Garage Door Safety Tips
If you have just purchased a new home or had a new door installed, take some time and read the owner's manual. You might be surprised at some of the things you learn. For example, if the door is wooden, virtually every manufacturer has strict guidelines as to how soon the door must receive a finish coat of paint or protective stain. Often people will paint the outside of the door and neglect the inside. This is a mistake and often voids the warranty!
Be sure to read your manual to find out just what you are supposed to do. Never remove any hardware when painting the door! If you are a fanatic about painting the entire door, arrange to paint the door sections prior to installation. Some door companies may deliver or let you pick up the sections of the door. You can then easily paint the sections of the door on saw horses. The door would then only require touch up work after it has been installed.
Once installed, you should periodically lubricate all moving parts. Use a silicone spray or lightweight oil on metal parts only. Do not lubricate plastic rollers and plastic idler bearings.
On a monthly basis, simply look at the garage door hardware (hinges, pulley, cables, etc.) Look for loose nuts and bolts. See if the cables are beginning to fray. Check the rollers for signs of wear. Never make any repairs or adjustments yourself, unless you are a trained garage door service person.
Check the door for proper balance. This is very easy to do. If you have an automatic opener, disengage it temporarily. With the door in the closed position, begin to slowly open it. When the bottom of the door is waist high, it should not move in either direction. It should be able to remain suspended in this position without anyone or anything touching it. If the door will not stay still, the springs are out of adjustment. Absolutely do not try to adjust the springs yourself!
If you have an automatic door opener, periodically check its safety mechanisms. The first test is to place a piece of 2x4 under the path of the door. Close the door on top of the 2x4. The door should hit the 2x4 and begin to reverse back to the open position. After this test, perform a second test. As the door is beginning to close the second time, stand in front of the door and hold on to the bottom of the door. You should not have to exert excessive force to stop the door from closing. If you can not stop the door, immediately step away from the door and let it strike the 2x4 again. Perform the necessary adjustments to the opener so that you can stop it from closing by using little force. If you don't know how to make the adjustment, contact a professional!
Never stand or walk beneath a moving door. Do not set a bad example for your children. Never play "beat the door". A famous movie featuring a daring archaeologist rolling beneath a large stone door has lead to the deaths of children who were trying to mimic this movie stunt. Don't let it happen with your children!
Always try to hide or disguise the remote transmitters so that small children can't find them. They love to play with these devices. The wall-mounted push button which controls the door should always be mounted at least five feet off of the garage floor. Children love to play with garage doors. Please do not tempt them.
Never try to service the door or opener yourself, unless you are a trained person. The springs that open the door have killed people. This is a fact. Don't underestimate the force that these springs exert. Remember, the springs are in their most dangerous state when the door is closed. They are like loaded weapons. Please be careful!