The garage door’s role in the home has changed dramatically over the last 30 years and most people don’t realize it. Consider this: garage door openers have been installed in 35 million homes across the United States, making them one of the most widely used appliances. In fact, more than 70 percent of today’s homeowners use their attached garage as their main entrance to their home.
While the garage door is one of the most convenient aspects of your home, it is also the largest, heaviest moving object in your home. This means homeowners need to ensure it is working safely. Industry professionals estimate that one out of 15 garage door openers lack the latest safety features.
To combat this trend and increase knowledge about garage door safety, the professionals at LiftMaster have announced the “Don’t Chance It. Check It. Garage Safety initiative.”
Here are some safety tips you can follow to make sure your garage door is safe.
* Safety checks. In 1993, Congress passed legislation that required all new garage door openers sold in the U.S. to come with a set of photo-eyes. These sensors, located near the floor along the sides of the garage door opening, alert the system if anything crosses their path and stops the door from descending further. It’s easy to determine if your system is operating properly with a quick 3-Step Safety Check.
- First, make sure the photo-eyes have been installed no higher than 6 inches above the garage floor.
- Second, block one of the eyes with an object over 6 inches tall and try to close the door. The garage door should not close.
- Third, lay an object at least 1.5 inches in height across the door’s path and press the button to close the door. The door should reverse upon sensing the object.
With every seasonal change, your garage remains a hub of activity – from parking your car to extra storage for the holiday decorations or sporting equipment. No matter the season, it is always the right time to instill good garage safety habits.
* Keep your garage door in tip-top shape. Garage doors, much like cars and other machines, require maintenance in order to run their best. You can keep your garage door running safely and smoothly by making sure all the moving parts are clean and lubricated, especially hinges and rollers.
* Find the right balance. Ensuring your garage door is properly balanced will lead to safer use. To check the balance, close the door and pull the opener release mechanism, allowing you to maneuver the door by hand. A properly balanced door should lift with minimal effort and stay open 3 to 4 feet above the floor.
* Have a backup plan. Much like the rest of your home, your garage door can also be the victim of bad weather. Severe storms can cut power to your garage, making your garage door useless. A battery backup system available on LiftMaster garage door openers guarantees you another 40 successful up-down cycles.