With Child Safety and Protection Month almost over—an awareness campaign for protecting children from needless injuries in everyday situations—it’s important to acknowledge common accidents that could have been easily prevented. Sadly, garage doors fall safely into this agenda, which is why it’s never too late for a review on garage door safety. Here are a few dos and don’ts.

Don’t Run Under a Moving Door

We all know the game—hit the button and try to scramble under the garage door before it closes. For some, this brings back fond memories of being kids in the ’80s, but do you know what else was popular in the ’80s? Lawn darts—which were banned for obvious reasons.

What may not be obvious is worn out cables and torsion springs. This could be the case if you have an old garage door, or if they’ve been under strain from an unbalanced door. Whatever the reason, stress can cause cables and springs to suddenly snap, allowing the door to fall with over 300 pounds of crushing force behind it.

This isn’t one of those freak incidents that doesn’t ‘really’ happen. A Canadian injury surveillance report (1990-2005) looked at 14 hospitals—10 of them pediatric—and found nearly 250 cases of injuries from a cause stated as “garage door closed or fell onto patient.” That’s pretty specific, people. And 40% of garage door injuries overall were sustained by kids between the ages of 5 and 14. This happens. So, make it a rule to never run under a moving garage door and get your ’80s nostalgia from “Remington Steele” reruns instead.

Do Keep Fingers Away from a Moving Door

Thousands of people, many of them kids, get their fingers pinched every year in garage doors—in fact, this is the Number One garage-door-related injury.

Consider garage doors built with protective parts for young kids, especially if you have little ones. These models have taken a few extra precautions. For instance, they feature panel safety joints that prevent fingers from becoming caught and pinched—or worse. Many of our garage doors are outfitted with panel safety joints, including Carriage House Doors and Classic Steel Doors by Wayne Dalton and Martin Door.

That said, even if you have pinch-resistant doors, little fingers can still get caught in the tracks and rollers. The best solution is to simply teach kids to always keep their fingers away from a garage door (the panel safety joints are your saving grace)

Do Keep Remotes Out of Reach

Kids love to press buttons to make things move, but this should be reserved for remote control cars, not your garage door. The door is one heavy hunk of mechanical force that you don’t want coming down on kids by accident. Even if it is fitted with photo eye sensors and an auto-reverse mechanism, the worst time to discover a malfunction (perhaps the sensors were dirty?) is when kids are playing with the remote control and unwittingly cause an injury.

Don’t Let Kids Hang Off the Door

It’s unsafe to hang from a garage door, especially if it’s moving. This puts additional weight and strain on the cables and springs and, as we’ve learned, these can give out without warning. Also, a door that’s unbalanced could come off its tracks or close too fast—and you don’t want your kid attached to it on the way down.

Do Schedule Planned Maintenance

Regular maintenance is the most reliable avenue for keeping your door in top shape and your kids out of harm’s way. When you schedule Planned Maintenance service, our trained and certified technicians will perform a complete inspection of your door including spring tension, cables, hinges, rollers, and tracks. They’ll test the balance, sensors, and auto-reverse functioning. They’ll even lubricate bearings and check if the remotes are functioning properly. Let us take care of the smooth operation of your garage door so you can focus on the safe operation of your kids.

Thinking that ‘safety first’ should be your next step? Contact a specialist at any one of our eight locations across Western Canada: Vancouver, Kelowna, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Calgary, Saskatoon, Regina, and Winnipeg.