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Safety Tips For Children Around The Garage Door

There are some simple things you can do to make your garage a safer place for your children to be around.

In looking at 10 potential garage door hazards, the following steps can help create a safer environment for your kids.

Dangers Of A Falling Door

Test the reverse mechanism of your door regularly, by placing a 2 x 4 on the floor underneath the middle of the garage door.  Operated the door with the opener and when the door comes in contact with the 2 x 4 it should reverse with two seconds and go back up.  If you door does not reverse, call a professional to have it checked out.

Also check the up and down force adjustments on your door regularly as well.  Trying stopping the door with you hands when it is going down, the door should reverse fairly easily.  Likewise, try stopping the door when it is going up with your hands, it should stop fairly easily.  If it doesn’t do either one fairly easily, refer to your owner’s manual for instructions or have it checked by a professional.  All garage doors installed after 1991 are required to have a reversing mechanism.

Children Riding The Door

Remove all ropes, hooks and other projections from your garage door, if you have a garage door opener.  These items can catch on a child’s clothing or pet’s collar, causing serious injury.

New technology with some garage door manufacturers actually weighs potential pressure on a door, causing a system to reverse, thus making it impossible for a child to ride the door.

Fingers Caught In Gaps or Holes or Section Joints

Many garage doors come with tracks, which feature open holes and make it easy for a child to stick their finger or hand into potential danger.  Use duct tape to close off the holes in the hardware that holds up your door.

Carbon Monoxide

Taking steps to prevent the buildup of carbon monoxide relates to proper ventilation in a garage.  Avoid the temptation to make the garage like other rooms in the house.  Allow the free flow of air from the outside.

Entrapment

Learn how to disengage your automatic garage door opener in case of an emergency.

Photos Eyes

If your garage door has photo eyes, make sure they are properly aligned and set up.  Photo eyes should be no more than six inches off the floor.  Proper working photo eyes can prevent many of the dangers that come with children playing around the garage door.

Safety TipsStretch Springs and other Spring dangers

 

Make sure the springs on your garage door are nowhere near the floor, where a child can have access to them.  Commonly known as stretch springs or extension springs, these springs should include a containment cable inside the spring, which provides a small measure of security.  If the cable is missing, it is time to replace the spring for a torsion spring, which mounts above the door, away from the reach of children.  Also check for possible rust on the spring, which is another clue it is time to replace this potentially dangerous object.

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.

Over insulating the garage

If you store anything that is combustible in a garage, ensure there is proper ventilation from the outside.  Again: avoid the temptation to make the garage like other rooms in the house.  Most municipalities have code in places, which require proper ventilation of garages, whether attached or not.

Lead Paint on old garage doors and jams

Lead is identified as a poison. The presence of lead-based paint in buildings poses a clear danger to the health and safety of their users.

Garage Door SafetyLead-based paint has been banned since 1978, but many older structures still have this paint on walls, woodwork, siding, windows, and doors. Construction and demolition workers can be exposed to lead contamination by cutting, scraping, sanding, heating, burning, or blasting lead-based paint from building components, metal bridges and metal storage tanks. In addition to exposure to workers, lead-based paint debris or dust can also make its way into soil, potentially contaminating surface waters. Lead poisoning is a serious health threat for adults and is especially damaging to young children.

Efforts to remove lead paint can create even greater hazards.  It is important to recognize that nothing that you do is entirely safe. Removing lead paint creates problems of lead dust, lead fumes, and toxic waste disposal. Encapsulating lead surfaces leaves the problem in potential form.  This problem is best dealt with by a professional.  Do not minimize this problem.

Hazards of cheap quality or poorly installed doors.

The axiom of you get what you pay for will always show up given time.  If you have saved a few dollars by buying a door with less safety features and cheaper materials, it’s only a matter of time until the door will require service and replacement of parts and the door itself.  If you have a cheap door with safety risks, take the precaution to keep your children away from the garage door as much as possible, especially when it is in operation.

 

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