You may not realize it, but your garage door weighs hundreds of pounds. As a highly complex mechanical object, it has numerous working parts that will wear out overtime. As these parts wear out on an object this heavy, it becomes a critical safety hazard. We don’t often hear about garage door injuries, but they happen, usually caused by a door that isn’t repaired or from misuse of the garage door. In fact, about 7,500 Americans suffer pinching injuries each year, some quite serious. Near 2,200 Americans from a garage door that comes crashing down on them. Unfortunately, kids are the ones most often injured by garage doors.
Always teach your kids garage door safety and keep a well maintained garage door. Here’s what you need to teach your kids about garage door home safety.
Demo Your Garage Door
Kids are naturally curious. Their brains are sponges for learning. One of the most effective ways to teach them about the dangers of garage doors is to educate them about the door itself. Show your children the entire system in action and explain what each of the components do. Be sure to explain the safety components and why they are there, such as the garage door photo eyes and its auto reversal system. Let them ask questions. Explain the importance of safety and garage doors.
You also should explain weight and why it makes your door dangerous. The average door weighs between 150 and 400 pounds, depending on the material and insulation. Explain what keeps the door from crashing down and the spring components that make it so easy to lift. Describe how the springs work and the incredible tension they are under. Describe what can happen if a spring breaks and why it is so important to never touch, play or use the springs for climbing.
Show them the lifting cables on each side of the door and how they connect to the drums. Explain that these are also under extreme tension and should never be messed with. If a cable seems to be frayed or breaking, they should tell you right away.
A Garage Door is Not a Toy
Explain to your kids why they should never run under a door while it is descending and why they should always wait until the door has completely stopped moving before they walk under it.
You should also explain why a door should never be climbed on, even though it looks like a fun ladder. Springs can break, cables can snap. Fingers can get pinched. A garage door is not a piece of playground equipment.
Explain the danger of fingers getting pinched between the joints. If a door can be opened manually, they should never put their fingers in between the cracks. That’s why it’s a good idea to have handles on both the inside and outside of the door.
Never let kids run underneath a garage door while it is closing. While any door made after 1993 should have an automatic reversal safety feature, there is always a danger the photo eyes will malfunction. A kid could trip and be crushed by the door.
Older kids should keep a look out for younger ones. Encourage to keep you in the loop. If you have use security cameras, you could always check the footage for dangerous play.
Top Secret Security
Most kids know the access code to their garage door. Make sure they never share the code with friends. Teach them to never enter the code if passing neighbors can see them and to shield their fingers from view as they punch it in.
Is Your Garage Door in Good Repair?
If you haven’t had a professional inspect your door in a while, it’s time. They can look for any potential safety issues. A pro can also give your door a tune up. That way it will work better and be much safer.