Your garage door’s springs are one of the most important parts of your door. Unfortunately, springs wear out and can become the most dangerous part of your door and potentially resulting in serious injury. If you have an older garage door, have your springs inspected by a professional serviceman and replaced if needed. If your door has two springs, replace both—even if only one is broken. This will prevent any damage caused by the breaking of the second spring, and encourage your door to last longer.
Your garage door is the largest and heaviest moving part on your home.
Ensure you understand your garage door’s safety features and how to maintain your product to keep it safe for years to come!
If you have any questions or concerns about the safety of your garage door, please don’t hesitate to contact Overhead Door Company of Springfield™.
Safety Tips for Garage Doors
Visually inspect the cables that attach the spring system to the bottom brackets on both sides of the door. If these cables are frayed or worn, they are in danger of breaking, which can cause injury. Due to the dangers associated with high spring tension, these cables should be replaced only by a trained technician.
Springs can squeak and be noisy. This is caused by normal use and does not necessarily indicate a problem. Before calling a professional service technician, use a spray-on lubricant (recommended especially for garage doors). If the noise persists, call a professional garage door installer for service.
Garage door installation can be dangerous and is not recommended for those who are inexperienced. The Door & Access Systems Manufacturers Association (DASMA) recommends that only professional door systems technicians install garage doors. If you need to attempt the installation by yourself, be sure to closely and carefully follow the manufacturer’s installation guide.
Does your garage door have extension springs? If not, you should install a safety cable that runs through the spring and is secured to the wall/ceiling at each end. When your garage door is closed, extension springs are under high tension. If the spring breaks with someone around, it can cause serious injury! A safety cable can keep a broken spring contained. If you have extension springs but no safety cable, call your local Springfield garage door dealer soon for a safety inspection.
If your door does not easily go up and down, you may have a problem that can lead to unsafe conditions in your garage. Even older garage door systems should operate smoothly. If the door is still moving awkwardly when the door is manually operated, your door may have a spring system that is out of balance. This can cause extra wear and tear on other important door components. Spring systems can be dangerous and should be repaired only by trained professionals.
Every year, many unsuspecting homeowners injure their fingers by pulling down on the door with their fingers between the panels. According to DASMA Standard 116, if your door doesn’t have pinch-resistant joints, you should have special handles or gripping points on the inside and outside of the door. Even if your door has an opener, the door should be manually operable. Never place your fingers between the door’s panels. If you do manually open or close your garage door, use the handles or the safe gripping points only!
The bottom brackets on a garage door are connected to the door’s springs, which are under extreme tension. Only a trained door systems technician should adjust any part of your garage door system. Many manufacturers include tamper-resistant technology that prevents loosening of the brackets by a novice, but you still should be aware of these brackets.
If you’re replacing your garage door, don’t be tempted to save a few dollars by putting a new door on an old track. Know that your old track may not fit with your new door, because there are many factors for compatibility. Thickness of your sections, weight of the door, headroom required, location of the garage door opener, and other considerations should all be taken seriously. The track and sections work together as a system—so for maximum performance and extended life, you should use the track that is specifically designed for your new door.
Your garage door is most likely the largest moving part in your home and is used almost every day. Over time, its parts can wear out or break, creating potential safety issues. An annual visit from a trained garage door systems technician will keep your door operating properly for a long time.
Keep your owner’s manuals in the garage for easy reference. Each door and opener model has specific safety instructions unique to it. Where’s your manual?
Safety Tips for Garage Door Openers
Installing a garage door opener is typically easier than installing an actual garage door, but improper installation can be problematic. DASMA recommends that a trained garage door system technician install your opener, but if you do it yourself, follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
When closing your garage door with a push button or remote control, you should always wait until the door is completely closed to leave the area. This ensures no person or animal gets caught under a closing door. A few seconds of waiting can prevent a severe injury!
Some Do-It-Yourselfers forget to install an opener reinforcement bracket on the top section of the door. Failure to do this can damage your door! All Do-it-Yourselfers should double check the installation manual for instructions.
If your door feels unusually heavy, it’s probably out of balance and needs adjustment. Many problems can be the cause and it may be unsafe for you to try to fix it yourself. Call a trained door systems technician to diagnose any problems and offer solutions. The answer is not a more powerful garage door opener. Openers are designed to open doors that are properly balanced.
Photo eyes should not be installed more than six inches above the garage floor. If they are installed any higher, you run the risk of a person or pet not getting properly detected by the photo eyes.
The push button for your garage door should be at least five feet above the floor so it’s out of the reach of children. Teach your children to not play with the garage door.
Keep remote controls for your garage where children cannot play with them. Warn your children of the dangers of playing with a garage door. Also, be sure to keep your remote controls locked up. If you park a car outside, be sure to lock your car so no unwanted people can access your remote or garage door!
Some thieves use technology to “record” your transmitter’s signal. Then, after you’ve left, they replay that signal to open your door. If your transmitter (the remote control) has rolling code technology, no one can replay your signal. This renders the thieves’ technology useless. Contact your garage door opener manufacturer or your local garage door dealer for more information.
Perform routine maintenance once a month to ensure your garage door opener is functional and safe. Review your owner’s manual for the garage door. If you don’t have a manual, look for the model number on the back of the door, or check the lock handle, hinges, or other hardware for the manufacturer’s name and request a manual from the manufacturer.
Additional Tests & Safety Measures
Look at the garage door springs, cables, rollers, pulleys, and other door hardware for signs of wear. Suspect problems? Have only a qualified person make repairs.
Periodically test the balance of your door. Begin with the door closed. If you have a garage door opener, use the release mechanism so you can operate the door by hand when doing this test. You should be able to lift the door smoothly with little resistance. It should also stay open around three or four feet above the floor. If it does not, that means your garage door is out of adjustment. You can have it adjusted by contacting a qualified service professional.
Make sure your opener has a reversing feature. If a reversing feature is not present, the opener should be replaced. Garage door openers manufactured after January 1, 1993, are required by federal law to have safety features that comply with the latest UL (Underwriters Laboratories) 325 standards. Contact your manufacturer or installer for additional information.
To perform a reversal test to ensure garage door safety: first, test the balance of the door. If your garage door is properly balanced, proceed. With the door completely open, place a 1-1/2″ thick piece of wood (a 2″ X 4″ laid flat) on the floor near the center of the door. Push the transmitter or wall button to close the door. The door must reverse when it strikes the obstruction. (Note that the bottom part of “one-piece doors” must be rigid so that the door will not close, but will reverse when it contacts the obstruction.) If the door does not reverse, have it repaired or replaced. Have a qualified technician adjust, repair, or replace the opener or door.
Test the force setting of your garage door by holding the bottom of the door as it closes. If the door does not readily reverse, the force setting may be excessive and need adjusting. See your owner’s manual on how to make the adjustment.
Many garage door openers are equipped with additional safety features, such as photo eyes or edge sensors, to protect against entrapment. Keep in mind that adding more safety devices will not make an old opener meet the current UL standards. Make sure the additional safety devices are properly installed and adjusted (see owner’s manual) to ensure you and your family have a safe and functional garage door for your home.
- Springs in garage doors are under high tension. Only qualified persons should adjust them.
- Garage door springs, brackets, cables, and other hardware attached to the springs are under very high tension and, if handled improperly, can cause injury. Only a qualified professional should adjust them, by carefully following the manufacturer’s instructions.
- The torsion springs (the springs above the door) should only be adjusted by a professional garage door serviceman. Do not attempt to repair or adjust these springs yourself.
- A cable or other device should be installed on the extension spring (the spring along the side of the door) as a backup if the spring breaks.
- Never adjust, remove, or loosen the screws on the bottom brackets of the door. These brackets are under extreme tension, and connect to the springs.