Category Archives: Garage Security

Time for a Garage Door Opener Safety Check?

garage door opener safety check

Featuring convenience a homeowners’ garage, haven for automobiles and expensive toys, is more important to us than we would have otherwise thought possible. But the one thing keeping our belongings safely stored inside, is also the one thing that often goes unnoticed, at least until something goes awry: the garage door opener.

Garage door openers are designed to control the opening and closing of the garage door, either through a wall-mounted switch or radio transmitted remote, approximately 1,500 times over the course of a year depending on the homeowners’ schedule.

Due to the strain of controlling a door weighing 150 pounds and up, they or one of their countless components may become defective, which can unfortunately create significant safety hazards. Hazards that when left unchecked can quickly lead to the occurrence of an accident. The following facts demonstrate these risks:

  • Typically the largest, not to mention heaviest, moving objects within your home many of the garage door’s components are held under an immense amount of tension.
  • According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, injuries caused by the improper use (or a malfunctioning) garage door account for approximately 20,000 emergency room visits per year.
  • Although severe injuries or worse can occur due to entrapment (caused when the door fails to automatically reverse); the majority of these ER visits are the result of pinched fingers.

While safety hazards are very much real, routine garage door opener safety checks, along with preventative maintenance are two great ways to ensure the safety of everyone in the home as well as those outside the home. They can also help you avoid getting stuck with costly repair bills when things go awry.

When performing the following inspections, inspectors should never attempt to fix any defects they may encounter, as the door and all its components including the garage door opener can pose significant hazards. Garage door and garage door opener repair is NOT DIY friendly!

Garage Door Opener Safety Check | Tests

Test the Door’s Balance and Alignment

Once a month, you should test the door’s alignment, and balance of your garage door. To do this, you will need to first disengage the garage door opener from the door itself, which is actually quite simple. Simply pull the red manual release rope straight down and then back.

Once you have done this, attempt to open the door, all the while taking note of how the door feels as it’s opening (i.e. does it feel light, easily moves without sticking, sticks during movement). If it sticks during the test, the door is not properly aligned, which puts undo strain on the garage door opener.

If the door is out of balance immediate repair is required!

Test the Safety Reversal System

In addition to testing the door’s overall balance and alignment, you should test the safety reverse of the garage door opener, as this prevents the door from continuing to close should someone or something get in its path.

With the door fully open, place a 2×4 flat (or similar size object) on the floor, centered directly under the floor. Operate the door in the down direction. When the door hits the object, it should automatically stop, and immediately reverse direction. Never attempt to stop the door using your hands or an object.

If the door fails this step immediately seek professional help!

Test the Photoelectric Sensors

Photoelectric sensors, aka safety eyes, located at the base of each side of the garage door emit an invisible beam. If the beam is broken, the sensors will instruct the opener to immediately reverse the door’s direction, rather than continuing to close. Proper alignment and functioning is imperative.

To test these sensors, operate the door and as the door is closing, roll a ball across the path of the sensors. The door should immediately stop and reverse direction. Malfunctioning or misaligned photoelectric safety sensors have the potential to cause severe injuries to occur.

If your sensors failed this test immediately contact a technician!

Safety Advice for Homeowners

  • Never attempt to adjust or repair springs on your own. These components are held under extreme tension, and can snap forcefully, causing serious injury to occur.
  • Never allow children to play with the garage door openers’ wall-mounted switch or radio-transmitted remote. They are NOT toys. You should also teach them about garage door safety.
  • Never try to enter or exit your garage while the door is in motion. Should the safety revere not be working properly, this could cause you to become entrapped under the door.

 

The Pros of Having a Garage

the pros of having a garage

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The pros of having a garage are numerous. Living in Las Vegas, I’m sure you know how it is to step out of your house on a 90+ degree day, just to go start your car. And if you have leather…forget about it! After running the engine for five minutes or so, the car is usually cool enough for you to stomach getting into, let alone driving to your destination.

For those of you that maintain your car on a do it yourself basis, you probably know what the inconvenience of working on it outside is like, especially when you have to slide under it and you get burnt due to the hot sidewalk. A garage can change all that as well as provide you with the following benefits:

The Storage Potential

A garage opens up an enormous amount of additional storage space. If you own it; you can store it. Besides storing the obvious (your car) a garage provides ample space for storing landscaping equipment, tools, bikes, annual decorations and everything in between. When you run out of floor space, make sure to look up at the walls and ceiling for more storage space.

The Property Value

Adding a garage is a reasonably good investment according to remodeling magazine’s 2015 “Cost vs. Value Report.” If you invest $52,382, which is the national average, on this addition you can expect to recoup 64.8 percent or $33,938 of your investment at resale – or refinance. Already have a garage that you want to replace the door on?

Midrange garage door replacements, which on average cost $1,595, can net you 88.4 percent or $1,410 of your initial investment at time of resale. This a 5.9 percent higher rate than an upgrade garage door replacement. Whichever of the three options you choose, you can feel confident knowing that you’re making a good decision, economically speaking.

The Potential

Who said a garage had to be boring? Garages are like a blank canvas. Their usability options are endless. With the space they provide you can turn them into workshops, gyms, home offices, day cares and the list goes on. Want to liven them up? Try painting the walls a cheerful color. And don’t forget the floors. Many options for garage flooring exist today including epoxy flooring.

The Pre-Vacation Checklist

Your bags are packed, boarding passes in hand, family pets are taken care of and you are ready to leave it all behind for a great two-week vacation. Not so fast. Have you taken care of everything you need to before you leave? After all, your home will be empty and vulnerable to a break-in. Better take a look at this pre-vacation checklist:

Stop the Mail and Newspaper
Notify your local post office to put your mail on hold while you are gone. USPS actually allows you to do this online. If you have a newspaper delivered, advise them that you will be gone as well.

Tell the Neighbors or Friends
If you have a neighbor you trust or a friend nearby, ask them to keep an eye on your house. Provide them with a way to contact you and let them know when you are leaving and returning. If you have someone that will be house-sitting, it’s a good idea advise neighbors that there will be a car in your driveway they may not recognize.

Turn Off Automatic Irrigation
If you have an automatic irrigation system, you may just want to shut it down while you are on vacation. Busted irrigation pipes are a hard thing to deal with from afar.

Forward Your Home Phone
If you have a land line at your home, forward the number to your cell phone if possible. Never leave a voice message that you will be out of town.

Invest in Light Timers or Home Automation
Making your home look lived in while you’re away can help keep it safe. Invest in light timers that come on at night for at least two rooms. For a little more money, you could always have a home automation system installed to allow you to control lights from anywhere you go with your smart phone or tablet.

DON’T Post on Social Media
While you’ll be tempted to share all the great things about your vacation to the social media world, you never know who’s hand that information will land in. More and more, burglars scan social media networks to look for easy targets. Keep your photo’s to yourself while you are away, the post away when you get home!

Lock Up and Set the Alarm
Make sure all doors and windows are locked and secure, especially the door to your garage. If your automatic garage door has a lock feature, use that as well. There are additional steps you can take to keep your garage door safe as well. If you have a security system installed, notify the alarm company that you will be away and give them a local contact in case something happens.

Vacations are for resting and relaxing. By taking these few simple steps, you can have piece of mind your home is safe and secure while you are away.

Protecting Your Perimeter

Perimeter Alert SystemsIt’s a well known fact that unsecured garages can be taken advantage of by criminals to break into your home. While there are many steps you can take to secure you garage, as we covered in a previous post, there are also ways to protect the perimeter of your home so you can detect a person or vehicle approaching before they reach your house.

Liftmaster Perimeter Alert Systems work by setting up motion sensors in various spots around you home. When a sensor detects movement, you are alerted with light and sound from you system base. The sensors can work from up to a 1/2 mile from your home. The detect any movement within 30 feet and provide 120 degree coverage from side to side.

The best part about the Liftmaster Perimeter Alert System is how affordable it is. Our expert technicians can install the system for you to insure you have the best perimeter coverage possible and are never caught off guard when someone approaches your home.

These systems are perfect for working families that have teens who come home alone after school, elderly residents, and anyone that just wants extra piece of mind to keep their home safe. The extra time provided knowing someone is approaching can allow you to secure locks on your doors and windows and contact the authorities if necessary.

The system is also helpful in simply letting you know when expected guests arrive so you can finish any last minute preparations quickly or unlock doors to let them in.

If you are interested in learning more about the Liftmaster Perimeter Alert System, please call Precision Garage Door of Las Vegas today. We can give you a free estimate for installation and go over any features you may have questions about.

Avoid Garage Break-Ins

When thieves are looking to break into your home, they look for vulnerabilities. Unfortunately the garage is often an access point for thieves. But by using some common sense and security measures, you can help thwart burglars efforts to get into your home.

Number one and probably the most obvious, don’t leave the garage door remote in your car when it is parked outside your home. It’s all to easy for a thief to break into your car to get into your home. Invest into a key chain remote garage door opener if you don’t have one already and keep it on your key chain. Don’t leave clipped to the visor of your car as this is just advertising to potential thieves.

Install a deadbolt on the door that accesses your home from your garage and lock that door each time you leave your home. Also make sure that door is of sturdy build and not one that could be easily kicked in. Install a wide-angle peephole in the door between your house and your garage. This will give you the ability to see what’s going on if you hear a strange noise in the garage.

Garages with glass windows are a favorite of thieves. They will often break the glass and trip the emergency release with a coat hanger. You can fortify your emergency release with zip ties making it hard to release with a coat hanger but can still be pulled in case of an emergency.

Also, if your garage has glass windows, make sure they are frosted or tinted so it’s not easy to see in. Clear windows allow anyone to see if there is a car in the garage or not.

Don’t leave your garage door open, even when you’re home. It just makes it too easy for someone to grab your property and run.

Tell your neighbors or have family check on your house if you are going to be out of town to keep watch for any strange cars or work trucks parked outside your home.

If you have a home alarm, make sure your garage is part of the system. Security cameras that can be accessed remotely via a smartphone are also a wise investment.

Don’t neglect maintenance on the mechanical parts of your roll-up garage door and keep an eye out for corrosion. Don’t forget the door from your garage to your house; check the frame, locks, hinges and any replaceable items.