Automatic garage doors may be a routine part of leaving and arriving home, but you should be aware of the potential for injury. Underwriters Laboratories, Inc., recommends these tips to make safety an open and shut case when it comes to your home’s garage:

Always keep automatic garage doors fully open or fully closed. Some folks may leave a small opening at the bottom for pets to get in and out for food or shade. But a small opening could also be an invitation for a child to try to crawl through and get stuck. Another push of the button could send the heavy door down—causing injury—instead of bringing the door up when trying to free anyone stuck underneath. If you encounter someone stuck in an automatic door, call your local fire department.

Read instructions on how to operate and maintain your garage door properly. Check your automatic door monthly to be sure safety precautions are working. Many garage doors boast a safety feature that triggers an automatic reversal if anything is encountered while closing. To check, place a 1.5-inch object (like a flat 2×4) in the path of the door to make sure the door correctly reverses when contact is made. Instructions should also advise on maintaining a properly balanced door. Call a qualified repair company for service or maintenance.

Do not allow children to operate a garage door. It may seem like a harmless, simple task to allow children to push the garage opener. But activating heavy equipment should be taken seriously.
Avoid walking under a door that is opening or closing.  You never know when a malfunction may take place. Steer clear of a moving door.

Know when and how to use the emergency release. There is a cord with a handle that will hang along the track of your garage door. Always use caution when using this release, and only use it when the door is fully closed.

An automatic garage door opener is a common convenience powered by electricity. Just as electricity demands safety and respect, so does the equipment it operates.

Source: Kelly Trapnell and Underwriters Laboratories, Inc.

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