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.

How To Childproof Your Garage Door

how to childproof your garage door

Are you maintaining a childproof garage door? From pinched (or broken) fingers to more serious or even fatal accidents, your heavy garage door should be installed, maintained, and operated within a “Safety First” framework to keep your children and family safe.

10 Tips On Childproofing That Garage Door

Let your kids know garage doors are dangerous

Because garage doors are largely viewed as utilitarian and used most by adults, we often forget how enticing they are for children. Both smaller and bigger children are often fascinated by the automatic door process, or love to use a partially open garage door as a place to hide or play.

Instilling the awareness that garage doors are heavy, dangerous, and should not be thought of as a “toy,” creates a more reality-based awareness for your children.

Always repair or replace worn out or old garage doors

Don’t let repairs or a potential garage door replacement languish on your “to do” list. As long as your garage door is malfunctioning, making loud or obnoxious noises or vibrations, or needs replacement – consider it unsafe.

Some of the biggest red flags indicating your door needs to be inspected, repaired or replaced include:

  • Randomly opening/shutting on its own
  • Misaligned tracks
  • The door doesn’t close all the way
  • The garage door is warped

Have your garage door installed and repaired by a licensed garage door contractor

We understand the need to save money by performing DIY repairs. However, garage doors should only be installed by licensed professionals. While there are routine maintenance tasks worthy of a DIYer (such as lubricating the moving parts, or repainting an older garage door), hiring a licensed, experienced garage door contractor is the best way to ensure the door is installed and maintained, with precise respect to the manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations.

Read, 7 Reasons to Hire a Pro for Your Garage Door Installation, for more on that topic.

Raise the height of the wall-mounted garage door opener

If the button to your wall-mounted garage door opener is within the reach of small children, raise it to a height that is greater than what they can access using tippy-toes and outstretched arms.

Keep children away from moving parts

It’s best to open the garage door before toddlers or smaller children are in the garage or wait until they are safely strapped into car seats or boosters before opening the door. Children often become transfixed by chains, moving rollers in the tracks, or the spaces that open/close between panels – all of which can cause very painful or even debilitating injuries when curious fingers, hands, or feet get in the way.

Keep routine garage door maintenance appointments on your calendar

Time flies in a busy household with young children, so it’s easy to miss the routine inspection and maintenance appointments necessary to keep your garage door working well, in good shape, and gleaning the benefits of the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance tasks.

Your garage door should be professionally serviced at least once per year. Fall is a great time to schedule these appointments, ensuring the garage door is ready for winter’s more extreme rain and wind.

Lock the garage door if your child can’t resist

Have a born mechanic or engineer in the family – a child who loves machinery and/or enjoys figuring out how things work? If so, there’s a good chance s/he isn’t going to adhere to the household rules about safe garage door operation.

If that’s the case for you, implement the automatic garage door’s “lock” function to ensure that adults are the only ones able to open/close the garage door until you feel your little one is old/mature enough to prioritize safety above curiosity.

Lock the car doors and store keys out of the reach of small children

Children are born observers, and you’d be surprised how many garage doors have been demolished by an older toddler or young child’s decision to back the car out of the garage. Even “pretend driving” escapades can result in “real driving” if your child has access to the keys and knows how to operate the garage door.

Locking your car doors when the car isn’t in use, and keeping the keys locked up or out of the reach of young children is a wise move.

Test your garage door’s safety functions regularly

Contemporary garage doors are intentionally designed with built-in safety mechanisms. These include the door’s automatic lift response if it encounters resistance (potentially a human or pet) while it’s closing, or a complete resistance to closing if the laser sensors “sense” something in the way when you try to close it. Even so, these safety systems can fail.

Test your garage door regularly, using a bucket flipped upside down, to make sure the safety features work. Put the bucket in direct line with the door’s closed position and make sure it doesn’t close, and then have someone else push the “close” button and stick the bucket in the way of the doors closing pathway and make sure the door immediately stops and reopens.

Invest in a stronger garage door frame, or an insulated garage door

Finally, we’re reversing the idea of “childproof” for this last point. Children’s games and activities are often the cause of damage to the garage door (bumps, dings, scratches, and dents). Spending a little more for a more durable door is a good way to protect your garage door from your children.

Keep Your Family Safe And Sound

The crew here at R&S Erection Vallejo is happy to provide an inspection and routine maintenance to ensure your garage door is as childproof as possible. Contact us to schedule an appointment. (707) 644-5537.

Why Do Commercial Buildings Require Fire Doors?

why do commercial buildings require fire doors

In the United States, commercial buildings are required to be equipped with fire doors. This is true regardless of the nature of the businesses contained within them.

The question is, why do commercial buildings require these doors? What exactly is the law as it pertains to commercial buildings and fire safety?

We’re going to get into those questions below. Let’s begin!

What Exactly Is A Fire Door?

To put it simply, a fire door is a door specifically designed to withstand the effects of fire. Made out of hollowed metal, solid wood, or thick glass, they are big, bulky, and heavy, offering protection against arsons and other types of building fires. Sometimes equipped with panic devices and crash bars, they exist on both the exteriors and interiors of commercial properties.

Other characteristics of fire doors include an ability to block smoke, an ability to close automatically when a fire is detected nearby, and an ability to stop the spread of heat from one of their sides to the other.

Fire doors are required by law in specific parts of commercial buildings. Most typically, they will be found on stairwells, between different sections of a building, and on buildings’ exteriors.

Fire Door Features

As was noted, fire doors are made out of either solid wood, hollow metal, or fire-resistant glass. These three materials work terrifically as fire-stoppers, ceasing the spread of fire almost soon as it meets them.

To offer further protection, fire doors are equipped with intumescent seals. These seals exist on fire doors’ edges and will expand whenever temperatures exceed 200 degrees Celsius. By doing so, they close off the gaps between their corresponding doors and doorways, preventing the inward flow of smoke.

Fire doors can be equipped with a wide variety of locks, from cylindrical locks to crash bars to electronic locks and more. These locks are no different from the ones you’ll find on conventional doors.

Why Are Fire Doors Required?

In the United States, commercial buildings are required by law to possess fire doors. The reason for this is for the protection of employees, customers, and other individuals who make their way into a commercial property. While private residences aren’t required by law to have fire doors, homeowners could still benefit from having them.

In most municipalities throughout the US, the regulation of fire doors is determined by the National Fire Protection Association. While municipalities are allowed to determine their own building codes, they tend to stick with the fire-protection outlines provided by the NFPA.

Where Must Fire Doors Be Installed?

When it comes to commercial properties, fire doors must be installed in a few different locations. The layout of your particular property will determine how many fire doors you require.

First, it’s necessary to install fire doors on all main exits. These will help protect the interior of the building from any exterior fires which might arise.

In addition, if you have a stairwell in your property, it might necessitate a fire door. Other areas which might require fire doors include corridors and horizontal exits.

Consequences Of Not Having A Fire Door

Business properties which don’t have fire doors located in the proper areas can be subject to legal penalty. In fact, even if you do possess the proper number of fire doors, you could be charged for using them in an unlawful manner. For instance, you could have your doors blocked by large objects, preventing them from opening or closing when needed.

If you break fire door laws, you could face jail time. And that doesn’t even include the substantial fines that your business would likely have thrown its way.

In short, you don’t want to break fire regulation laws. And believe us: if you do, you will eventually be caught. Play it safe and have yours installed today.

Understanding Fire Door Ratings

After they’ve been manufactured, fire doors are put through an intensive independent testing process. During this process, they are rated on how well they can handle fire exposure and high heats.

Fire door ratings are generally provided in hours. For instance, a door might have a rating of 0.5, meaning that it can withstand direct fire exposure for a total of 30 minutes.

These doors are generally assigned one of five ratings. These include 0.5, 0.75, 1.0, 1.5, and 3.0. The higher the number, the greater resistance the door will have against fire.

Fire Door Certification

When buying a fire door, it’s important to keep an eye on certification. Fire doors are required by law to possess certification stickers. If they don’t, they’re not legitimate and should be avoided at all costs.

Certification stickers should possess a few different pieces of information. These pieces of information include the name of the door manufacturer, the fire-resistant efficacy of the attached hardware, a temperature rise rating, the standard fire rating, and the nature of its smoke-resistant capabilities.

Assessing The Condition Of An Existing Fire Door

Already have a fire door installed? Wondering if it’s time for a replacement? There are a number of signs that a replacement might be needed.

First, check the gaps between the door and the door frame. If the gaps measure in at any more than 4 millimeters, they are too big, indicating that the door can’t do its job properly. Also keep an eye on the bottom of the door, which should not allow any light through.

Next, take a close look at the seal around the door. If it’s damaged in any way, it (or the door) needs to be replaced.

The state of the door’s hinges is important as well. Each fire door should have three hinges, each of which should be firmly equipped with tight screws.

Purchase Fire Doors Now!

Are you in the process of building a commercial building? Looking to purchase fire doors right now? If so, and if you’re in Napa or Solano County, California, we here at R&S Erection of Vallejo are the people to see.

We offer and install a wide variety of commercial fire doors. Regardless of your needs, our team can help you.

Contact us today for a free estimate!

Garage Door Safety Tips For An Accident-Free Home

garage door safety tips for an accident free home

Garage door safety is a topic most homeowners gloss over when purchasing, repairing or installing a new system. That’s because so many products today come with built-in safety features.

But there’s still quite a bit of precaution to use around these convenient home entryways. While the number of fatalities related to their operation is quite low, it’s still an unnecessary statistic. And it doesn’t begin to speak to the garage door-related injuries that might occur.

Garage Door Safety

In the following article, we’ll be discussing the top garage door safety tips for ensuring your home, property, and health is protected. Let’s begin!

Safety Sensors First

Safety sensors are standard features on most new garage door openers. And they’re especially worth it if you have children living in your home.

They’re also beneficial when protecting your automobile as they will not allow the door to close if anything is blocking the sensor path. This ensures your car’s body is protected at all times. It also gives you the convenience and peace of mind of closing the door before exiting the vehicle.

Protect Your Passwords

Many enjoy purchasing password-protected garage doors. These ensure you can get in and out of your garage regardless of access to a garage door opener.

Be careful with these, though. They usually follow the limited security oversight of a numeric keypad.

Numeric keypads are bothersome for a couple of reasons. These are:

  • We tend to be lazy changing passwords of any kind
  • We also tend to go with the most obvious numerical combinations, thus making a password incredibly easy to figure out (i.e., 1234, your four-digit birthday including month and day, etc.).

Many often share their passwords with friends and family members. Since most invasive crimes are committed by someone you know, you may want to reconsider.

Teach Children To Respect The Door

For children, door safety is about more than simply avoiding having the garage door close on them. There’s also the action of the door as it ascends and descends.

The segments of the door create a possibility for serious injury should a child get their fingers too close to the crevices. Parents, watch your small children closely as they toddle towards a door-in-motion!

Keep Remotes In A Safe Place

Remote controls are incredibly convenient for garage door openers. But if you lose or misplace one, it can be distressing.

For starters, you don’t know who’ll end up with it. They certainly provide easy access to your home for residential burglars.

Secondly, losing your remote creates a major annoyance. This is especially true when you don’t have some outside point-of-access (such as a keypad).

Test The Safety Features

Most doors are to come with a garage door auto reverse feature. This enables the owner to stop downward momentum if something or someone too small for the sensor ventures underneath it.

The auto-reverse mechanism should be tested regularly. Doing so can pinpoint any obvious signs of malfunction as they occur.

Read The Owner’s Manual

Like a car, each garage door does different things. To understand the full capabilities (and the full vulnerabilities), it’s important to read up on yours.

The downside of this is that many people fail to keep physical copies because they just assume the door will work at all times. Fortunately, many manufacturers will allow you to access specific makes and models on their website should you lose or misplace yours.

Check Garage Door Parts For Wear And Tear

Looking at the entire garage door, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the sum of the parts. But the functionality is controlled by a system of brackets, cables, and pulleys.

If just one thing goes wrong, it can impede the entire system. And the more issues a garage door experiences, the more likely it is to become a safety hazard for anyone near it.

Mind The Age Of Your Garage Door

As doors age, they’re more vulnerable to part malfunctions. Older doors are likely to not be equipped with the latest safety features or standards. For a complete list of the signs your door is wearing out, check out these 10 tips from one of our previous blog posts.

Never Leave A Garage Door Partially Open

One safety issue that isn’t necessarily indicative of a faulty door but still worth mentioning is the partially or fully open door. Criminals will often case neighborhoods looking for an easy mark. It doesn’t get much easier than a wide-open garage door.

Plan For Vacations

Your garage door likely has a long-term safety feature for those moments when you’re going to be gone longer than a typical workday. A manual latch keeps the door locked regardless of who has garage door opener or password access.

You also should consider a backup mechanism like motion lights, not just for vacation time but every day. Criminals get spooked into moving to an easier target when they see one cut on, and it gives the impression you’re home even when you’re hundreds of miles away.

Keep The Entry Door Locked Just In Case

If someone does breach access to your garage, don’t make it easy for them. Keep the entryway door into your home locked at all times to guard against the unexpected visitor.

Obscure Visibility In Your Garage

Garages can sometimes become museums for high-priced fitness equipment (i.e., bicycles, Bowflexes, etc). If you are keeping anything of significant value in your garage, make sure there’s no visibility from the street. High-value objects attract all types of wrongdoers.

Lock Your Cars Anyway

Lastly, even after taking every precaution you can against a garage intruder, assume they’ll get in. And treat everything — including your automobiles — as if they’re vulnerable.

It’s especially important to do this if you keep your garage door opener inside your car. Crooks aren’t above breaking in once to quickly gain access to the door opener, then coming back later when you’re not around to clean house.

Proper Garage Door Safety Keeps The Rest Of The Home Safe

If you commit to garage door safety, you commit to full-home safety. And if you’re ready to move ahead with a purchase and installation, then contact us today for a free estimate.

Your Essential Loading Dock Safety 6 Point Checklist

your essential loading dock safety 6 point checklist

With nearly 5,000 preventable deaths occurring at work every year, there are lots of ways we could be keeping our staff safe and educated about loading dock safety. Loading dock safety equipment and proper training are one of the ways to ensure that everyone stays secure while on the job. If you haven’t properly prepared your staff, they could end up getting hurt which can cost you money and ruin your reputation.

THE Loading Dock Safety Checklist

Here is your 6 point safety checklist to ensure your loading dock is safe to work on.

Watch for common hazards

When you’re on a loading dock, there are a number of hazards to watch out for and to take care of. If you’re watching for hazards ahead of time, you can avoid most of the accidents that occur after the fact.

Look out for people slipping on oily, wet, or damaged flooring. Warn people as soon as you notice something is wrong. Put up signs or put down cones and get to work immediately.

People can fall off the edges or docks or from unsecured dock plates. Be sure that everything is secure and put into place regular inspections.

When a vehicle is stopped, trailer wheels should be chocked and no vehicles should be idling. This can lead to illness from carbon monoxide.

Train everyone on proper lifting and carrying, letting them know when to let a forklift take care of things. Use security monitoring tools to ensure that everyone is safe at all times.

Care for your floors

If you leave clutter on your floors or don’t clean up properly, you could be putting people at risk of injury.

If you have containers or packaging that hasn’t been cleaned up properly, remind those responsible to take care of it. Leaving materials in walking or driving areas can lead to injuries or damaged equipment.

Trash needs to be picked up and disposed of properly, including oily rags and other combustibles. You need to have plenty of closed containers for those materials.

Everyone should know what to do in the case of a spill. Adding chemical cleaners should cause a bad reaction and put people at risk. There needs to be a protocol in place for any kind of spill.

OSHA has a set of standards for dealing with major spills. You should have loading dock safety data sheets on hand to relate to any chemical you have on site.

Also be aware of any drips from rain or melted ice that may end up on your floor. It can slowly cause serious damage.

Manage your dock plates

If you don’t keep your dock plates in their proper place, you might end up leaving staff to suffer injuries. You may also end up in a situation where your equipment gets damaged from overloading your plates.

Every dock plate has a load capacity written on it. Follow those rules to the letter.

If you have movable dock boards, secure them. If they slip you’ll end up with injuries.

IF you have to move your dock plates, don’t drop them into positions. Slide them in so that they aren’t damaged.

Prevent falls

Fall prevention training is important when working on a loading dock. Falls can be especially injurious because workers will be falling onto concrete or steel plates. This can damage and crack bones very easily.

Make sure no one is running on your loading docks. If you see people fooling around and pushing one another, put an end to it. Keep everyone from dock edges and don’t allow them to jump off of them under any circumstances.

Set standards for footwear and make sure that everyone is wearing sturdy shoes that can protect their feet and their toes. Steel toed boots might be the best investment you can make for your loading dock staff this year.

Loading and unloading safely

You need to offer extensive training to new recruits when it comes to learning how to load and unload things from trucks and trailers. Whether it’s their own back or someone else’s safety they have to worry about, everyone should be able to feel secure around heavy loads.

Forklifts and dollies should be used rather than lifting on their own. When things need to be lifted by hand, there should be multiple people around to help. Even small loads can damage your workers’ backs.

Don’t let them lift skids or pallets on their own. When something has to be moved, the proper equipment should be employed.

When things are lifted, train employees to bend their knees and keep backs straight. Their legs must do the work instead of their back, even if it feels more natural to let their back to it.

Provide high-quality gloves for lifting and loading. This will ensure that no one loses their grip on anything.

Be aware

Everyone on your staff needs to be trained on the best practices for awareness. They should be looking around and be aware of the people working beside them. They must know when a vehicle is approaching or when hazardous materials are being handled.

If you see staff playing on or riding a forklift incorrectly, put an end to it immediately. Don’t allow staff to distract operators. The horn of a forklift should be handled seriously and when it’s heard, everyone should be aware of where the nearest forklift is.

If there are materials around that could fall or start tumbling from their resting place, action must be taken. One rolling piece of metal could cause a dozen other pieces to become unhinged and turn into an avalanche.

Everyone should wear hard hats, hearing protection, and goggles when it’s appropriate.

Loading Dock Safety Is Essential

If you’re not focused on loading dock safety at your facility, you risk leaving your workers vulnerable. This makes work a hostile environment and the feeling that your workers don’t matter. Don’t leave them with this feeling and instead take precautions to ensure that everyone feels safe and secure at work.

Check out our guide for more information on why safety matters at your loading dock, even for your doors.

The Dangers of DIY Garage Door Repair

the dangers of diy garage door repair

Over 20,000 garage door repair related injuries are reported every year.

This includes over 7,000 pinching injuries (which can result in finger amputations), more than 2,000 crushing injuries (caused by a falling garage door), and 800 lacerations (from the glass in garage windows). If you aren’t careful, a garage door mishap can even result in death.

Overhead garage door repair isn’t one of those home projects you want to do on your own. It only takes one mistake to cause irreversible damages or serious personal injury.

9 Reasons You Shouldn’t DIY Garage Door Repair

Torsion springs are dangerous

Your garage door has one of two possible spring systems called extension systems and torsion systems. While torsion springs are a common garage door system, they can be incredibly dangerous to repair on your own.

These springs sit horizontally above your garage door. When the door opens, the springs unwind and help lift the door off the ground. When you close the door, the cables attached to the bottom corners of the door forces the springs to wind up again.

Torsion springs store mechanical energy when they’re wound up, which makes them dangerous if they become damaged. If your torsion springs break, the spring will unwind and shoot in an unpredictable manner. Being hit by this spring could lead to serious injury or even death.

You should always call a professional when you’re garage door springs need repairs.

You might make the problem worse

Because you might not have the right tools or experience, it’s easy to make mistakes when you’re working on garage door repairs. And all it takes is one mistake to make the problem worse.

If something goes wrong, you might even damage your garage itself or some of the possessions inside, like your car. You might want to save yourself some money, but doing garage door repairs yourself isn’t worth the risk.

You probably don’t have the right tools

Most garage door repair requires specific tools. If you don’t already own these tools, and there’s a high chance you don’t, you’ll have to find and buy them. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to spend money on expensive tools you’ll never use again.

To get around this problem, some people try to fix their overhead garage door with tools they have lying around. But this can be dangerous. Attempting to use the wrong tools on your garage door repairs can put you in an unsafe situation, damage the door, and ruin your tools.

Instead of buying a bunch of new tools for the job, it’s faster and easier to let a professional do the job for you.

The garage door might fall

Garage doors weight hundreds of pounds. Should yours fall, it could damage itself, the garage floor, any items stored in your garage, your car, etc. You might not think you’d make this kind of mistake, but falling garage doors are a common DIY mishap.

And if you, your family members, friends, children, or pets are standing in the way, you could end up with serious injuries as well.

You might fix the wrong thing

You have to spend time researching your garage door before you can start any repairs. If you don’t understand how the mechanics work, you might “repair” the wrong thing on accident.

In some cases, you might only address the symptoms of the problem, not the main problem itself. So you’ve spent your money and your time but haven’t actually fixed your door at all.

Garage door professionals already have the right knowledge and experience making these repairs, so they’ll be able to fix the right problems, to begin with.

You could use the wrong parts

Every garage door has different parts. If you don’t know much about your garage door or how it works, you could end up buying the wrong replacement parts. Though the replacement part may seem to work at first, the problem will eventually come back again.

You can spend more money than you’ll save

By the time you buy the right tools, the replacement parts, and any other materials you need, you won’t be saving much money at all. Should you make a mistake during your repair, you might have to buy a second replacement part or hire a professional anyway.

In other words, you’ll be spending more money than you would have if you just hired professional help in the first place.

You also have to be willing to give up a lot of your time if you choose to go the DIY route. Because you don’t know what you’re doing, fixing garage door repairs on your own can take a lot longer than it should.

The repair might not be reliable

DIYing garage door repairs can leave you with unreliable fixes. Though it may seem like you’ve taken care of the problem, the underlying issues could still be there. This can make your door get worse over time, which can be dangerous.

Ignoring these underlying issues can lead to things like property damages, expensive garage door replacements, and personal injury.

You could cause permanent damage

Your door repairs might just make things worse. If you mess up a single part of the door, even if it’s a small part, the entire thing can malfunction and stop working. You might cause permanent damage to the door or to the entire door system.

These damages require some expensive repairs, so you may as well hire a professional from the start.

Call A Professional Garage Door Repair Company

There are many DIY projects you can do around your house, but overhead garage door repair isn’t one of them. Though you might want to learn new skills or save some money, garage door repair can be dangerous and even deadly. In most cases, you’ll have to shell out more money to fix your mistakes than you would if you hired a professional in the first place.

Looking for overhead garage door repair services? Head over to our contact page and let us know how we can help you.

Choosing The Perfect Automatic Gate System For Your Home

choosing the perfect automatic gate system for your home


While only 17% of homes in the US have a security system, every home has a secure entrance system whether a locking gate or a deadbolt on the door. Having a secure home gives people peace of mind against intruder and burglars. One of the best ways to ensure that no one gets on your property without your say-so is to have an automatic gate system.

Before you run out and install a gate, you need to learn about the different types of gates so that you can choose the perfect one for your home. Here are the main categories of features to look for.

Which Automatic Gate System Is Right For You?

Slide Gates

The description of a slide gate is pretty much in the name. They can be installed in just about any kind of terrain and require a track to set up. You need to have a space that is wide enough to accommodate the gates moving laterally as they’re opened.

A slide gate usually entails two gates that are opened at the center and move along a track in order to let you into the home. Other slide gates can latch at one point as the entire gate slides laterally away from the latch point to open.

These gates can be installed on driveways, along fences, at the perimeter of your property or close to the entrance to your house.

Swing Gates

A swinging automatic gate system will be attached to hinges on either side of your driveway or entrance to your estate. When opened, the gates can be made to swing out toward the entrance or inward, toward your property. The best idea is to make them swing toward your property so they don’t hit the entering vehicle and aren’t struck by oncoming traffic.

Swing gates come in single or double gates, depending on the width of your driveway. Single gates are adequate for your standard sedan-width driveway, however, double gates lend an air of opulence to your driveway.

If you have a driveway that’s on a steep grade, they will typically open toward the downward slope. Be aware of this standard if you have to climb a hill toward your property and would prefer not to have that look. You might prefer a slide gate in that instance.

Automatic Gates With Keypad Entry

Without an automatic opening mechanism, you may have to leave your vehicle just to open your gate. Automatic gates allow you the convenience of hanging an interface that’s accessible through your window in order to get them open. One of the most popular types of gate entry systems is a system with keypad entry.

With any keypad system, you can set your own private code in order to gain access. The system will keep anyone from opening your gate without the password. This is a highly preferred system because it allows you to get access to your home and property without needing to carry a key or a card.

If you have guests visiting, you can give them the keycode to enter. You can know that they’ll have no problem making themselves at home when you can’t be there to swap physical keys with them.

Card-Based Entry Systems

A keycard automatic gate system is popular because they keep you from having to memorize a code but give you a lighter key than your standard metal one. Card entry systems require just a swipe to get you onto the property.

There’s something undoubtedly cool about being able to swipe a card to open the gate to your home. They lend a cool aesthetic appeal that makes your home seem extra modern.

You can have as many cards as you want to be printed and handed out to anyone who you want to have access to your property. It’s simpler and faster than entering a code while being just as secure.

If you’re looking for a fun and modern entry system, cards are the way to go. Now all that’s left is to decide what kind of material you want your gate to built out of.

Wrought Iron Gates

Your choice of material only depends on the style of home that you want to have. Your gate is sure to be secure and sturdy no matter what material you choose.

Wrought iron gates lend a classic type of look to a modern security gate. Wrought iron is a strong material that won’t need to be repainted very often. It doesn’t break down or corrode the way other metals do.

Wrought iron gates are strong and secure but often leave a little bit of space between the bars. If security is more important than intense privacy, there are many lovely styles available in wrought iron.

Wooden Gates

Modern wooden gates provide a secure way of keeping intruders out while allowing you a lot of aesthetic flexibility. You can build a facade that’s rustic and vintage over a modern metal frame that secures just like any other automatic gate. You can build something that looks more high-end and contemporary out of wood as well.

The planks that you use can be of any material and spaced out however you please. A tightly ordered set of planks will provide you with lots of property and keep the line of visibility from the street to a minimum. A wooden gate can be made to match any type of fence you already have built around your property.

An Automatic Gate System To Suit Your Needs

Talk to your fencing provider and see what kind of automatic gate material they would recommend. An automatic gate system should feel both secure and comfortable, looking like a welcoming home to anyone with the keycode. There are plenty of options and a professional installer can help you decide which is right for your situation.

If you want to know what types of automatic gates are available in your region, check out what we have to offer.