Did you know that over 70 percent of homeowners enter and exit their home through the garage door, relying on it as their front door? Since the garage door plays such a vital role in many people’s daily lives, it’s important to know how to maintain the safety and security of this common access point during June’s National Garage Door Safety Month.
Garage Door Maintenance
To keep the garage door maintained and functioning properly, be sure to keep all moving parts of the door clean and well lubricated.
To check a garage door’s balance, start with the door closed and pull the opener release rope so you can maneuver the door by hand. If the door is balanced (properly spring-loaded and running smoothly on its tracks), you should be able to lift the door without much effort, and it should stay open about three or four feet above the floor.
Since 1993, all automatic openers manufactured for the U.S. must include a safety reversing feature such as infrared sensors. These sensors are installed near the floor on either side of the garage door opening. Once the invisible laser beam between the two sensors is broken by an obstruction, the door reverses automatically. If your opener lacks a similar safety reversing feature, purchase an updated opener as soon as possible.
The Six-Inch Rule
The infrared sensor mentioned above should not be installed higher than six inches above the garage floor. If the sensor is installed higher, a child or pet could get under the beam and not be detected.
All garage door openers that are sold now have something called a close-force sensitivity setting. This setting is what tells the garage door opener to stop closing if something is in the way. You can test your door’s sensitivity by placing a two-inch thick piece of wood or a roll of paper towels in the path of the door before closing it. If the garage door does not automatically reverse and retract back to the open position, then the opener needs to be adjusted.
Be prepared as summer storms can cause power outages. Once power is lost to the home, an automatic garage door opener will also be impacted. Ensure your opener is equipped with a battery backup system which continues to operate most openers for 20 more times. This ensures that homeowners have peace-of-mind that their main entranceway to their home will open and close.
Keep your garage clear of oily and greasy rags as they are flammable and can ignite spontaneously. In addition to this, be sure to keep a fire extinguisher in your garage.
It may seem like you’re making a mess, but grass clippings are actually great for keeping dust under control. Next time you mow your lawn, sprinkle your fresh lawn clippings on the garage floor then sweep it clean.
Better organization of lawn equipment, sporting goods and bicycles is crucial to maintaining and organized garage. Install shelves, hooks and cabinets to lift things off the floor. Get in the habit of putting things back where they belong after use and regularly sweeping the floor.
While garage door opener safety is always evolving, it is still important to know about the heaviest door in your household and how to maintain it. National Garage Door Safety Month is the ideal time to perform an inspection and maintenance on your garage door, especially those with with automatic operators.
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