What Every Parent Needs to Know About Their Garage Door
Was your garage door opener made before 1993? If it was, it could be a serious safety threat to your family, pets or vehicle.
You may have purchased an older home as a fixer-upper and it came with an older garage door. Or, maybe you just love the look and feel of an aged wood garage door and you would hate to part with it.
In any case, you should seriously consider upgrading your garage door and/or garage door opener. Here’s why.
A Big Step Forward For Garage Door Safety in 1993
In 1990, new legislation was put in place that required all garage door openers manufactured on or after January 1, 1993 to have these safety features:
- An external entrapment protection device, such as an “electric eye” that can detect anything in the door’s path to prevent it from closing
- A wall-mounted constant contact control button that requires a person to hold in the control button continuously for the door to shut all the way
As you can see, if your door or your opener were made before 1993, chances are very good that you’re missing valuable safety features. At the very least, you need those sensors in place to ensure the door doesn’t come down when something is in its path. Kids and pets can often be oblivious to the garage door coming down, so you need safeguards in place.
Garage Doors Safety in 2019 and Beyond
If you decide to upgrade, you will find lots of different options for residential garage doors to choose from, all with advanced safety features. All of them will have the mandated safety features we listed above and so much more.
Some of today’s garage door openers link to a mobile app. This means you can control everything from an app on your smartphone instead of using the remote control.
This may be particularly appealing to you if you’ve read about the recent wave of criminals using garage door openers to gain access to the home. These stories are a good cautionary tale to remind us all to never leave our remotes in an unlocked car. Using your smartphone as your remote control is a good way to avoid the problem completely.
Wi-Fi enabled garage door openers can also help you monitor and control your garage door remotely. This means you can be notified when your kids arrive safely at home, or when an unauthorized party tries to open your garage door.
Of course, these features also come in handy when you’ve left the house on vacation and can’t remember if you have locked the garage door or not. You can quickly check the status remotely and lock it, if need be. Or you can use the app to unlock your garage door remotely to let your neighbour borrow your lawnmower.
Garage Door Safety and Kids
As we mentioned earlier, today’s modern options for garage door openers will all come with the sensor at the bottom to ensure the door doesn’t close if there is something in the way. If your door doesn’t have this, you should seriously consider retrofitting what you have now, or investing in a new door.
Of course, there is much more you can do to keep your kids safe around the garage door. The first would be, of course, to make sure your garage door is inspected regularly and 100% safe to use. A little bit of preventative maintenance once a year is all you need to do. If you don’t have the time or the skills to do it yourself, your garage door retailer can send a technician to do it for you.
The next thing you can do is to remember that all kids love to push buttons, especially ones we don’t want them to push. So, you may consider putting your interior garage door button high enough on the wall (5 feet or so) that little ones can’t reach it. At the same time, keep the garage door remote or “clicker” out of their reach as well. In fact, you may want to use the mobile app as your primary remote, so you can keep the clicker locked away safely.
Talk to the kids about your garage door and the risks that it presents. Teach them the dangerous parts where their little hands should never go, like the springs or the cable systems on the side. Pinched or lacerated fingers are the most common injuries from a garage door, but these are easily avoidable if kids are taught to fear and respect these parts of the door.
Also, we don’t have to tell you that most kids are explorers, adventurers, and climbers. So make it perfectly clear that climbing on the garage door is very dangerous and a big no-no. Feel free to also instruct your older children to be “garage lifeguards” and to monitor their younger siblings when they’re in there.
You will also want to do your best to keep your garage door’s passcode a secret. Make sure your kids don’t know it unless they’re old enough to responsibly use the garage door. This means don’t write the code on a sticky note on the fridge or on a corkboard in the house.
Finally, keep yourself safe. If the door is making any new noises, or it seems to be struggling in any way, never try to repair it yourself. The springs on the side are high-tension and very dangerous. Always call a trained professional!
Is it Time for a New Garage Door?
We invite you to learn more about us and find out why we have been the #1 rated garage door company in the GTA for over 60 years. We also invite you to read our reviews from past customers to see why you can trust us.
We have built our reputation based on trust and providing exceptional customer service before, during and after the installation. We feel proud every time a customer recommends us to their friends and family and look forward to the chance to build another great relationship.
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