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 safely, as 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 Door. The 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 a 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 a pro!