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Garage doors often serve as the unsung workhorses of the home, permitting safe, easy entries and exits when kept in good working order. At the same time, these hard-working systems can cause serious trouble for you and your loved ones due to owner misuse or neglect, mechanical wear, and electronic failures.

You can keep your family safe even as you keep your garage door working properly by following some smart preventative practices and exercising the appropriate caution around these heavy, powerful devices. Here are five garage safety tips that will help.

1. Test the Door’s Electronic Controls

Modern garage door systems do their job with the aid of electronic sensors and control units. If these devices malfunction, you could end up with a door that fails to automatically reverse itself because it doesn’t sense the presence of a pet or person in its path.

Since you may not receive any obvious sign that your garage door has lost this critical safety feature, you should get into the habit of checking it periodically. You’ll find the sensors mounted to the side rails, a few inches off the ground. Pass an object in front of them as the door closes to see if it stops.

2. Watch for Signs of Wear

Those periodic visual checks should include a monthly glance at the rollers, pulleys, springs, cables, and other metal hardware surrounding the garage door. If your springs appear stretched or broken, or if you see loosely-hanging chains or cables, don’t operate the garage door again until you can schedule a professional evaluation.

Perhaps the most obvious trouble indicator involves a door that refuses to open or close normally. Abnormal or unpredictable operation can set the stage for injuries or property damage if the door suddenly decides to fail completely. The reason for your malfunction could stem from mechanical or electronic causes.

If you don’t get any response from your garage door opener at all, the opener’s remote control may need batteries or the control switch may have failed. If you hear grinding noises but the door doesn’t move properly, you may have a problem with the trolley carriage, gear drive, rails, chain tension, or door travel.

3. Steer Clear of Damaged Springs

If you have a damaged spring, resist any urge to adjust it, touch it, or even go near it. Both torsion springs and extension springs contain enormous amounts of tension, as they must bear the weight of doors weighing hundreds of pounds. A damaged spring can release that tension suddenly and cause serious injury.

A damaged spring should remain completely unused until your repair technician has a chance to inspect the entire spring assembly and make necessary repairs. If the door has attained a half-open or fully-open position, leave it there and avoid passing underneath it. If it has closed completely, keep it closed.

4. Teach Your Kids to Play It Safe

Children need to learn key garage door safety rules as early in life as possible. Insist that small children stay away from the garage opener remote control, or keep the remote control out of their reach altogether. Set a rule that only grownups can use the garage door opener.

Teach your child that the springs and other hardware that operate your garage door can cause injury if touched or misused. Don’t allow toys, bikes, and other childhood possessions to rest beneath a half-open garage door. Instruct your kids to let the garage door finish moving before passing beneath it.

5. Always Hire Professional Repair Technicians

Unless you find that your garage door problem magically goes away by changing the batteries in the opener’s remote, you need to leave any necessary maintenance and repairs to the professionals. In addition to the potential for physical injury, these jobs can prove more complex than you might think.

A garage door problem doesn’t necessarily involve the failure of one simple part. These systems include multiple components, from springs and chains to electronic sensors. The interactions among these components may also require fine tuning by an experienced professional who understands the entire system.

Experienced garage door technicians can troubleshoot a garage door problem quickly and efficiently. They also know how to adjust, repair, or replace components with the right tool and optimal safety. If you need a new garage door, they can advise you on your options and help you choose the right replacement.

Preventative care can help you nip a garage door problem in the bud before it turns into a major annoyance or potential hazard. Ask your garage door service tech how often you should schedule maintenance inspections, and then stick to that routine so you can deal with any early-stage problems as they arise.

Shank Door can provide you with the skilled garage door repair work, inspections, and recommendations you need. Contact us today and let us know what kind of professional attention your garage door needs.

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