Minnesota Handyman Garage Door Opener Installation
A garage door is the largest moving object in your home. The door is often operated by an electric door opener. Proper installation, maintenance, and testing is necessary to keep the garage a safe working environment. A garage door opener that is not installed properly could result in a serious, and in some cases fatal injury. We would like to offer you these easy to follow tips. Print them and review them with your children. Remember, education is the art of prevention is the best defense for preventing accidents which could have been avoided.
Every year since 1990, an average of 20,000 people have been treated in hospital emergency rooms because of garage door-related injuries. And although garage doors and automatic door openers are much safer today than they were years ago, the federal Consumer Products Safety Commission still recommends homeowners regularly inspect doors to make sure they’re working properly.
The deaths of several children in the 1980s led the garage door industry and the CPSC to implement changes to enhance safety. Before 1982, garage door openers were not required to have an automatic reverse mechanism and many did not.
For the next 10 years, manufacturers voluntarily included reverse mechanisms on doors. Since 1992, the CPSC has required garage door openers be equipped with a sensor that detects objects before the door strikes them.
Garage door openers manufactured after January 1, 1993, are required by federal law to have advanced safety features that comply with the latest UL (Underwriters Laboratories) 325 standards.
Garage Door Safety Tips
1. READ AND FOLLOW ALL INSTRUCTIONS IF DOING A SELF INSTALL.
2 . Remember to treat your garage door remote control like a key. Do not leave it in your car where it can be seen – hide it in the console, glove box or somewhere else in your car, but don’t leave it on the visor where it can be seen.
3. Never stand or walk under a moving door! Do not let children play “beat the door.” It is very dangerous and can result in serious injury or death. Adults should set a good example.
4. Teach your children about the garage door safety. Explain the danger of being trapped under the door. Never let children play with or use transmitters or remote controls – always keep them out of reach.
Children should be supervised in and around the garage door area.
5. VERY IMPORTANT – The push button wall control should also be out of reach of children (at least 5 feet from the floor) and away from all moving parts. Mount and use the button where you can clearly see the closing garage door, and keep the door in sight until it completely closes.
6. TEST MONTHLY – The garage door MUST reverse on contact with a 1-1/2 inch high object (or a piece of two-by-four lumber laid flat) on the floor. If the door doesn’t stop and reverse after contact with the object, disconnect the operator and use the door manually until the operator is replaced or repaired by a qualified technician.
7. An improperly balanced door increases the risk of severe injury or death. Have a qualified service person make repairs to cables, spring assemblies, and other related hardware.
Door Balance. Periodically test the balance of your door.
- Start 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 and with little resistance. It should stay open around three or four feet above the floor. If it does not, it is out of adjustment.
8. Garage door springs, cables, brackets and other hardware attached to the springs, are under very high tension and, if handled improperly, can cause serious injury. Only a qualified professional or a mechanically experienced person carefully following the manufacturer’s instructions should adjust them. The torsion springs (the springs above the door) should only be adjusted by a professional. Do not attempt to repair or adjust torsion springs yourself.
9. A restraining cable or other device should be installed on the extension spring (the spring along the side of the door) to help contain the spring if it breaks. Never remove, adjust or loosen the screws on the bottom brackets of the door. These brackets are connected to the spring by the loft cable and are under extreme tension.
10. Make sure you opener has a reversing feature. If a reversing feature is not present, it should be replaced. Garage door openers manufactured after January 1, 1993 are required by federal law to have advanced safety features which comply.
11. While on vacation, unplug the garage door opener unit, or use a wall console security switch, which is an optional accessory to most openers.
Safety Resources Consumer Safety Guide – This 8-panel safety guide provides basic information related to the safe use of automatic garage door operators.
If you have an electric garage door opener, it is recommended that you periodically disengage the opener about once a year. This is a good idea for two reasons. First, to make sure you know how to do it. Second, to know that you can operate the door properly without it. This will come in handy should the opener break or the power go out when you least expect it.
If you do not feel comfortable doing the work yourself, you can hire a Professional Minnesota Handyman to come out and do it for you.