If you home is like millions of others, your garage door may be one (if not the) primary point of entry into the home itself. Whether it is kids on foot or adults in cars, the garage door is important, it is why we have to give so much attention to garage door safety. In this review, we are going to look at the best ways to teach kids about garage door safety, and maybe even a little bit yourself along the way!
Review the Entire System
If you want kids to be 100% safe around garage doors, eliminate anything that might make them curious. Rather than allowing them to touch parts that are unsafe, because they are curious about them, take the time now to go over how it all works. By showing them all of the moving parts, you reduce the chances that they might interfere with them – including the automatic reversal and other safety systems.
Don’t just point out the various components, show them why they are there. After all, a garage door can weigh from 125 to 400 lb. (60 to 180 kilos). Garage door systems use heavy duty springs to lift that weight easily, and other components keep the door balanced so that it can feel like nothing more than 8 and 10 lb. (3.5 and 4.5 kilos) if you are forced to open it manually.
So, should something fail, that weight can be very dangerous – especially if it allows the door to close uncontrollably.
Show Them the Danger Zones
Though the entire door and opening system should be considered “hands off”, it is a good idea to point out the especially dangerous zones:
Extension and torsion (coiled springs) are the two most common spring systems used. The extension springs are above the horizontal tracks, while the torsion sprints are over the head of the door. Emphasize to kids that neither should be touched, and if they should spot broken springs to tell you right away.
- Lifting cables
Attached to both sides of the door, they wind up on drums that are themselves installed on a steel tube. These cables are under incredible pressure. They should never be plucked or tinkered with in any way as they are what actually lift the doors.
You find these on both of the vertical tracks on either side of the door. They are small, electrical devices that sit no more than six inches above the floor. Though not dangerous, themselves, they are what keep everyone safe when the door is in use. They do this by being aligned facing one another and creating a beam of light (you cannot see) that stops the door from closing on anyone or hitting anything.
Emphasize That the Door Is Not a Toy
The remote controls, the parts that seem so easy to climb and the general nature of a garage door can make it of great interest to kids and teens. You need to emphasize, though, that nothing about the door is toy-like. These tips help:
- Keep away from the moving door
Explain to kids that it is best if the stay a distance from the door as it opens or closes in case anything breaks.
- Don’t over use the remote controls and control panel
Young kids may love “clickers” but never allow young kids to operate the garage door with the remote or the exterior keypad. In fact, to ensure optimal safety, be sure you position the keypad at least 5 feet (1.5 m) above the floor. Also, keep the remote control far out of reach of younger kids.
- Discuss urges to climb on the door
When you look at a set of double garage doors, you see their reinforcement struts on the interiors of each door. Unfortunately, they look a lot like a ladder, and so you must review with kids that they must never, under any circumstances, climb or put pressure on these struts.
- Keep hands away from section joints
Though it is unlikely that your door is without an automatic opener, if it is manual, show kids the proper way to open and close the door, emphasizing that fingers will be lost if stuck between joints. Be sure lift handles are easy to reach and show kids how to operate the doors with them.
- Assign older kids garage door duty
Ask your older kids to take some responsibility for younger siblings when they are near the garage door. They should be in charge of “traffic” and allow them to pass beneath the door only when completely open. Racing in or out of the garage, using the controls, or goofing around with the auto-reversal system or gear are things older kids can be in charge of, too.
Access Codes are TOP SECRET
If your kids are given the exterior keypad access codes, you need to institute a top secret status on those codes. Tell them that sharing them with friends is not allowed and that they must actually hide the pad with their hand if they have to enter it in front of friends. This prevents the curiosity of neighbourhood kids from leading to potential hazards as (without your code) they cannot enter the garage if no one is home.
And if your garage door is in need of a tune-up or even to be replaced…
Please contact us at 1(800) 545‑3667. We can send you a quotation for a service call by email or even visit you at home to assess any problems you may be having with your garage door. If you decide to replace your garage door and you can use our Design Centre or have a look at our image gallery.