garage door locks - are yours effective?

garage door locks - are yours effective?

The 101 on Garage Door Safety: Simple Solutions to Keep Your Family Safe

Sara Walters

As a homeowner, you most likely appreciate the benefits of your garage and automatic door. However, you may not know the proper way to maintain the automatic door opener to prevent accidents and injuries. Considering an estimated 20,000 visits to the emergency room stem from injuries related to garage doors, learning how to prevent these accidents is imperative for your family's safety. Using this guide on residential garage door safety, you can reduce the risk of accidents and dangerous injuries.


In most cases, you use a handheld remote inside your vehicle to open and close your garage door. When leaving for work or errands, you can quickly lose focus. This lack of attention may be short, but it can potentially cause problems or injuries. Not only could this lack of focus damage your car or home, but it can also hurt yourself or a family member. To prevent accidents, use the following steps when leaving your garage:

  1. Open the garage door before getting into your vehicle.
  2. Use your rearview mirror to check for anyone or anything behind you before backing out of the garage.
  3. Once you are out of the garage, place your vehicle in park.
  4. Make sure the garage door is clear from people, animals, or foreign objects.
  5. Use your handheld remote to close the garage door.
  6. Do not leave the driveway immediately after hitting the handheld remote. Wait until the door closes completely. If a child or pet comes near the door while closing, you will have the necessary time to use the remote to stop the door from closing completely.
  7. After the door closes completely and safely, you may leave the driveway.


If you are living in an older home or your garage door opener was installed before 1993, you need to make some adjustments. To ensure your garage door opener aligns with current safety regulations, the opener must contain sensors to prevent entrapments. Utilizing photoelectric eyes, the sensors will reverse the door's motion when and if necessary.

If your system does not offer these sensors, installing a new automatic door opener is essential for your home and family's safety.

Automatic garage door openers also require a button on the interior wall of your garage. This button allows you to open and close the door from within your garage without using the handheld remote. When installing your new automatic door system, be sure the interior button aligns with the 5-foot rule.

Install the opener's interior button on the wall, but ensure the distance between the floor and the button is at least 5 feet. This height will prevent children from pressing the button during unsafe conditions.


After installing your garage door and automatic opener, periodic maintenance is essential for protecting its function. Here are a few tasks to keep your garage door in proper working condition:

  • Balance—The actual garage door is heavy, so it can easily lose balance. Without the right balance, the opener may struggle opening and closing the door properly. Use a level to make sure the door is even on both sides. If not, balance the door by adjusting its springs. Remove the spring from the door's track and install on a higher or lower hole on the bracket. This may require some trial and error, but you should install the spring on the hole that allows an equal balance.
  • Clean—A large accumulation of dirt and dust can make the garage door heavy. This additional weight will cause your automatic opener to struggle when opening and closing the door. Sweep off both sides of your garage door periodically to prevent heavy buildup of debris.

Your garage door opener can be a great addition to your home and family's needs, but proper precaution and periodic updates are imperative for keeping it in good condition. Using this guide, your opener will work properly to ensure your home and family stay safe.


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garage door locks - are yours effective?

What kind of locks do you have on your garage door? Did you know that there are different types of locks to choose from to secure the garage door? The locks that are securing your garage door are probably overlooked - some people don't even bother locking their garage door. If you store tools, lawn care equipment and sporting goods in your garage, your garage is a target for burglary and it should be protected. Find out how I secure my garage door to ensure that the thousands of dollars worth of tools that I own are not stolen from me.