Drivers use their garage door regularly, but so do others in the home. In fact, garage doors have become the main entry point in many households.
Since your children will pass through the garage to get inside and to access their bicycles, toys or other things, it is imperative to teach them about garage door safety.
Show them how the door operates
Children are curious, so if they are unsure of how the door works, they may try to touch, push or pull parts of the door that are meant to keep them safe (such as the automatic reversal systems). You can use this curiosity to teach them how the door works so that they do not have to experiment with it by themselves.
First of all, you should explain that the door is very heavy (up to 400 lbs or 160 kg), but that springs make the act of opening and closing it easy. This is why the opener seems to work without much effort.
This is also a good time to remind yourself that the door should be properly balanced so that the opener works correctly. How can you tell if it is? When the springs are aligned, the door should be between 8 and 10 lbs (3.5 and 4.5 kg) when opened manually. That means it should, for an adult, feel light enough to open with one hand.
Show your kids the most dangerous parts
- The spring system. Springs come in two forms. Torsion springs, which are coiled, are located over the head of the door. The other springs, extension springs, are located above the horizontal tracks. Tell your children to stay away from these items. They should never be touched. You can tell them that if they see the springs out of place or broken, they should tell you right away.
- Lifting cables. These strong cables are located on both sides of the door. The cables run from the bottom of the door and coil into a metal case. Tell your kids that, because of the weight of the door, these cords are under extreme tension. Like the springs, they should never, under any circumstances, touch the lifting cables.
- The photo‑eye reversal system. These two small boxes, one on each side of the door, are a few inches above the ground. They are not dangerous, but they are important for safety. If they are not aligned correctly, they will not reverse the door’s direction when something is underneath the door. For this reason, children should never touch the boxes, and they should tell you immediately if they accidently knock into one.
Make rules for your door
While the door is moving
Children should remain a safe distance from the door whether they are inside or outside. They should pause from running around or playing while the door is opening or closing.
Opening and closing the door
Never ask small children to open or close the door with a remote or an exterior keypad. In fact, you should keep all opening devices five or so feet off the floor so that small children cannot reach it.
Playing on the door
Wide garage doors have supports that may seem, to some, like a ladder. Climbing on these supports could be very dangerous if the door opens suddenly or if the child falls from the top of the door. Also, climbing in this way could ruin the springs’ alignment and create additional dangers.
Keep fingers out of cracks, joints and gaps
If the door opens unexpectedly, this could lead to a very serious injury. If you have a manual door, make sure that you and any older children who have permission to operate the door open and close it by the handle only. No one should ever never grab the gaps in between door sections.
Enlist your older children to help
You might not be alone in your efforts to teach your children about garage door safety. Older children can help remind the younger ones to stay away from the door when it is operating, to not touch springs and to not run under the door when it is closing or opening.
Teach your children about passcode security
If you have older children who are allowed to operate the garage by using the passcode, remind them not to share the number with anyone, including their friends. This might seem obvious, but if they tell a friend the code, it will no longer be secure because the friend could tell someone else, who could tell someone else, and so on…
Time for a tune‑up or even a new garage door?
Contact us at 717-767-1419. We are willing to provide you with a quotation for a service or a new door by email. Also, we can come to your property to see what the problem is and give you a repair cost estimate.