Unfortunately, many people are injured each year by their garage doors, so as garage door experts, we’d like to talk about garage door accidents–the statistics and how to prevent accidents in your home or workplace.

The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) has reported statistics on garage door accidents showing that more than 2,000 people per year are crushed by garage doors, and more than 7,500 people are pinched during garage door operation. Only about 100 of these are caused by personal negligence, like a child or pet trying to dash under a closing door.

Children can sometimes play games with the garage door, daring themselves to try to make it to the other side as the door closes, often playing with the remote control. If they don’t make it across, the door can pin them to the ground or crush them. Several deaths each year are reported by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission from this behavior, even from garage doors that do contain an automatic reverse feature.

Glass breakage is another cause of garage door accidents. Many of the older doors do not contain shatterproof or shatter-resistant glass windows. There are upwards of 800 people each year who visit the emergency room with cuts caused by garage door glass.

The remainders of those accidents are caused by mechanical failures within the garage door equipment itself or from the lack of safety features that can aid in preventing potentially-dangerous safety problems.


Do you want to know the most common garage door accident?

It is backing the car out of the garage and forgetting to open the garage door altogether! Either the driver forgets to open the door or begins backing out before the door has had time to open fully.

How to Prevent Garage Door Accidents at Home

Some of the most common ways to protect yourself at home is by installing a garage door with photo-eye or pressure-sensing door retractors.

But even this is not enough.

To truly protect your family, you need to regularly inspect your garage door mechanisms.

Every month, watch as the garage door opens and closes to ensure that it moves smoothly and does not exhibit any unusual behavior or sounds like creaks or grinding noises. Look for unusual movements like stuttering or side-to-side motion.
Check the red-light sensors for obstructions. Objects left in their path can cut off the light beam that is intended to cross from one side of the garage door opening to the other. Ensure that the beam is correctly adjusted and test it by moving an object in front of the beam as the garage door is closing. The door should stop and re-open when it senses a break in the beam.
Visually inspect the system itself: the springs, the hinges and the door panels themselves which could fall off and cause injury.
Be aware that pinching most often occurs when fingers get caught in the spring mechanisms on the sides of the doors, between the rollers and tracks, or between the door panels that fold up when the door is opening. Since the mechanical pressures are great, pinching can lead to serious injuries.

Small children should always be kept away from the garage doors when they are in operation. Install pinch-proof garage doors to help prevent these types of injuries.

How to Prevent Garage Door Accidents at Work

Preventing garage door accidents at work is similar to preventing garage door accidents at home. Install safety mechanisms like light sensors, and perform a visual inspection every month to ensure proper operation. Look for rust, damage and wear on the rollers, springs, cables and mounting hardware.

Check for items that may have fallen into the garage door track, like a shovel or broom handle. This can cause the door to open or close incorrectly, throwing the door off of its intended track. Garage doors at workplaces can be much larger and heavier than those used in homes, so crushing injuries are more likely to be more severe.

If a door is seen to be malfunctioning or has come off of its track, do not attempt to fix it on your own. Call in a professional, like G&S Garage Doors.

Trust G&S Garage Doors

For sales, installation, replacement, repair or inspection, trust G&S Garage Doors. We are proud to serve the families and business owners of Northern Virginia with exceptional service, and can provide you with statistics on garage door accidents and ways to prevent them. See our list of services for more details.

Contact us today to learn more.

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