, and all garages have garage doors. We use these garage doors on a daily basis. We often do not even question if the garage door will work or what makes an automatic garage door operate. Just like any other part of the home, garage doors can begin to show signs of wear and even malfunction due to being in disrepair. When this state is reached, malfunctions can lead to accidents occurring. To prevent accidents occurring from faulty garage doors, homeowners should routinely inspect their garage door.

Prior to the government passing laws in regards to the safety of automatic garage doors in 1993, the U.S. averaged four childhood deaths per year due to accidents from garage doors. The government now requires various safety features to be standard on all new garage doors, but even the safety features cannot eliminate all of the accidents. In addition to the safety features, the next line of defense against accidents is a careful inspection of the door. Families cannot be too vigilant in this regard. Inspections need to be routinely done throughout the year, and it is recommended to have a professional to inspect the garage door once a year.

The garage door is the largest moving part of your home. The force of the door can crush a small child. The door is designed to reverse the closing process if the safety sensors sense movement in the pathway of the door or if the door encounters an obstruction in its downward path. The first step in inspecting the door is to make sure that these safety features are fully operational. Make sure that the electronic eyes on either side of the door are not dusty, out of alignment, or have the potential to be damaged by surrounding objects falling upon them. The reversal of the door closing needs to be tested. As the door is beginning to close, pass a broom in front of an electronic eye. When the beam between the eyes is broken, the door should reverse and return to the open position. If the door senses an obstruction blocking the downward pressure, it will reverse and return to the open position. To test this mechanism, once again use a broom to obstruct the downward force. You should always keep safety in mind. Always make sure children are not in the area playing. You should test the door with caution, and not place you or anyone else in an unsafe position while testing the door. Always stand clear of the closing path of the door and use an object to test the door’s safety features. You should never use a person to test the stopping mechanism of the garage door.

The next area to inspect is the counterbalance system of the garage door. This system includes the cables, springs, and hardware of the garage door system. Check for signs of damage and wear. If any wear or damage is noted, you should schedule a professional to come and repair or replace the parts of concern. Do not try to repair, replace, or adjust the springs on the door. The torsion springs are under extreme tension. If one should break or have the tension unintentionally released, the spring has the force to cause injury or to kill not just a child but also an adult.

The inspection of the garage door should also include inspecting the hinges, brackets, and door rollers. Check that the hinges are in good repair, and you should also check that the brackets and track are still securely mounted. If any seem loose, they need to be refastened. You should also check the rollers for signs of wear. Make sure that none of the rollers are misaligned. The misalignment of the rollers will lead to the incorrect operation of the door.

Frequently inspecting the garage door system of the home is important. These inspections can prevent injuries and save lives. You need to remember that all major repairs and any repairs relating to the springs should always be preformed by a professional. If the inspection or minor repairs seem confusing to you, it is advisable to schedule a professional to perform these tasks also.

This post was written by

jasonjason – who has written posts on Home Tips Plus.
I'm a father of three, married and a home owner since 2006. I've worked in fixing up homes and rental properties.

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