If you had to ask us what one of the most neglected areas of a home is, we’d say a garage door.
Think about it – when was the last time you had a garage door inspection? Most home and business owners are simply used to their garage door working flawlessly day in and day out.
And that’s normal. After all, your garage door is a fairly hardy piece of equipment, with most of them lasting a decade or longer. But the truth is, the parts on your door need to be frequently inspected and maintained to ensure long-term safety.
So, how important is garage door maintenance? Could it save a life? Let’s take a look.
When Things Go Wrong
When looking at public statistics, it’s difficult to fully grasp how many people are injured by their garage doors every year.
Data sourced from the National Injury Statistics by Age and Gender report an average of 10,580 garage door injuries every year.
In another report by NEISS Hospital, there were 13,325 injuries in the year 2007 alone.
While the majority of these injuries were due to negligence, there were many that could have been prevented.
For example, 2,102 injuries were due to a falling door and at least 224 injuries occurred due to a lack of maintenance and repairs.
In another study performed in 1996, researchers concluded that at least 85 children were killed or have suffered permanent brain damage due to a garage door accident.
The majority of these injuries and deaths were as a result of a child becoming entrapped under a closing door. That should not happen with modern garage doors as these panels have an automatic safety reversal mechanism. When the door senses an object or person in the way, the door should immediately reverse.
As an additional fail safe, when the door comes in contact with an object, it should also reverse.
These safety mechanisms should be tested multiple times per year. Unfortunately, there are many instances where the fail safe becomes faulty, which can lead to injury.
The Importance of Garage Door Maintenance
While you may be used to your garage door always working reliably, year after year, it’s not something you should simply ignore. There are many moving parts that require maintenance and inspections to ensure everything remains safe and functioning. The good news is that the cost of a tune-up and/or maintenance is typically very affordable and can not only help protect you and your family but also save you money. By having a technician take care of the garage door parts, you can help prevent costly breakdowns before they occur.
Is Your Garage Door Older than 1993?
If you haven’t installed a new garage door or opener since 1993, check to see if the door has photo sensors. These are 2 discs located at the bottom of the door. They transmit a signal back and forth. If that signal gets interrupted — say by a running child, a beloved pet, or a piece of equipment left under the door, the door will automatically reverse itself. This is a safety feature standard on modern garage doors made since 1993. If yours doesn’t have one, consider installing a new opener that features this safety feature or installing a new garage door. You are probably due!