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The Importance of Talking to Your Family About Garage Door Safety

Two Fam House

While the convenience of a garage door is undeniable, it’s essential to recognize its potential dangers. Just like other household hazards, such as hot stoves or boiling water, garage doors can pose serious risks if not handled properly. Just as you’ve taught your children to buckle up in the car or not talk to strangers, it’s crucial to include garage door safety in your family discussions.

We often use garage doors without a second thought, simply pressing a button on our remotes. However, it’s important to be aware of the potential dangers associated with garage doors and to educate your family about safe practices. Accidents involving garage doors can occur if fingers or objects become caught in closing doors or if doors malfunction unexpectedly.

By discussing garage door safety with your family and implementing simple precautions, such as keeping fingers away from moving parts and ensuring children understand the dangers, you can help prevent accidents and keep your loved ones safe.

Healthy Habits to Keep Your Loved Ones Safe Around the Garage Door

It’s important to establish clear guidelines regarding garage door safety. This is doubly so if you have children in the household. Children may view the garage door remote as a toy, but it’s essential to educate them about its potential dangers. Young children should be supervised and prevented from operating the garage door on their own until they understand the risks involved. All it takes is the door opener’s safety sensors to fail you once for someone to get seriously hurt.

Additionally, ensure that everyone in the household, regardless of age, understands the importance of staying away from the garage door while it’s in motion. Standing under or near a moving garage door is extremely hazardous, as the door could malfunction and cause serious injury or even death. It’s never worth the risk to try to pass under a closing door, as the consequences could be tragic.

In addition, you should never walk away from the door until it has completely closed or opened. Many homeowners are in the habit of closing the door and driving away or entering their home while it’s still operating. If a small child or animal runs underneath, you would never know or be able to stop it in time. Always observe the door while it’s moving and be prepared to stop it at any time.

While garage doors do have a reversal mechanism, this should ONLY be considered a last-resort; not a feature that allows you to ignore safety risks. Not all garage doors have a perfectly-tuned reversal, and there are any number of things that can happen to stop the reverse mechanism from working at any given time, including the sensor eyes.

How to Talk to the Kids About Keeping Garage Door Safety in Mind

Here are some suggestions on making sure your garage door safety talk doesn’t fall on deaf ears:

  • Start young: Begin instilling garage door safety concepts as early as possible to build awareness and ingrain good habits.
  • Repeat the message: Regularly remind your children of the dangers and proper safety measures around the garage door to help them internalize these crucial rules.
  • Explain the dangers of the garage door: Don’t just tell your children what not to do; explain why certain behaviors are dangerous and the potential consequences of their actions. Garage doors are heavy and their springs are under enormous amounts of force. This fosters understanding and encourages them to make smart decisions. If they need a visual, there are plenty of videos on YouTube (that don’t feature anyone getting hurt) that can show them this!
  • Encourage questions: Create a safe space for your children to ask questions and express any confusion or anxieties they may have about the garage door. Addressing their concerns openly can alleviate fears and make it more likely they’ll actually do what you advised.
  • Make it interesting: Use visual aids; make it into a game; do fun pop quizzes that end in ice cream. Kids of all ages respond well to multi-sensory learning, and interactive lessons will keep them better engaged.
  • Know your audience: Adapt your communication style based on the ages, personalities and understandings of your children, and ensure the rules you set forth are clear and concise. And remember, with kids, positive reinforcement is the most effective teaching mechanism.

Lastly, always have your garage door inspected and tuned up at least a couple times a year. Professional overhead door servicing should be done at least once a year as well as your DIY tuning. This will help keep you and your family safe and also catch problems before they occur. Standard walk-through inspections are something you can learn to do yourself and are a great way to get the kids involved and educated on how the garage door works. Safety is all about education! Get that household emergency safety plan back out and add a garage door policy to go over the next family meeting.

When Should You Call a Professional Garage Door Service?

When’s it time to call in a professional service to repair your garage door? The short answer is when you are in over your head. That being said, as a rule, if any part of the repair involves the cables or springs you should pretty much count yourself in over your head already unless you’re a professional. Cables and springs are under an incredible amount of tension and can be very dangerous to work with. They require special tools and professional expertise to repair safely. Some simple repairs you can research on the Internet and probably learn enough to get by. If you ever have any questions, give us a call. We’d be happy to help!