Jones & Swanson

Garage Door Hazards

You are likely aware that there are countless dangers that exist in and around your home, both for adults and children. Some of the more commonly thought of dangers in the home include fireplaces, stoves/ovens, and pools. A common feature present in many homes that is not typically thought of as a danger is the garage door. Most garage doors are automatic nowadays, which can present safety concerns for adults and kids alike.

Surprisingly, over 13,000 injuries were reported in a 2007 study in relation to garage doors. Many organizations, including the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, have been attempting to lower these numbers. To make garage doors within our homes safer, the CPSC has been strengthening the requirements of automatic doors so that people are less likely to be injured from them.

So what are the dangers associated with automatic garage doors? Entrapment and being struck by a garage door are typically the causes of injuries. While garage doors feature safety standards such as automatic reversal systems, infrared motion detectors, and manual release handles, a safety concern arises when these features cease to work properly over time. The easiest and surest way to prevent automatic garage doors injuries is to check the safety features of the automatic door monthly. For instance, you could place something in the path of the garage door so that when it connects with the object, you can make sure it rises back up immediately. To test the motion detectors, one could place an object in front of the detector (about six inches off the ground in the mouth of the door). Finally, the manual release is typically a red handle hanging from a cord inside the garage. It can be used in an emergency to disconnect the electronic opener from the door and allows one to manually open the door. This is especially important in the event of a power outage.

The typical family uses their garage door between three and four times each day. That is equivalent to 1,200-1,500 opens and closes in a single year. That hard work commonly leads to corrosion of parts, so in addition to testing your automatic garage door monthly, you should also schedule to have a professional garage door inspector to check for maintenance issues once each year. The costs are minimal, and parts typically are replaced only ever five years or so. In comparison to medical bills or a lawsuit from a visitor to your home, these inspection fees are much more economical.

In the event that a visitor to your home is injured due to a garage door defect which you knew or should have known about, it is possible that they can hold you liable for injuries sustained in an accident. For more information about garage door safety or if you have a loved one that was injured due to another person’s negligence, call our office today at (770) 427-5498. We also provide consultations online at

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