Garage door safety has improved vastly over the past several decades, but every year there are still thousands of accidents related to garage doors. Children, in particular, are susceptible to injury from garage doors, but accidents can befall adults just as easily. There are certain common risks for children and, depending on the age and condition of the garage door, the risks may increase or decrease to some degree. Events like falling doors, crushed fingers or limbs, children riding doors, and children becoming trapped inside the garage are all concerns. Mitigating these risks comes down to supervising children around garage doors and ensuring that your garage door is well maintained. These doors contain complex mechanical components that can malfunction or otherwise lead to injury if improperly handled. Here are some basic safety concerns to keep in mind.
Pinched or Crushed Limbs
Children are highly susceptible to having their fingers, hands, arms, or legs caught in between section joints of the door. If the door is activated, this is especially dangerous as digits and limbs can easily be broken or even severed. Keep children from playing around open garage doors and ensure that they do not toy with buttons, such as those that open and close the door. Falling doors are also a risk. This may occur if a tensioned cable is weakened or from spring failure. Old, decrepit, and poorly maintained doors can all fail and cause injury. It’s estimated that in the U.S each year, over 7,500 children fall victim to crushed or pinched limbs from garage doors. Inspect the door regularly and perform any repairs or have the door repaired to help reduce the risk of injury.
Lacerations and Entrapments
Sharp edges on doors can easily cause laceration–especially to children playing on or around doors. Door hardware or tracks are especially risky for injuries since sharp edges abound. There isn’t much you can do about sharp edges along much of the garage door, but monitoring your children’s play and telling them not to play around the garage door is a good place to start. Sometimes cuts and scrapes are unavoidable, but make sure to supervise children well to help prevent serious lacerations around sharp edges.
Entrapments are another serious concern. These commonly occur when the sensor fails on a door and the garage door continues to close when there is an obstruction in the path. Children trying to outrun a closing door or falling in the path of a closing door can lead to entrapments if the sensor on the door has failed. These entrapments also include limbs getting caught beneath the door. Combined, these accidents represent nearly 1000 injuries to children each year from garage doors.