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How to Avoid Garage Door Injuries

January 10, 2024

Garage doors, although they’re convenient, can pose significant risks if they’re not cared for properly. Proper care and maintenance are not only key to the longevity of your garage door but also crucial for the safety of your loved ones.

In this comprehensive guide on how to avoid garage door injuries, we'll delve into essential tips and practices that every homeowner should be aware of. From understanding the risks of DIY garage door spring replacements to taking preventative measures, we'll explore the safety basics during garage door repairs.

Common Types of Garage Door Injuries

Garage doors are heavy and powerful machines that can cause serious injuries if not used properly. Here are some of the most common types of garage door injuries:

  • Garage Door Spring Accidents: Among the most prevalent and hazardous garage door injuries are those involving springs. Garage door springs are under immense tension, and any attempt at DIY maintenance or repair can lead to serious harm. These high-tension garage door torsion springs (just like extension springs!) can snap suddenly, causing severe injuries to anyone nearby.
  • Crushing Injuries: Garage doors, because of their weight and mechanics, have the potential to cause crushing injuries. If the door malfunctions or isn’t properly maintained, it may unexpectedly fall, trapping or crushing anything beneath it. As you can imagine, this type of injury can result in significant harm and damage.
  • Pinch and Laceration Injuries: The moving parts of a garage door, including rollers, tracks, and panels, pose a risk of pinch and laceration injuries. Fingers and hands can easily get caught in the door's mechanisms, leading to painful injuries or even amputations if not addressed promptly.
  • Falling Door Injuries: When a garage door falls unexpectedly, it can cause injuries ranging from minor to severe. Individuals may be struck by the falling door or caught underneath it, resulting in injuries such as fractures, concussions, or worse.

Why Replacing Garage Door Springs Is the Most Dangerous

Why Replacing Garage Door Springs Is the Most Dangerous

Garage door springs are essential components that counterbalance the weight of the door and enable smooth and safe operation. They’re under immense tension and store a significant amount of potential energy. Mishandling or improper installation of a garage door spring can lead to catastrophic consequences.

The risks associated with DIY garage door spring replacement are substantial. Without proper training and experience, individuals may underestimate the power and tension of these springs. Incorrect handling can cause the springs to release their stored energy without warning and result in forceful explosions. These explosions can propel metal fragments at high speeds, resulting in severe injuries or even fatalities.

Can a Garage Door or Garage Door Spring Kill You?

Can a Garage Door or Garage Door Spring Kill You?

The short answer is yes, they can. Garage doors, when falling unexpectedly due to a malfunctioning spring or other issues, have caused fatal injuries (an estimated 20,000 people are injured by garage doors each year, and about 30 of those injuries are fatal).

Due to these inherent risks, we strongly advise against DIY garage door spring replacement. Instead, rely on experienced professionals like ours who have the expertise and equipment required to safely handle spring-related tasks.

Reasons Behind Garage Door Accidents

Understanding the reasons behind common garage door injuries can help prevent them from happening. Several common factors contribute to these accidents, and awareness of these issues can significantly enhance garage door safety:

  • Lack of Maintenance: Negligence in maintaining your garage door is a major contributor to accidents. Over time, components like springs, cables, and rollers can wear out or become damaged and increase the risk of malfunction or breakage. Regularly inspecting and maintaining your garage door can help prevent these issues.
  • Faulty Springs and Cables: Garage door springs and cables are under immense tension and play a crucial role in the door's operation. If these components are worn out, damaged, or improperly installed, they can release their stored energy suddenly and cause serious injuries or even death.
  • Misuse of Remotes and Keypads: Improperly using garage door remotes and keypads can lead to accidents. Examples include opening or closing the door when someone is in the way, using the remote while distracted, or leaving the remote accessible to children.
  • Malfunctioning Sensors: Garage door safety sensors are designed to detect obstructions and prevent the door from closing on people or objects. If these sensors are malfunctioning, the door may not stop when it should, leading to entrapment or crushing injuries.

Safety Checklist for Garage Door Owners

Safety Checklist for Garage Door Owners

Garage door safety is paramount, and regular inspections and maintenance can help prevent garage door injuries and extend the lifespan of your garage doors. We’ve outlined a comprehensive safety checklist for garage door owners to follow:

1. Inspection of Springs, Cables, and Rollers:

  • Springs: Check for rust, corrosion, or cracks. A damaged garage door spring can release stored energy abruptly, causing serious injuries.
  • Cables: Look for fraying, wear, or kinks. Damaged cables can break, causing the door to fall unexpectedly.
  • Rollers: Check for smooth movement and signs of wear. Worn rollers can affect the door's balance, increase friction, and lead to premature component failure.

2. Testing of Safety Sensors:

  • Photoelectric Sensors: Place an object in the path of the sensors to ensure they’re working properly and stop the door from closing.
  • Mechanical Sensors: Check if the door reverses automatically when contact is made with the sensors.

3. Lubrication of Moving Parts: Keep the moving parts of your garage door, including hinges, rollers, and tracks, well-lubricated. This reduces friction and prolongs the life of these components.

4. Keeping Remote Controls and Keypads Out of Reach of Children: Store remote controls and keypads in a safe place where children cannot access them. Be sure to explain to children the dangers of playing with garage door controls.

5. Emergency Release Mechanism Testing: Familiarize yourself with the emergency release mechanism of your garage door opener. Test it periodically to ensure it works correctly. In case of a power outage or malfunction, this mechanism allows you to manually open or close the door.

6. Professional Inspection and Maintenance Schedule: Consider scheduling professional garage door inspections and maintenance on a regular basis, typically once a year. Experienced technicians can identify and address potential issues that may not be evident during your routine checks.

By following these safety guidelines, you can minimize the risk of accidents and ensure that your garage door operates safely and reliably.

Preventing Garage Door Accidents for a Safer Home

Ensuring a safe home environment includes taking proactive measures to prevent garage door accidents. Regular maintenance, professional inspections, and understanding the risks associated with garage door components are vital steps in safeguarding your family. By following our safety checklist and staying informed, you can minimize the chances of accidents.

However, if you ever encounter issues beyond your control, remember that Safety Garage Door Repair & Installation is here to assist you. Contact us for reliable, expert solutions to keep your garage door, and your home, secure. Your safety is our priority.

Ammar Hanafieh

Ammar Hanafieh

Following the family's trade, Ammar has been working in the garage door repair and installation industry since 2010. He brings his expertise via the excellent service and industry insights.
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