ELMHURST, Ill., June 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- As the American home has evolved over the years, so too has the garage -- both in the way it looks as well as its newfound functionality as the main entranceway to the home. In fact, more than 70 percent of homeowners enter and exit their home through the garage door, relying on it as the new front door.
Since the garage door now plays such a key role in many homeowners' daily lives, garage industry professionals, installers and leading manufacturers of garage doors and openers have teamed up to offer easy-to-follow tips for maintaining the safety and security of this access point during June's "National Garage Door Safety Month."
"June is the perfect time to pay a little more attention to your garage door and opener since a garage often becomes the hub of activity for many families," notes Paul Accardo of LiftMaster, the world's largest manufacturer of professionally installed openers.
"We ramp up our usage of the garage door and opener during the summer months since this is where many are entering the home and storing the gardening supplies, sporting equipment, lawn furniture, kid's bicycles and if there is room, the family car. With all the added ups and downs, now is the time to check to make sure everything is in working order with your door and opener."
With the additional traffic running through the garage, National Garage Door Safety Month is the ideal time to perform a periodic safety inspection of your garage door, especially those equipped with automatic operators. Check out the tips from LiftMaster on how to get your garage in gear this time of year.
Everything from the Garage Door to the Floor
- Maintenance. To keep the garage door properly maintained and functioning safely, be sure to keep all moving parts of the door clean and lubricated, including the steel rollers.
- Balance. To check balance, start with the door closed and pull the opener release mechanism so you can maneuver the door by hand. If the door is balanced (properly spring-loaded and running freely on its tracks), you should be able to lift the door smoothly without much effort and it should stay open about three or four feet above the floor.
- Safety Reverse. Since 1993, all automatic openers manufactured for the U.S. must include a safety reversing feature such as infrared sensors or "photo eyes." These sensors are installed near the floor on either side of the garage door opening. Once the invisible laser beam between the two sensors is broken by an obstruction, 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.
- Sensitive Technology. Test your door's sensitivity this month by placing a two- inch thick piece of wood or a roll of paper towels in the path of the door before closing it. If the garage door does not automatically reverse and retract back to the open position, then the opener needs to be adjusted or purchase a newer model that comes with photo eyes. LiftMaster dealers are available nationwide to help bring your door up to speed and code.
- Prepare for Weather. Be prepared as summer heat and storms turns to summer outages. Once power is lost to the home, an automatic garage door opener will also be impacted. Ensure your opener is equipped with a Battery Backup system which continues to operate LiftMaster openers for an additional 20 up and down cycles. So, even during unforeseen outages, homeowners have peace-of-mind that their main entranceway to the home reliably opens and closes.
Organizing the Inside Out
- The garage usually tops the basement or attic for clutter and debris. Keep it clear of oily and greasy rags as they are easily flammable and can ignite spontaneously. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby.
- It may seem like you're adding to the mess, but grass clippings are great for keeping dust under control in your garage. Next time you mow your lawn, sprinkle your fresh lawn clippings on the garage floor then sweep it clean.
- Better organization of lawn equipment, sporting goods and bicycles also is crucial to a presentable garage. Install shelves and hooks to lift things off the floor and maintain order. Get in the habit of putting things back where they belong after use and regularly sweeping up.
While great strides have been made in garage door opener safety, it is still important to know about the heaviest door in your household and how to maintain it. For more information about Garage Door Safety month or to find a professional in your area to help conduct your safety checklist, visit www.LiftMaster.com.