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Here are some helpful safety tips. This list is not intended to be a comprehensive list of every safety precaution. Always consult your manufacturer’s installation or instruction manual for safety information about your model.
FOR GARAGE DOOR OPENERS
- Do It Yourself? Installing a garage door opener is generally easier and safer than installing a garage door. But improper installation can create a hazardous situation. DASMA recommends that a trained door system technician install your opener. If you do it yourself, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
- Not in Sight? Not Safe! When closing your automatic garage door with a push button or a remote control transmitter, you should always watch the door until it completely closes. Reason: Make sure no person or animal gets caught under a closing door. Take a few seconds to be safe.
- Do You Have a Reinforcement Bracket? Some do-it-yourselfers neglect to install an opener reinforcement bracket to the top section of the door. Failure to do so can damage your door. Do-it-yourselfers should check the installation manual for specific instructions.
- Get a More Powerful Opener? If your door feels heavy or requires two hands to open it, the door is probably out of balance and needs adjustment. A variety of problems can cause this, and if you try to fix it yourself, you could get hurt. Call a local trained door systems technician to diagnose the problem and offer a solution. The answer is not a more powerful garage door opener. Openers are designed to open doors that are properly balanced.
- Sensitivity Training. Garage door openers are designed to reverse direction when a descending garage door meets an obstruction. If your door does not reverse readily after contacting an obstruction, the opener’s sensitivity adjustment may be set improperly. This can create a dangerous situation. See your owner’s manual for how to adjust your opener’s sensitivity. DASMA recommends that a trained door systems technician perform this work.
- Safety Reverse. Since 1993, all openers manufactured for the U.S. must include a second safety reversing feature such as photoelectric eyes. These are installed near the floor. Once the invisible beam is broken, the door reverses automatically. If your opener lacks a similar safety reversing feature, it’s time to get a new opener.
- The Six-Inch Rule. The photo eyes mentioned above should not be installed higher than six inches above the garage floor. If the eyes are installed higher, a person or pet could get under the beam and not be detected by the photo eyes.
- The Five-Foot Rule. The wall push button for your garage door opener should be mounted at least five feet above the floor, out of the reach of children. Running under a closing door can be a deadly game. Teach your children never to play with opening and closing the door.
- Do You Know Where Your Remote Controls Are? For the reasons just mentioned, keep the remote controls for your openers where children cannot play with them. Warn children of the dangers of playing with the garage door. For security reasons, be sure to keep your remote controls locked up. If you park a car outside your garage, be sure to lock your car so that potential burglars cannot access your remote control and gain easy access to your garage.
- Rolling Codes. Some thieves are able to "record" your transmitter’s signal. Later, after you’re gone, they replay that signal and open your door. However, if your transmitter (the remote control) has rolling code technology, the code changes after every use. This renders the thieves' controls useless. Contact your garage door opener manufacturer or your local garage door dealer for more information.
FOR GATE OPENERS
Clear! Motorized sliding
and swinging gates can be dangerous. When a
motorized gate is opening or closing, stay clear
of the motion of the gate. Entrapment can cause
injury or death.
- Look for the Listing Mark.
For safety, make sure that the vehicular gate
opener being installed on your property bears
the "mark" of a nationally recognized
testing laboratory such as "UL" or
"ETL." These marks identify that the
product has been tested and complies with the
UL 325 Standard for Safety.
- Don’t Reach Through.
Never reach through a motorized gate to operate
the gate opener controls. Reaching through a
gate to operate a control device is extremely
dangerous. The UL Safety Standard for gate openers
prohibits controls from being positioned within
reach of the gate or gate opener.
- 10-Foot Rule.
Gate controls must be installed and positioned
so that a person using the control cannot touch
the gate or gate opener. As a rule of thumb,
controls should be installed a minimum of 10
feet away from the gate. If your gate opener
system allows a person to "reach through"
the gate to operate the control, immediately
shut off power to the gate system and contact
a professional gate system company to move or
disconnect the control.
- Warn Children.
Do not allow children to play on automated gates.
This could be a deadly game. Take time to teach
children about the importance of safety in the
vicinity of an automated gate.
- Inherent Reverse.
Since March 2000, gate openers that are listed
by a nationally recognized testing laboratory
and are intended for use by the public (1) must
include an inherent reversing feature and (2)
must be installed with a secondary entrapment
device such as photoelectric eyes or reversing
edges. Older automatic gates generally do not
have these built-in sensitivity systems that
can detect objects that may be caught in the
gate. If your gate opener lacks this type of
system that can detect obstructions in BOTH
the opening and closing cycles, it’s time
to replace your gate opener.
- Do It Yourself?
Installing a vehicular gate opener system is
not a project for a do-it-yourselfer. Reason:
gates are heavy, and these systems generate
high levels of force that can create hazards
if the system is not properly installed. Gate
openers cannot be simply "plugged in."
They require detailed installation procedures,
installation of secondary entrapment prevention
devices, and installation of vehicular detection
devices. They must also be installed in compliance
with the UL 325 Safety Standard, and the gate
itself needs to comply with ASTM F2200. If you
need an automated vehicular gate system installed,
contact a professional gate systems installation
Like all electro-mechanical devices, your automated
gate system requires periodic maintenance and
testing. Follow the recommended maintenance
and testing schedule in your gate opener owner’s
manual. Ask your professional automated gate
system installer about a service contract to
keep your gate system running safely and smoothly.
- Know Your System.
Ask your professional gate system company to
demonstrate the safety systems associated with
your gate opener. Make sure you know how to
safely test these systems. It’s also important
to know how to manually operate your gate opener
in the event of a power outage or system failure.
- Pinch Points! According
to ASTM F2200, all exposed rollers in sliding
gates must have covers or guards to protect
pinch points. These covers prevent hands or
feet from getting caught between the gate and
the roller. If your sliding gate does not have
roller covers or guards, contact a trained vehicular
gate opener technician to have appropriate guards
installed on your gate system.
FOR GARAGE DOORS
Content Courtesy of: DASMA Door and Access Systems Manufacturers Association