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What to Do When Your Garage Remote Isn’t Working

 garage remote not working

When you’re garage remote isn’t working, you’re in the midst of one of the most common repair calls we receive each day as licensed garage door contractors. There are several things that could be wrong. The good news is that a non-functioning garage remote is usually a simple DIY repair. 

We’ve divided this post into two sections. The first is dedicated to troubleshooting steps if the push button works, but your remote does not. The second continues with what to do if neither the button, nor the remote, open/close the door. 

If the wall-mounted, pushbutton works, but the remote doesn’t 

Once you get into the garage, see if the push button works. If pushing it engages the garage door (you see the lights, hear the motor, etc.), but the door won’t open, there’s probably an issue with the lasers. 

1. Check and clear any debris or garage items in the way of the sensors. 

Make sure nothing is blocking the laser sensors, located on either side of the tracks (usually at the bottom near the garage floor, but sometimes mounted higher up). If these are even the slightest bit blocked by a rake handle, the edge of a bike tire, a corner of a storage container, etc., they go into safety mode and keep the garage door from moving until the item is out of the way. 

2. Check the batteries 

Remote controls run off batteries, and they eventually need to be replaced. Batteries are available from most big box hardware stores. Replace the remote batteries. If you push the button and the light activates, that was probably your problem. 

3Are the lasers still aligned? 

If nothing is in the way, it could be that the lasers aren’t aligned. This can happen if they’re bumped or knocked, from a minor earthquake, or just the typically structural settling of a building over time. Look at your sensors and see if there is a light glowing?  

If not – or if the light is red  gently and carefully jiggle and wiggle one of them to align it with the other. When it’s aligned, the light will glow green. This means they’re back in alignment and odds are your door will open again. 

4. Is there something in the track? 

Sometimes, there isn’t an object in the way or blocking the sensors, but debris or a fallen broom/rake/etc. is blocking the garage track. Remove it and clean any other dirt, twigs, leaves or potential blockages and then try again. 

5. The door is off its track. 

If you can hear the motor trying, but there are squeaks, small pops, or clicks, it could be that the door came off its track. Inspect the track while the motor is running (keep your hands free of the moving door or any moving part). Look to see if you notice any bends, warping, or obvious signs that the track is out of whack or the garage wheels are obviously compromised. You can gently tap the track to move it back in place, but we recommend scheduling this repair with the professionals. 

6. It was disconnected (put into manual mode) 

Sometimes the disconnect cord is pulled by curious children or while moving things back and forth. If the door has been disconnected, read How to Manually Open and Close the Garage Door, focusing on the instructions for getting it back into automatic mode. 

7. Do you need to reprogram it? 

Once in a while, the remote needs to be reprogrammed. Consult your manufacturer’s instructions (also available online if you’ve misplaced your manual) to reprogram your remotes.  

The following instructions work for most standard, hand-held remote control models: 

  • Press and hold the “learn” button on the motor unit until the learn indicator light goes out (approximately 5 to 7 seconds). This should erase the existing codes 
  • Press and hold the ENTER button on the remoteWhen the overhead opener’s light’s blink on and off, release the button. If the lights aren’t installed or are burnt out, you should hear two clicks. 

If that doesn’t work, you may need to contact your garage door technician. Most companies can walk you through the process during business hours. 

8. It is locked 

Garage doors all come with a lock option, typically used when homeowners are on vacation or away for extended periods of timeLook at the interior side of the garage door and see if any metal parts have slid down and are blocking the door’s lifting action. There should be a knob or a push-button unlock feature that will unlock the door. 

If the Push Button Option Doesn’t Work Either… 

If you push the button on the wall and nothing happens.  

BONUS TIP: Check the power source. Is the automatic opener plugged in? See if the breaker has tripped. There’s nothing worse than calling and paying for a professional repair call, only to learn your garage door didn’t have power. 

9. Has the cable/chain snapped? 

Take a peek at the top of the garage door track along the ceiling, by the automatic opener box. Is the cable/chain still intact or has it snapped? If it is snapped, separated, or doesn’t look like a continuous bike chain, contact professionals. 

11. The torsion spring is broken 

Similarly, the garage door spring may have snapped. This makes a very loud bang/crash – and can even sound like a gunshot. If you see that the spring is broken, DO NOT DO ANYTHING ELSE. Springs are dangerous and can cause serious injury and even fatality. If you suspect anything is wrong with your garage door spring, contact a technician ASAP and leave the door alone in the meantime. 

If these troubleshooting tips didn’t help, give us a call, (707) 644-5537or contact R&S Erection of Vallejo to schedule an appointment. A licensed technician will be there ASAP to fix the issue. 

How Important Are Garage Door Safety Sensors

Garage Door Safety Sensors

Garage door safety sensors are one of the most important components in your automatic garage door system. It is the sensors’ job to detect whether a person, pet, or thing is in the way, and ensures the garage door doesn’t strike it.  

It’s the Law  

Since 1993, garage door manufacturers have been required by law to include safety sensors on all doors. This law was created as the result of numerous injuries and fatalities that occurred as the result of a garage door closing on a human.  

An article published in the Los Angeles Times back in 1990 states that between 1982 and 1990, 46 children were killed by garage doors that struck them on the way down. The NYT reported that at least 85 children died or suffered permanent brain damage as a result of garage doors between the years of 1974 and 1995. And, these reports aren’t counting the millions of miscellaneous garage door-related injuries that occur each year, largely the result of ignoring basic garage door safety practices. 

While garage door manufacturers continued to make doors lighter, and invent safety features such as the “auto-reverse” feature, most of these safety “innovations” still required contact with an object or person before the door stopped or reversed. This still left children others vulnerable to contact with a garage door. 

As a result, safety standards experts called for garage door manufacturers to come up with something better, and that led to the invention of laser-sensors that could detect motion or interruption in the laser beam’s path from side-to-side and stop the door’s descent. 

In fact, the federal and state residential garage door opener legislation states: 

Residential GDO’s manufactured on and after January 1, 1993 must:  

  1. Have an automatic inherent reverse feature that reverses after 2 seconds upon sensing an obstruction 
  1. Have a 30 second reverse timer that moves the door upward 30 seconds after sensing the door has not reached the fully closed position 
  1. Have a secondary entrapment protection system, which may be either an attached and working external device (example: edge sensor or photoelectric eye) or an inherent secondary system (example: combination sectional door and operator system with the entire door system acting as a force sensing device) and, 
  1. Close the door using the manufacturer’s suggested devices (either a wall switch or a push button remote control). 

Have a Manual Garage Door? Upgrade to One With a Sensor 

In fact, not having a garage door safety sensor is the #1 reason we recommend those with older, manual doors go ahead and upgrade their doors to automatic options.  

In addition to being heavier than most contemporary garage doors, manual doors have no way of “knowing” if your little one is trying to slip through the remaining opening before the door closes or whether a beloved kitty is trying to run back in. Your precious bike or another toy/treasure may be out of its normal alignment and about ready to get smushed before the door crashes down. 

Keep Your Family, Children, and Pets Safe 

Even with all of these features in place, garage injuries are still a reality. In addition to installing an automated garage door with safety sensors, there are several things you can do to help keep your family and children free from potential injury. 

The garage door opener(s) is not a toy 

It’s imperative that your family create a safety culture around the garage door and it’s automatic mechanisms. Children are naturally drawn to the ability to push a button and make something open and close.  

They are intrigued by the thrill of ducking into or out of the diminishing gap between the door and the ground (action hero style), and some are drawn to the sounds or rhythmic motion created by pushing the button over and over and watching the door respond. Remote control power is also compelling. 

Read our post How to Childproof Your Garage Door for more specific instructions on how to keep the younger members of your family safe and accident free. 

Honor the manufacturer’s annual maintenance recommendations 

The better maintained your garage door is, the less likely it is to cause an accident. Above and beyond impact with a garage door, fingers can get pinched, electric currents can cause shocks or electrocution, and powerful springs can snap if they aren’t repaired by professionals. 

Always honor the manufacturer’s recommendations for annual maintenance. Some of these can be performed by you, such as lubrication of moving parts, but others should be taken care of by professionals to avoid unnecessary accidents, injuries or malfunctions. Another benefit to hiring a garage door technician to perform maintenance chores is that licensed professionals are more likely to notice smaller red flags that indicate a repair or parts replacement is on the horizon. 

Ultimately, garage door safety sensors are the best gift you can give to your garage door – and your building occupants, to keep them safe. Visit Garage Door Safety Tips For an Accident Free Home for more suggestions on how to prevent garage-door related injuries. 

Are you  on the hunt for an honest, trustworthy, and affordable garage door company to install your garage door? Contact us here at R&S of Vallejo. We never upsell products, and our competitively priced maintenance appointments are designed to ensure your garage door safety sensors work day in and day out.  

Should You Upgrade Your Garage Door From Manual To Automatic?

should you upgrade your garage door from manual to automatic

There are multiple reasons to upgrade your manual garage door to an automatic model, including safety, security, and convenience. If your current automatic door opener is 25 years or older (installed prior to 1993), you’ll also benefit from the efficient and safety-oriented features of newer, automatic models.

Upgrade Your Garage Door

Here are eight reasons to upgrade your old, manual garage door. 

Safety First

First and foremost, your manual garage door isn’t as safe as it’s automatic counterparts. Without the security of an automatic operating system, your manual garage door is more likely to close on a pet, a childyourself, or your valuable toys if they get in the way. There are no lasers or safety sensors to stop the garage door in its tracks. 

These features not only reduce garage door accidents, but they can also save lives. 

Convenience 

Perhaps you used to pride yourself on the fact that you were able to get out of the car and manually open and close your garage door. It’s extra exercise, right? Or, perhaps you didn’t want to spend the extra money.  

99.9% of homeowners who make the move from manual to automatic garage door openers never regret it. And, we’ve yet to meet the .1% who regret it – we just wanted to err on the side of the conservative. The good news is that you always have the opportunity to switch the electric door into the manual mode whenever you need to. 

Lighting 

The extra light that automatically turns on when you open and close the garage door is a welcome change from the dark you’re used to once the sunsets. Automatic garage door lights are automatically timed to give you plenty of time to get into your car and back out, or to park, gathering your things from the car, and enter the home or breezeway. 

Keep in mind that some LED lights can interfere with your garage door code. Always use high-quality LED garage door light brands or have your garage door technician replace it when needed to avoid the potential of frequency interference. 

Security 

In addition to posing safety hazards, manual garage doors are far less secure than automatic models. They offer several security-oriented features, including: 

  • Entry code pads. Entry codes can be programmed as needed, and reprogrammed if compromised. They protect your home and keep children or others from having spare keys that are easily lost/found by the wrong entities. 
  • Rolling codes. Your garage door mechanism can continually reprogram itself and the remote, ensuring nobody else in the neighborhood can sync their garage door opener to your door. 
  • Lock features. You can lock the garage so it can’t be reopened until the right code is pushed in or you remove the lock feature yourself. 
  • Vacation mode. This disables the garage door from being able to work with remote control. The door can only be opened from the inside. Once you’re home, taking the door off vacation mode re-programs it to your remotes. 

Energy efficiency 

Original automatic doors required far more energy than today’s models. Innovative garage door models that are lighter and less dense, combined with more efficient operating systems, means your garage door automatically opens and closes while using minimal amounts of energy. 

If energy efficiency is important to you, read our Guide to Having An Eco-Friendly Garage Door. 

Easier maintenance 

Well-made and professionally installed automatic garage doors require minimal maintenance to work efficiently and reliably all year long. One annual maintenance appointment from a licensed garage door technician is all your door will need for decades to come.  

If you have an old, manual door, odds are you’re performing the maintenance on your own, more often, and that can be dangerous. Once your automatic door is installed, all you’ll need to do is keep the mechanical parts lubricated and the lasers and track free of debris or blockage. We’ll take care of the rest. 

Smart technology 

Automatic garage door manufacturers have jumped on the smart technology bandwagon. You have the ability to open and close your garage door from your smartphone or gadgets. The system will also sound an alert or alarm if the door is opened – or left open – to keep you informed. 

Quieter operation 

 Your older garage door and its springs are likely pretty creaky and squeaky as you open and close it. And then, there’s the decided “bang” when it’s dropped or let go into the fully open or closed position.  

You and your family (not to mention the neighbors) will appreciate the quiet and streamlined open/close functions associated with your newer, automatic model. 

Upgrade your garage door for peace of mind 

All it takes is one serious illness, a major sprain or break, or the simple aging process to interfere with your ability to open and close your garage door on your own. Having an automatic garage door, with innovative safety and security features, means your door will continue to open and close with a simple press of a button, regardless of what the future holds.  

Update your curb appeal 

If you have a manual garage door, odds are it’s detracting from your home’s curb appeal. With so many contemporary styles and colors to choose from, your new garage door will give your home a much-needed facelift.

We’re Here When You’re Ready

Are you interested in learning more about reliable, affordable automatic garage door options? Contact us here at R&S Erection in Vallejo, or give us a call at (707) 644-5537We’ll help you select the perfect door design and model for your home and price range.

How LED Lights Interfere With A Garage Doors Performance

how led lights interfere with a garage doors performance

The most common DIY repairs are those related to remote interference with your garage door’s performance. Sometimes, the laser sensors on either side of the garage door are out of alignment. Or, you may have to reprogram the remote’s signal. Now, led lights can interfere with frequencies emitted by your remote control, interrupting your garage door’s performance.

Learn All About The Downside Of LED Lights And Garage Doors

How do LED lights interfere with garage door opening/closing? 

All garage door mechanisms have a light bulb that illuminates whenever the door is opened or closed, and if the door is switched into a safety mode or when you first switch it from the automatic system to the manual mode (typically indicated by a flashing light).  

In order to promote energy-efficiency, garage door manufacturers have migrated away from the use of more energy-consumptive incandescent bulbs to more efficient options such as fluorescent or LED lights. 

LED lights are the most efficient options of all. According to energy.gov, LED light bulbs are as much as 80% more efficient than incandescent bulbs and upwards of 20% or more efficient than fluorescent. Plus, the bulbs last up to 10 years, which means you should only have to replace them once or twice over the course of your garage door’s lifetime. 

Pulse-width modulation and interfering megahertz (MHz) 

One of the reasons LED lights are so efficient is that they have a high pulse-width modulation. This rapid pulsing is invisible to the naked eye but reduces the amount of time the light is actually “on” or using electricity. Most LED lights have a pulse-width modulation rate of about 15 times per second. 

However, they run on a radio frequency of 30 and 300 megahertz (MHz). Your garage door opener operates between around 288 and 360 MHz. When those two frequencies are emitted at the same time, the LED lights cause interference that can override the signal from your garage door opener 

Troubleshooting potential interference with your garage doors performance 

Review these troubleshooting tips if your garage door isn’t opening and closing like it should when you use the remote control. 

  • Could it be other LED lights? The LED light in your garage door opener may not be the problem. As LED lights have become the norm in the holiday and decorative twinkle light market, garage door interference is increasing. Unplug any decorative lights to see if they are the culprits instead. 
  • Check the LED bulb manufacturerThe large majority of LED-related garage door interference is caused by cheap, foreign-made LED lights. Try replacing cheap, foreign-made LED light bulbs with a higher-quality LED bulbs. If it doesn’t fix the issue, you can always return the new bulbs and get your money back. Genie LED lights are intentionally designed to prevent garage door signal interference. They cost a bit more but are well worth it. 
  • Switch out your garage light fixtures. It could be LED lights in existing garage door light fixtures that are causing the problem. Switch their bulbs as well to see if that does the trick. Or, you may need to switch the garage light fixtures out for more contemporary options. 

Additional garage door troubleshooting tips 

If the garage door still isn’t operating correctly, it may not be the LED lights at all. In that case, continue down this list of additional garage door troubleshooting tips. 

  • Check the power source. There is nothing more embarrassing to a homeowner who’s diligently troubleshot their garage door, only to have a tech come out and…plug it back in. Make sure the garage door opener is plugged in to an outlet that has power. If it’s plugged in, unplug it and plug something else in to ensure the outlet has power. You may need to reset a tripped breaker. 
  • Verify the control pad is unlocked. Most garage door openers have a lock function on their control pad as garage door safety feature. If it was locked by mistake, your door will work again as soon as the control pad is unlocked. 
  • Replace the batteries in the remote(s). When’s the last time you changed your garage remote’s batteries? If the door opens and closes via the hardwired button on the garage door wall, but fails when you use the remote, tired or dead batteries may be the culprits. 
  • Try reprogramming the remotes. Every once in a while, the garage door remote’s signal gets wiped out (or is interfered with by competing signals from the surrounding environment. Follow the garage door manufacturer’s instructions on how to reprogram the remote. If you can’t find the manual, just search the make/model (written on the automatic door opener’s exterior) and “how to reprogram the remote” in your search engine to find online instructions.  
  • Contact your garage door contractor. It may be that it’s time to contact your garage door technician to come to take a look. Whether the problem is related to LED lights or not, the technician will know exactly how to identify and repair the issue.

We Can Improve Your Garage Doors Performance

Are you looking for a Bay Area garage door contractor you can trust? Contact us here at R&S Erection of Vallejo. We can talk you through some basic troubleshooting tips and are happy to send a technician out to take care of the problem ASAP. 

Garage Doors Through The Ages

garage doors through the ages

Ever since humans invented wheels, and used them to cart their goods or transport their bodies from one place to another, there has been a desire to safely shelter their particular modes of transportation. 

As a result, the doors (or lack thereof) that protected these valuable possessions have gone through an evolution that is in direct correlation with the invention of power, automation, and the availability of ever lighter-weight materials.

Garage Doors Through The Ages And How they’ve Progressed

The original garage door was a framed opening 

The first evidence of wheels showed up in 3500 B.C.E., and archeologists think wheels may have been invented and used even prior to that. Originally, wheeled carts and wagons were secured in open caves or covered enclosures. Eventually, and depending on the skill or wealth of the wheeled object’s owner, they were further secured via doorways that were typically created from wood, tanned animal skins, or woven piece of cloth. 

The advent of the carriage house door 

As time marched on, wealthier cart and carriage owners, or those who had skilled hands and access to building materials, constructed wooden doorways – called gatehouse or carriage house doors. 

These doors were very heavy, which made them very secure and harder to open or break open when barred close. And, because carriage houses often housed the animals who pulled the carriage, the buildings were detached from the home. The doors were made of wood, very large, and quite wieldy to open. Carriage house doors usually consisted of two separate panels that swung out to gain access. 

From carriage house to garage door 

Those of us who have the honor to live in an older home, circa 1900 and prior, may even have a surviving carriage house, now converted to a bona fide garage, a rental/in-law unit, or some other outbuilding purpose. 

Most of us, however, live in homes, condos, or apartments with designated garages. This is mostly thanks due to Henry Ford, who took the invention of the automobile and put his assembly line stamps on the works. As a result, automobiles became available to the middle-class and working masses, which meant car owners needed a place to store them safely and securely. 

Since automobiles were smaller than most wagons or carriages, and there weren’t any horses, feed, or tack to store, the larger carriage house was scaled down to the standard residential garages we use today. That said, garages needed to be as protected from the weather as possible because early automobiles were completely open, so they needed a weatherproof environment when not in use. 

Early garages came in multiple forms. Some were attached to the residential building, but most were detached from homes, and that continued to be the case until well into the 20th century. In any event, the first written record of the term “garage,” is in a 1902 dictionary, where its French root, “garer,” refers to a shelter or cover. 

First was the sliding door 

The first major change from the dual-opening carriage house style doors was sliding door versions. The addition of circular casters on a horizontal track made it much easier for drivers and car owners of all ages and abilities to open and close their own garage door – regardless of their upper-body strength.  

There were also sliding versions designed with accordion-like, folding sections, which meant garages could be narrower and take up less space. 

Then came the overhead, hinged version 

A man named J.C. Johnson, owner of a company called Overhead Door Corporation wanted to design a door that was more streamlined and easier to open. In 1921, he successfully invented an overhead door that opened by lifting and swinging it upwards, allowing it to rest parallel to the garage door when in the fully-up position. The spring action eased the burden of the door weight from the person opening/closing the door to the opening mechanism’s structural strength. 

Later on that same decade, he invented an electric, automated version, but these were largely unavailable to the majority of Americans because they were too expensive.  

Attached garages became the norm 

By the 1950s, as post-war housing boom and a growing economy – along with an obsession with modern conveniences – developers began promoting the attached garage model. Attached garages have since become the norm, and they began to expand in size to the two-car garages we’re familiar with today as households recognized the benefits of a multi-car ownership. 

Our love of multicar ownership meant that, by the late 1960s, garage square footage was an average of 45% of the total house square footage! 

Garage doors through the ages went from wood to metal 

Until the 1970s, most garage doors were constructed from wood, and this meant they were heavy and cumbersome to operate – especially if you didn’t have an electric garage door. However, as steel and metal prices came down, and fabrication processes continued to innovate, the wood garage door made way for aluminum, steel, and fiberglass options. 

Fabricated doors were typically more affordable than their wooden counterparts, easier to maintain and repaint, and they are certainly lighter and more efficient to operate 

Garage doors have come a long way in the past several hundred years, and today’s homeowners have the ability to choose from an unbelievable range of styles, décor, colors, and automatic system features.

If You’re Ready To Update Your Garage Door

Are you in the market for a new garage door? Contact us here at R&S Erection of Vallejo to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. We’ll help you choose the best, contemporary garage door for your needs.

How To Manually Open And Close Your Garage Door

how to manually open and close your garage door

Electric garage door openers are designed to operate seamlessly day in and day out, but they rely on power. When the power goes out, it’s important to know how to disengage the automatic opener function so you can manually open and close the door until the power comes back on. This is especially important for Bay Area homeowners in this new era of PG&Es fire season power outages.  

The manual option is also important if the automatic mechanism malfunctions, in the event of an emergency, or for homeowners who have lost their garage door remote and are waiting for a replacement. 

Follow Manufacturer’s Directions to Manually Open And Close Your Garage Door 

Your garage door came with the manufacturer’s instruction manual. This is your best resource for learning the specifics for manually opening/closing your particular garage door make and model. If you cannot locate the garage door manual, contact your preferred garage door vendor/installer and schedule an appointment. 

We also recommend searching your garage door make/model online and download a copy of the manual so you have it in the future. 

Does your door have battery back-up? 

Many modern garage door models have a battery back-up system to keep the mechanisms running without power. The batteries are unit-specific and cannot be replaced by the homeowner. If your garage door has a battery in the opener motor, your garage door technician will test it during routine maintenance calls and will replace it as needed. 

Engaging the bypass system to manually open and close your garage door

Every automatic garage door has a bypass system some kind. This may include a key that locks/unlocks the system or it is as simple as pulling the red emergency cord. The latter option is the most common. 

  • Perform a quick inspection. Before disengaging the door from the automatic system, do a quick inspection to ensure the door is still aligned on its track, the springs and chain are intact, and there is no visible sign of damage. 
  • Locate the chain that operates the garage door. For most homeowners, this is up above towards the ceiling of the garage, along the mid-point of the garage door. Higher-end models and some heavier models use a side-opening system, which will be located along the side of the door. 
  • Pull the emergency cord. You’ll see a red cord or a cord with a red handle or knob at the end. This is an emergency cord. When you pull it, it disengages the door frame from the automatic system. The lever that connects the door to the chain/rail is spring-loaded. you’ll hear and feel a distinct “click” when it disengages. Do not be afraid to pull the cord firmly. You should see the lever move and lock into the disengaged position. 
  • Lift the door to open and close it. Most garage doors are made from light, durable material, and are professionally balanced so that they can raise/lower easily. Use both hands and begin lifting or sliding the door into the open position. If it is a struggle, do not strain yourself. Pull the emergency cord again in case you weren’t successful the first time. If you’re sure the door is disconnected from the chain, and the door won’t lift easily, contact a garage door technician 
  • Never let go of the door until it’s fully open/closed. Your garage door won’t stay open on its own unless it’s completely open, or completely closed. If you need to let go of it in a partially open position, use a two-by-four or a solid item to hold it in position or lower the door until it’s firmly closed again. If your garage door is a single panel, you may need to keep a two-by-four or similar structural support to hold the door up while you move the car in and out of the garage, or have someone hold the door up for you, to keep the door from falling down again. 
  • Watch your fingers. If your door is comprised of multiple panels that slide up and around the curve of the track, watch your fingers. It’s easy to lose track of the door and it’s painful to have your fingers pinched between the panels. 
  • To re-engage the automatic function. Once the power has been restored, pull the cord again and watch the lever move back into the engaged position. Push your automatic opener button in the garage or use the remote and the garage door should be back to normal again. 

Keeping the garage door properly lubricated is always a good idea, but it will definitely pay off when you need to manually open and close the door.  

Make garage door safety a priority 

Always keep a safety-first attitude when manually opening and closing the garage door. This is especially important if you have young children.  

Read our posts, Garage Door Safety for an Accident-Free Home, and, How to Teach Your Children Garage Door Safety. They are good to review if your door is in the manual operation mode to ensure the door doesn’t close on an unsuspecting child or pet.

 

Would you like a licensed garage door technician to review how to manually open and close your garage door? Contact us here at R&S Erection of Vallejo, or give us a call at (707) 644-5537, to schedule an appointment. We’ll go through it with you, using the exact steps required for your garage door make/model until you feel confident you can operate it safely on your own.

How To Teach Your Children Garage Door Safety

how to teach your children garage door safety

The good news is that automated garage doors, installed and maintained by licensed professionals, have never been safer. The reality, however, is that accidents happen. If you have small children, please create a safety-first culture by teaching your children how to use the garage door safelyas well as what to do if there is an accident. 

Create Explicit Rules To Teach Your Children Garage Door Safety

We recommend reviewing our post, Garage Door Safety Tips for an Accident-Proof Home. There, you’ll glean excellent fodder for your home’s rules and expectations around the garage door.  

  • Explaining how heavy and dangerous a garage door can be, including its ability to trap small children and pets. You may even want to pull the garage door emergency cord to show how the door can fall on its own if there is a malfunction, demonstrating the difference between a door controlled by an automatic system and one that isn’t. 
  • Never play near, stand near, interrupt, or try to enter/exit a garage while it is in motion. It’s best to steer clear of the garage door altogether. 
  • Moving garage doors are off-limits. Never touch or go near a garage door that is moving. 
  • Keeping remote controls inaccessible. Consider storing your garage door openers in an out-of-reach place until your children are old enough to understand and respect the rules. If you keep your remote in the vehicle, lock the doors when the car’s not in use, so kids aren’t tempted to remove it. 
  • Make a steadfast rule about who can and can’t open the garage door – and when. Perhaps the first stage of the standard dictates that only children 8-years old (or 10) can open the garage without an adult present. Or, you may require that children ask permission first, so you are aware they are going to be using the garage door opener and can supervise the process. Some families install their garage door opener at a higher-than-normal location and set the guideline that children can’t use the door opener until they’re able to reach the button without tippy toes.  
  • Children need to report when the garage door is partially open. Garage doors should never be left in a partially open position. This encourages children to enter and leave the garage door through the tempting space, putting them at risk for being trapped or injured if the door is operated by an unknowing parent or sibling. Let kids know that a partially-open garage door is a danger and needs to be reported to a parent immediately. 
  • Likewise, report malfunctions ASAP. If your older children notice the door is making a strange sound or isn’t operating as it should, they should stop using the door immediately and report the issue to you.  

If you do have older children in the mix, we recommend sitting down together and reviewing 10 Not So Obvious Signs That It’s Time to Replace a Garage DoorThe post provides helpful information so they can recognize when a garage door needs repair and replacement, which is a red flag that the door is not safe until the issues are resolved. 

Additional Garage Door Safety Tips 

Here are additional, helpful garage door safety tips that will keep your children safe around the garage door. 

Never perform DIY repairs on your own 

Garage doors should always be repaired or replaced by licensed professionals. Many of the safety issues and injuries we’ve encountered in our local area were the result of DIY garage repairs gone wrong. Repair costs are affordable and certainly worth the safety (and labor guarantee) that goes along with them. 

Replace your garage door if it’s more than 15-years old 

Garage doors have come a long way in terms of energy efficiency, lightness, and durability – not to mention built-in safety features. If your garage door is 15-years old or more, we highly recommend replacing it with a safer alternative. 

Avoid garage door installation or repair offers that seem too good to be true 

As licensed, professional garage door installer, we do our best to remain competitive. Still, there’s much to be said for the expression, “you get what you pay for.” To provide top-quality products and services, we use high-quality materials and fairly compensate our trained employees.  

If you’re tempted by a low-ball offer for a brand new garage door installation or repair deal, remember that garage door scams are a real thing. Read, How to Avoid Garage Door Repair Scams, to identify the red flags that will help you hire legitimate installers and repair professionals that focus on safety-first. 

Maintain your garage door to maintain garage door safety

The best way to avoid a malfunctioning garage door (aka, an unsafe garage door) is to observe the manufacturer’s routine maintenance guidelines, included in the owner’s manual. Some of the maintenance tips, such as keeping the door clean and free of debris or lubricating it two or three times a year, are perfect DIY tasks. Others, such as replacing the spring or track repairs, are best left to the professionals.

Hire A Professional To Help Keep Your Family Safe

Is your garage door due for an inspection? Interested in personalized tips to teach children to safely use the garage door? Contact us here at R&S Erection of Vallejo. We can schedule your maintenance or garage door installation to sync when children are home so they get a Garage Door Safety 101 lecture from pro! 

The Benefits Of An Access Control System

the benefits of an access control system

At the root level, access control systems for gates, entrances, or doorways are all about safety and security. However, they also offer additional benefits, not the least of which is never having to replace lost or stolen keys again. 

In case you are new to the idea of an access control system, here’s a brief explanation of what they do – and how they work. 

Access control systems work via a secure, designated network. Most often, they utilize keypads and user-specific codes that track movement (time/date stamped entrances, exits, and/or access) at desired locations in and around a property and its buildings 

Systems are custom-designed to fit your business’s needs. Access control panels can be installed at: 

  • Entrance gates 
  • Front/side doors 
  • Delivery doors 
  • Private offices housing sensitive information 
  • Designated rooms or areas 
  • Labs 
  • Storage areas 
  • Etc. 

While keypad/PIN or card scan models are the standards, upgraded, higher-security access control systems utilize biometric data, like fingerprints, before allowing access. The systems can also include other functions such as communication through speakers, timecard tracking sent directly to payroll, audio/video recording, etc.  

7 Benefits of a High-Quality Access Control System 

The combination of digital and smart technology, have made today’s access control systems more accurate and secure than ever before. Over the past decades of installing automatic gates and commercial doorswe’ve converted hundreds of customers into access control systems fans.  

Here are some of the benefits these customers appreciate the most: 

Accountable security 

Stating your building is secure is one thing; holding yourself accountable to that promise is another. From clients or patients trusting you with their sensitive data to residents who demand security in residential or commercial spaces, your access control system appeals to the public’s desire for safety and security. They allow you to stand by your word. 

No more lost keys (or costly re-keying)

Relying on keys is a nightmare for any business or mixed-use building where occupants’ safety – as well as the security of products and merchandise –depends on employees’ being responsible with their keys. 

How many times have you had to rekey a building – or certain areas of a building – as the result of an employee’s lost or stolen key(s)? If employees or residents are unwilling to admit or report a lost/stolen key, are you willing to put the rest of the building at risk? What about when you have to fire an employee or s/he quits without notice – and without returning the key? All of these scenarios compromise the safety of your building and its occupants and can require the expensive rekeying of the entire building or premises.  

Access control systems put an end to that because employee/occupant/user-specific codes can be programmed and canceled in an instant. An access card and the reissuing of new codes take just a few minutes – and it doesn’t cost your company a dime. 

Real-time tracking of others’ access and movements 

The combination of user-specific codes and date/time stamping means you have an accurate, trackable record of who was where – when – and for how long. Doctors’ offices, laboratories, pharmacies, warehouses, or other commercial businesses whose products are at risk for theft appreciate the level of trackability access control systems offer. 

Should a theft occur, odds are the access control records – along with the security systems video footage – will be the invaluable links to solving the crime.  

No strangers allowed with an access control system

The combination of your access control system, a routine security protocol, and the right, well-maintained commercial or personnel doors means only one person can access the building or designated area at a time. This bars strangers from the ability to slip in behind a security-cleared employee or vendor. 

Streamline shift changes 

Shift changes present the ideal opportunity for nefarious employees or their associates to plan a theft. The chaos that exists as multiple employees come in and out between shifts makes it challenging to track their movement. 

Access control systems and security doors can be specifically designed to organize the process around shift-change times, keeping things more streamlined. 

Leveled and time-tiered access 

Are there certain areas of your building or premises that are off-limits at certain times of the day or evening? Access control panels are easily programmed – and reprogrammed via secure software and user accounts – to provide day- or time-specific access. You can ensure some employees have access to general areas only, while others have full-access privileges, and so on.  

Employee safety and security

Employers operating 24/7 businesses, or whose buildings are located in a less desirable area of town, feel more confident about their employee safety after access control panels are up and running.  

Keypad or card access is far swifter than fumbling around for a key or dropping one, which means employees can enter and exit the building more quickly. 

Let Us Give You Peace Of Mind

Are you interested in designing a customized access control system for your Bay Area business or home? Contact us here at R&S Erection of Vallejo and schedule a free, on-site consultation.

Why Are Fire Door Inspections And Drop Tests Important?

why are fire door inspections and drop tests important

Fire doors are designed to slow down or prevent the progression of fire and smoke from one area of a commercial building to another. The National Fire Protection Agency created NFPA-80, outlining the parameters and stipulations that must be met when installing, repairing, and replacing fire doors to ensure they’ll function as designed when and if a building catches on fire. 

Routine fire door inspections and drop testing is outlined in NFPA-80 and must be performed at least once a year. Fire doors in heavy-use buildings and more conscientious building and business owners may opt to have fire doors inspected more often to err on the side of caution. 

Fire Door Inspections & Drop Tests Keep Building Owners in Compliance 

If you are the owner of a commercial building with fire doors, or you own a business in a building where your customers and clients depend on fire doors to keep them safe in the event of a fire, take note.  

  • Are your fire doors inspected annually or bi-annually? 
  • Do you have documented paperwork or digital files on record to prove it? 
  • Are you unclear as to whether or not your building/business’s fire doors have been inspected in the past year? 

If there is any question as to whether or not your building’s fire doors have been inspected or drop tested in the past year, look into it ASAP. In the event of a fire emergency, fire door failure can lead to injury, fatalities, and may also come back to haunt you via crippling litigation. 

What To Expect During Your Fire Door Inspections and Drop Tests? 

There are several steps required for inspection and drop testing.  

Verify your fire door installer/inspector is qualified and verify references 

The first step is to confirm your commercial fire door installer, inspector, and repair company is certified to do the work.  

The Health Facilities Management Magazine recently posted an article about ill-intentioned garage door “professionals” that are actually scammers. They write, “More and more vendors are offering low- or no-cost inspections of fire and smoke doors to facilities, with the expectation that they will also be the vendor that completes the remediation and/or repairs. This has created large and sometimes inaccurate lists of deficiencies that may or may not be critical for repair. 

Verify your fire door company’s credentials and certifications, and speak with their commercial building references to ensure they perform honest, high-quality work. 

General visual fire door inspections 

As with any commercial door inspection, the technician begins with a visual inspection. They’ll look at the overall condition of the door, looking for visible signs of tampering, ill repair, missing or loose parts, etc. 

Specifically, the technician will look for: 

  • Loose, damaged or misplaced bolts or mounting assembly parts 
  • Compliance with manufacturer’s instructions for welds and welding sites 
  • Fusible links are in the right locations 
  • That fusible links, chain/sash cables are not coated with grease, kinked, dented, misshaped or cut
  • There is nothing attached to, connected to, or obstructing the fire door that isn’t a part of its designed assembly
  • That the smoke detectors, and the fire door release assembly, function properly 

Find and repair damaged or missing parts 

Depending on the style of the fire door, the inspector will look for damaged or missing parts related to the specific door style’s design and function. This includes: 

  • Dented, bent, punctured, fatigued or otherwise damaged metal or slats on rolling or overhead doors 
  • Any signs that end locks are broken, bent, damaged, or not functioning efficiently 
  • Looking for dented, bent or damaged bottom bars 
  • Misalignment, bent or angled channels, loose bolts, etc. in the guide assembly 
  • Any missing, broken parts, or for drop or release arms that are tied, blocked or wedged, in the automatic closing mechanism 
  • Signs of poorly aligned or meshed gears of other malfunctioning or damaged parts comprising the operating mechanisms 

Operational test 

Some fire doors are meant to remain open at all times, except when they close automatically in response to fire or smoke alarms. Others are used day in and day out. Thus, the fire door safety inspector will test the door’s basic operation to make sure the door is properly balanced.  

Any signs the door isn’t working means the parts/systems must be completely repaired and in good working order before moving forward with the drop test. 

The drop test 

Assuming your fire doors have been well-maintained and are in good shape, the fire door specialist will proceed with the drop test. 

The drop test requires two separate steps: 

  • Step One: Make sure the door closes as it should 

As per the door manufacturer’s instructions, the technician will start by triggering the door to close. Fire doors should shut easily, securely, and quickly – between six- and 24-seconds – from the fully open to the fully closed position. 

  • Step Two: Ensure the automatic closing devices reset 

Once the doors have completed the first part of the drop test, the fire door safety technician will ensure the door’s automatic closing device completely resets. 

Failure in either part of the test leads to a correction or repair and retesting until the door passes without any hitch. If the door continues to fail after multiple repairs or parts replacement, the fire door may need replacement. 

 We Can Help Keep Your Business Safe

Are your fire doors due for their annual inspection and drop test? Contact R&S Erection of Vallejo. Our commercial technicians attend regular training and they have ample experience inspecting and drop testing commercial fire doors.

Commercial Doors For Colleges And Universities

commercial doors for colleges and universities

There are few commercial settings that require the gamut of commercial door options than colleges and universities. Diverse campus settings accommodate a wide variety of needs and services, from residential housing in dormitories to personnel and counter doors in various office and commercial settings as well as rolling and loading dock doors utilized by food services and storefronts selling school-related merchandise.  

Due to heavy daily use, and increased need for improved campus security, top-quality fabrication and professional installation are essential to ensuring commercial grade doors for colleges and universities work easily, efficiently, and safely every day. 

Getting The Most From Commercial Doors In University Settings 

The following are tips for ensuring you’re getting the most from commercial doors installed in university settings. 

Work with a licensed, experienced vendor for your commercial doors 

First and foremost, you need to work with a licensed, experienced commercial door vendor and installer. The needs of a university far exceed those of the average commercial business. The building plans, safety, and evacuation policies, and legal building requirements must be adhered to for the efficacy and safety of the university’s students, faculty, personnel, and visitors – and to protect the institution’s bottom line. 

This includes professional inspections and repairs. Without verifying a commercial door installer’s credentials, you risk being scammed. Worse, you risk the safety and security of buildings and their occupants in the event of an emergency. 

Don’t forget about firerated doors and maintenance requirements 

The majority of your college’s buildings require fire-rated doors, which must be inspected and maintained on a regular basis. Designed to automatically shut and lockdown, preventing key firebreaks, routine tampering from curious or mischievous students compromises the doors’ integrity.  

As a result, firerated doors must be inspected and certified on a regular basis. Choosing the right door vendor and installer is essential as you’re forming a longstanding partnership, based on trust. 

Stylish commercial doors for dorms and offices 

Non-utilitarian doors – such as those used in public areas of the college, residential dormitories, and other professional settings have to look as good as they are designed to function.  

Commercial pass door products and personnel doors from major brands (available in steel, stainless steel, fiberglass, FRP, composite), as well as specialty doors,  can be selected to meet the safety and security requirements for the application. At the same time, you can benefit from doors that are stylish and complementary to your college or university’s architecture and interior design. 

Time to replace outdated rolling and counter doors 

Ready to trade-in those outdated, manual rolling, overhead, and counter doors? You should be. In addition to sprucing up the exterior faces of your building, automated options are notably more secure, efficient, and easy to use than their manual predecessors. You may find that attractive wood options far surpass the standard metal options of previous decades.  

For delivery bays or warehouse and mechanical room use, ask your commercial door vendor about vinyl strip roll curtains that keep the weather and debris out, while allowing more efficient entrance and egress from workers, forklifts, delivery trucks and so on. 

Never underestimate the importance of security and safety 

Unfortunately, the recent rise in school shootings has made security and safety a top priority for college and university campuses across the nation. Innovative, high-quality commercial doors make it possible for your community to remain safer than ever.

A recent post in Fortune Magazine outlined how several schools around the nation utilize technology – including the use of updated security doors and locking mechanisms – to keep their communities more secure. Another article promoting smart investments for safer schools cited how after a recent school shootingFlorida Gov. Rick Scott’s (R) called for investing in more visible security measures including steel doors, bulletproof glass…” and other options. Steel doors, bulletproof glass, and high-tech locking mechanisms are a must when student and faculty security and safety are a priority. 

Speak to your door representatives about: 

  • Bulletproof glass for common area use 
  • Lockdown potential 
  • Automated silent “shooter” alarms, lockdowns, and security options 
  • Remote, smart gadget access and operation controls that integrate the security and door systems and functions 

In addition to protecting students in the event of a shooting or other violent act, implementing the highest-quality doors, equipped with high-tech locking and automatic shutdown features, also shows the community that you’re doing all you can to keep them safe.

Inspections and maintenance allow commercial doors in universities to do their job 

The job doesn’t stop once the doors are installed. Your garage door company should offer routine inspection and maintenance services. Moving systematically through your university campus’s buildings – scheduled as per manufacturer’s, fire code, and campus safety code’s recommendations – these professional inspections ensure any potential door issues are addressed, repaired or replaced immediately. This is the only way to guarantee doors’ efficient, day-to-day function, and that they will provide the level of security you’ve invested in if an unfortunate emergency takes place.

We’ve Got You Covered

Are you looking for a local, Bay Area commercial door installer who can take care of your campus’s commercial door needs? Contact us here at R&S Erection in Vallejo to schedule a free, onsite consultation. We offer all R&S products directly from our manufacturing plants and distribution centers, allowing us to provide a higher level of customer service and competitive prices.