Sunday, December 28, 2014

Warehouse Safety - 5 Important Things To Keep In Mind

Warehouse safety should always be the number one concern of any employer. Warehouses can present a myriad of dangers to employees that should be confronted and resolved whenever they are found. If you would like to improve your workplace environment to reduce the risk of accidents or injuries, there are a number of things you as an employer can do. Take a few moments to review 5 important aspects of improving warehouse safety that everyone should know.

1. Provide Employee Training on Safe Lifting Practices

All employees should be provided with proper training regarding how to safely lift heavy materials without causing personal injuries. Lift materials with the legs and avoid twisting the upper body when carrying a load. If a pallet or box is too heavy, encourage workers to use a forklift or ask for assistance from co-workers. To reduce the risk of back injury caused by lifting altogether, it is best to arrange inventory in such a way that it does not require considerable effort to lift and remove items.

2. Invest in Anti-Slip Industrial Floor Mats

Anti-Slip industrial floor mats can prevent a number of accidents from happening in a warehouse environment. Not only will these mats work to alleviate slips if water or wet materials come in contact with the floor, but the comfortable ergonomics of these mats will make it much more comfortable for employees to work on their feet for extended periods of time. The amount of stress that constant walking, lifting and standing can do to the feel in a warehouse can become very painful for many. Reducing this stress and fatigue in any way will go a long way to minimize the chances of a serious injury occurring.

3. Ensure Adequate Lighting is Provided at All Times

Naturally, it is vital that all employees have plenty of light to perform their work efficiently and avoid making errors in the workplace. Always replace lights that have fizzled out immediately and consider investing in halogen bulbs for longer live span than incandescent bulbs.

4. Keep Aisles Clean and Free of Obstructions

Any trash, spills or debris in the aisles of the warehouse should be cleaned up right away. Trash and other materials can easily pose a safety hazard for anyone walking by or operating machinery. Make it a point to perform clean-up several times during every shift to ensure there are no obstacles that could potentially cause an injury of an employee.

5. Use Best Safety Practices When Operating Forklifts and Machinery

Forklifts and other forms of warehouse machinery should always be operated with extreme care. Only fully qualified and certified professionals should be given permission to operate with forklifts. Seatbelts should always be worn in forklifts should never travel in excess of 5 miles per hour. Any damaged forklifts should be kept off limits until repairs can be done and the batteries should always be fully charged before the beginning of each work day. Forklift drivers should also be fully trained on the dangers of carbon monoxide fumes and the warehouse should be well ventilated to improve indoor air quality for all employees. Any individuals who do not abide by all warehouse machinery safety regulations should be reprimanded to discourage breaches in workplace safety protocols from occurring in the future.

By incorporating warehouse safety practices like these at your place of business you can drastically reduce the chances that an injury or accident will happen. Take the time to invest in preventative countermeasures  like these and ongoing training for employees to make your warehouse a much more comfortable, safer work environment for everyone.

Monday, December 22, 2014

What To Do If Your Automatic Garage Door Won't Close

If your automatic garage door will not close, checking for a few of the most common problems may solve your problem in a matter of minutes. However, automatic garage door openers, like any piece of machinery, do wear out, and occasionally need to be replaced. A do-it-yourself minded homeowner may be able to complete the necessary repairs, but for many busy folks, hiring a professional to save time and hassle is the way to go.

These Simple Corrections May Quickly Correct a Troublesome Garage Door

Any time your garage door will not close normally, work through the following checklist:

Verify that the photo eyes, located at the bottom of each side of your door, are not blocked. Due to safety regulations, all newer garage doors are equipped with these "electronic eyes" which must be able to "see" one another to allow the garage door to close. Check to make sure that nothing is located at ground level where the door rests while closed, and remove anything which may be hanging from the door itself.

If one or both of the photo eye sensors is not lit up or is blinking, try adjusting the knob(s) or push against the metal bracket(s) that holds the eye in place to adjust the eyes so that they are directly pointing at one another. If the light(s) stop blinking and/or come back on, chances are you have solved the problem and your door will operate normally.

Clean the sensor lenses with a cloth, as dust, spider webs, paint, etc. can prevent the eyes from making contact.

Try holding down the wall button until your door is fully closed. If the door will close using this method, chances are one of your sensors needs replacement.

If your garage door goes down but will not stay closed, you may need to readjust the "limits" that tell the opener when to stop lowering the door. Some models allow you to adjust the limits by simply turning a screw; follow any instructions provided in your owner's manual or written on the device itself to determine which direction adjusts the door up, then gradually make corrections until the weatherstripping on the bottom of the door is in contact with the ground (but the door itself is not). Once the correct limit is reached, your garage door should stay shut unless another issue is present.

In cases where the door will not move at all, listen for a grinding sound while you operate the controls. Grinding can indicate the need to replace the gear inside the opener component. If you'd like to attempt this replacement yourself, carefully follow instructions provided in your owner's manual, or contact a professional.

Know When to Contact a Professional

Sometimes homeowners are able to correct a problematic garage door only to find that the same issue returns shortly thereafter. In particular, if you were able to correct the limits on your garage door but the same problem of the door not remaining shut quickly returns, you may have a more serious issue warranting the help of a professional garage door repairman.

If you have gone through the above checklist without success, a call to R&S at 925-671-7606 can save you a tremendous amount of time and hassle. We've got friendly staff that will answer your questions and provide you information in regards to all available options.

Monday, December 8, 2014

5 Common Loading Dock Injuries and How to Avoid Them

If there is one area worth watching yourself in a warehouse, it's the loading dock. Around 25% of warehouse injuries occur in the loading dock, a figure that may not seem surprising if you have spent time in a warehouse. The loading dock is fast-paced, very busy and the people working there are often running behind. There is simply too much to do, in too little time. All of this creates the perfect environment for injury.

5 Loading Dock Injuries That Are Preventable

Fortunately, loading dock injuries can be avoided with a little forethought and commitment to safety standards. Consider the following injuries, and what can be done to prevent them:

1.    Injury from falling trailer loads – Trailer loads can shift even on short hauls. When you open the trailer door, you could be in for an unpleasant surprise. All it takes is a broken pallet or a top heavy load that shifted during transit to make opening the door dangerous. While falling loads will happen, you can avoid having them fall on you through simple precautions. Be careful when opening any trailer door, and be ready to step back if you sense a fall.

2.    Back injuries – Loading dock workers lift and strain all day, a perfect recipe for a back injury. This becomes even more of a risk when you are in a hurry, and fail to use proper lifting technique. Fortunately, there are several things that can be done to prevent back injuries.

First, workers should be taught how to lift – bend at the knees, avoid twisting with a load, use your legs. Second, the company should invest in any safety or assisting equipment that is appropriate for the tasks. Weight belts can help avoid strain, and things like pallet positioners – which assist in lifting and shifting pallets for loading or unloading – can greatly diminish back injuries. Third, workers should be encouraged to prioritize safe lifting over meeting time commitments. It is better for the job to take a little longer than risk injury.

3.    Getting crushed by a truck – Trucks are back into the loading dock all day, and if the right safety precautions are not in place, it is very easy for a worker to get crushed between the truck and the dock. To avoid this, trucks should be turned off, the tires chocked and the driver out of the vehicle – anytime a worker must between the dock and the truck. This may seem tedious when something needs to be done quickly, but it is the most fool-proof method of saving lives from this kind of deadly accident.

4.    Getting hit by a forklift – The only thing that moves in and out of the dock more quickly than the dock workers is the forklift driver. These little machines make all that lifting and stacking possible. But they also prose a hazard to anyone in their vicinity. It takes concentration to fork a load properly, and to get that load across the warehouse or the dock. Drivers are often unaware of others because of this. Drivers must be trained to avoid accidents, and all available safety equipment should be employed – including convex mirrors, rear-view mirrors and backing alarms.

5.    Injuries from improperly stacked loads – A load can be just as dangerous in the dock as in the trailer. Falling loads can injure or kill workers. This can be avoided through proper stacking technique. Workers should know not to stack heavy items on top of lighter items, or big loads on top of small loads. Shrink wrap can also help increase stability.

Friday, November 28, 2014

What is an Automatic Gate?

Automatic gates, long used as a means of controlling access to secured areas in commercial and industrial settings, have recently become increasingly popular for residential use as well. Having an automatic gate protecting access to your home's driveway, fitted in as an integral part of your property's fencing or other form of protective barrier, provides multiple benefits, including increased safety and security. With the convenience of automation, these gates may be opened and closed in a variety of ways and, when going through while in your automobile, may be opened without the need to leave the confines of your vehicle. This increases the safety factor and also allows you to stay warm and dry during inclement weather. 

 Types of Automatic Gates 

Automatic gates come in a wide range of sizes, weights and configurations. They may be as simple as a sliding panel composed of chain-link fence or of ornate construction with fancy wrought-iron scroll work designed to match the adjacent fencing. The most popular type of automatic gate for use in residential or light-commercial applications is probably the slide gate. This consists of a panel that operates by sliding back and forth across the opening while riding on supporting wheels or rollers. Also known as "rolling" gates, the rollers travel along a track that has been installed on the ground. Because these tracks can easily be blocked by debris, snow and ice, however, they can present some ongoing maintenance concerns. 

Other popular automatic gate types include:  

Cantilever Gate – similar to the slide gate except the track is replaced by a raised rail that allows the gate to travel up off the ground.

Swing Gate – hinged on one side to open and close like a door, these gates are popular because of their relatively low cost and easy installation. They may be a single- or double-leaf configuration and can be made to swing either in or out, assuming there's enough room available to accommodate the 90-degree swing in a particular direction.

Vertical Lift Gate – this gate moves vertically up and down over the opening, traveling along vertical supports tall enough to allow for vehicles to drive underneath the gate when fully opened. These are useful in an application where a swing gate can't be used because of limited space. These lift gates have a somewhat industrial look and may not be the best choice for residential use where appearance is a primary concern. 

Other types of automatic lift gates include Pivot Gates, Bi-Fold Gates and Barrier Arm Gates, which are popular for use at entryways and exits to vehicle parking areas. 

 Operators and Means of Access 

Automatic gates feature two basic components: the gate itself, which is what moves in order to block the opening, and the operator, which is what powers the gate's movement. Operators typically use standard electrical power but may use solar power. Mechanical movement may be chain driven, hydraulic or gear driven. Devices used to initiate a gate's opening include:  

- Car readers 
- Vehicle tag (RF) readers 
- Digital keypads 
- Wireless hand-held remotes (similar to garage-door openers)  

An automatic gate operator may be used in conjunction with an intercom system that allows visitors a means for contacting someone inside who can activate the gate. Surveillance cameras may also be used to view and/or record activity around a gate and to visually confirm a visitor's identity. Exit loops or sensors may also be used to automatically operate a gate when a vehicle is leaving the premises. Safety concerns should always be addressed when installing automatic gates to ensure pedestrians and vehicles are protected from damage or injury. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

How to Best Seal a Garage Door

With the weather getting chillier it may have become clear that your garage doors have air gaps around the sides that needs to be fixed. It's important to know that the garage is a space that needs proper sealing, especially if it is attached to your house. Having a seal around your garage door will have many positive benefits. 

Creating a seal for your garage doors is fairly simple. There are a few tips and tricks to make the best possible seal around the doors. You have to choose the type of seal you want for your garage door. This is purely based on your preferences. There are also many colors to choose from making it easy to match your garage and house. 

Inspecting and preparing your garage doors 

First inspect your garage doors, gaps will allow light in. If you have gaps you will need to seal or reseal the doors. To prepare for sealing be sure to adjust the door opener or the top joints in order to get an even gap. A key point to remember while installing the sides and top is not hammering nails in while the stop boards are bent, if you are using a seal that has a PVC molding. This will result in breaks and fractures in the boards. 

Sealing the top of your garage doors 

The top of your garage door should be sealed first. When sealing the top of your garage door the process will be similar to that of the sides. However, one step that will be important is to cut the corners of your vertical stops. This will allow the sides to meet the top without any gaps. 

Sealing the sides of your garage doors 

In order to have a good seal you must address all sides of the garage door. Weather stripping for the garage door is ideal for the sides. The outdoor elements such as wind and rain can easily leak through without proper materials. The weather stripping is simple to install. You need only use some nails to attach the material to the garage frame. 

With both your top and bottom garage door seals you must make sure the seal creates a 45 degree angle against your garage door before completely nailing them into place. You may have to adjust some sections slightly. Try to keep your nail spacing for the top and sides at about 6 inches apart. 

Sealing the bottom of your garage doors 

You can address the sealing at the bottom of your garage door in two ways. One, you can use a bottom seal. This is a flexible rubber or vinyl that attaches to the bottom edge of the garage door. It will keep out the water from rain, cold chills from the wind, pesky vermin, and even dirt. The bottom seal is easily slipped with no extra fuss. 

The second option is to install a threshold seal. The plus side to this option is that it can be more durable than a bottom seal. However, it does make sweeping a bit more challenging, and it is harder for water to flow out. It is also easy to install and usually comes with the adhesive needed. 

With a proper seal on your garage doors you will find it warmer on cold nights, you won't have to worry about critters entering your space, and with a proper seal you will find a reduction in noise. Not only does this benefit your home, it also benefits you. Not only that, the savings you will see on your energy bill is an added bonus. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

How Good Are Insulated Garage Doors?

With energy costs these days, garage door insulation is just as important as anywhere else in your home. More and more people are using their garages as a work space or as a spot for social gatherings, its not just about storage anymore. 

You may be wondering what the difference is between the standard garage door and an insulated one. Also, whether or not the insulated garage door would be that much of a change if you have a regular uninsulated garage door. There are many good reasons why an insulated door is a good investment. 

Insulated doors are great if your garage is more than a garage.

When you use your garage as a hangout or as a workshop you want the space to be comfortable. When temperatures outside change so does the temperature inside your garage. With an insulated door the temperature will stay within a more even range. 

An insulated garage door will help keep your space warmer in the winter months. Likewise, it will keep the garage cooler in the summertime. This can be extremely important if your garage is connected to your home. 

Insulated doors keep air from entering into your home.

When your garage is attached to your home it is important the garage be well insulated. This is because the air in the garage can travel in through the doorway. This can mean a cold breeze making your heater run more often, or it could bring in unwanted heat. Both can mean an increase in the energy bills. An insulated garage door will help to eliminate the movement of air from outside to the inside. 

Insulated doors keep upper rooms comfortable.

The air in your garage can travel up through the ceiling and into the floor of rooms above. This can also cause a fluctuation of temperature in these rooms. With an insulated garage door keeping temperatures in the space fairly stable, the rooms above will not be affected. 

Insulated garage doors keep noise down.

With an insulated garage door you will find that life is a little quieter. It will cut down on the noise from outside. It also cuts down on the noise coming out of your space. This is ideal if you tend to work late with tools. The neighbors will not be bothered by late-night hammering. 

Insulated garage doors are better looking and cleaner.

An insulated garage door has a more attractive interior than a garage door that is not insulated. While this is not as important of a feature as keeping things warm, it is a nice bonus. Especially if you use this space to entertain and hangout with others. If you do entertain in the garage the insulated doors will be easier to clean, if you want them cleaned. 

These are all perfect reasons to have your garage door switched out for a new insulated one. If you do have a garage door that is insulated but find that it is not keeping the space comfortable, you may need to replace it with a better quality, more energy efficient insulated garage door. 

Friday, October 31, 2014

Creating an Effective Safety Meeting Agenda

Creating a comprehensive safety meeting agenda for your business is essential to protecting employees and maintaining a comfortable working environment for all. Organizing safety meetings on a consistent basis can be a much easier task with a safety meeting agenda to follow. If you would like to ensure your safety meetings are a success, be sure to touch up on these 4 important topics.

1. Overview of Past and Present Safety Concerns

It is often a good idea to start off any safety meeting with previous safety concerns and how they have been addressed since the last meeting. This is a good opportunity to talk about various areas that could use improvement or reiterate the importance of following obligatory safety protocols in the workplace. Likewise, if you have noticed an individual in your business has taken safety precautions to heart, take the time to recognize him or her for the commitment. A little safety can go quite a  long way at any business.

2. Evaluate Results of Recent Safety Inspections

If your place of work has recently undergone a safety inspection, sharing the outcome with employees and other members of management is a good way to shed more light on safety issues. If the safety inspector saw few problems to address, be sure to let those under your employment know they are doing a great job. In the case that a safety inspection falls a little short, it is essential to explain what the problem is and how it should be resolved in the future. While members of management will ensure employees are staying on task and remaining safe, managers cannot be everywhere at once. For this reason it is crucial that every member of your team is on board with always raising the bar when it comes to workplace safety.

3. Facilitate Safety Education and Training

Every workplace should encourage safety training for both employees and members of upper management. It may even be a good idea to hire an outside safety consultant to give classes on workplace safety practices and how to avoid accidents or injuries. Also, by providing everyone in your business with the opportunity to learn about safety in the workplaces, worker's compensation claims will likely plummet due to increased safety awareness. When a business neglects to provide this vital training to employees or managers it is entirely possible for an individual to hold the business liable in the case that an accident occurs. By offering your workforce access to safety education courses, a myriad of potential problems can be alleviated altogether. Proper safety training is potentially one of the most important components of a successful safety meeting agenda.

4. Engage in Open Discussion

Finally, put some time aside to have an open discussion among the staff regarding safety in the workplace. Giving employees and members of management a chance to voice their safety concerns or congratulate others for their hard work will encourage more intercommunication among staff members, translating to less misunderstandings or workplace injuries. Be sure to also give everyone a chance to speak before calling the meeting to a close.

Once the safety meeting has been successfully completed, determine a time and place for the next meeting that best accommodates your business itinerary as well as the schedules of employees. Over time you may begin to notice a drastic reduction in injuries or accidents and a much more productive atmosphere at work. With an organized safety meeting agenda you can enjoy a much more comfortable work environment and those who are under your employment will certainly appreciate your dedication to their well being.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Your Warehouse Needs a Loading Dock Safety Checklist

A warehouse loading dock can be as busy as a beehive as it's the hub of traffic with products going in and out. With loading and unloading of large trucks, forklift trucks running, and many other operations taking place it can often be hazardous for people working here. That is why there are special OSHA rules that govern the safety of warehouse loading docks and it pays to have a warehouse loading dock safety checklist that you can refer to and take necessary action.

OSHA Safety Rules for Warehouse Loading Docks

Most OSHA regulations for warehouse loading docks are related to operation as well as design of forklifts and maintenance of gates and doors.

Forklift operators have to be duly trained to operate forklifts and these machines also should be properly maintained for safe operation. Furthermore, warehouse loading docks also are prone to slips, falls and trips. That is why the walking and working surfaces should be slip-resistance.

Ill-maintained gates and doors are known to cause several injuries, some fatal, at warehouse loading docks. Hence, warehouse managers and supervisors should ensure these are duly serviced and maintained to minimize chances of accidents and injuries.

Making Warehouse Loading Dock Safe

Maintaining warehouse loading dock safety can often be challenging and an ongoing endeavor. Hence, having a checklist at hand will make it easy for warehouse supervisors and managers to ensure complete safety.

Here is one warehouse loading dock safety checklist that you can look at and expand.

Train all personnel at the loading dock about safety and ensure those rules are enforced.
Industrial truck drivers and forklift operators are trained to give right of way to pedestrians.
Color-coded paint to mark different areas of the warehouse loading dock, such as doorways, walkway barriers, overhead obstacles and parking aisles.
Install padding or guards around sharp corners to protect people walking through the facility.
Inspect palletized materials regularly to weed out defective pallets and place products into safe pallets.
Secure pallets with plastic or metal banding during storage and transportation
Every stationary vehicle is retrained with wheel chocks
Clean out the loading dock regularly to prevent a pile up of debris and dirt
Ensure emergency exits are not blocked and doors are functioning properly.
Make sure roll up doors at the loading dock are properly maintained. If there is a problem, it should be rectified immediately by a trained and qualified specialist to prevent accidents.
Are warehouse ergonomics in place? Adjust height of conveyor belts to minimize lower back pain. Heavy products should be placed at knee or chest level only. Have a limit to the amount of weight each worker can carry and encourage assisted lifting in the facility.
Paint the edge of the loading dock area with reflective white to ensure workers have a clear view of the dock.
Wrap all loose products meant for storage or transportation in shrink-wrap to prevent them from falling on personnel.
Powered doors at the loading dock should be periodically checked and maintained as per manufacturer’s instructions.
Mark overhead hazards, such as electric wires, doors and pipes, so that they can clearly be identified.

Use this warehouse loading dock safety checklist to keep your facility safe for your worker. You can add to it if necessary.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Keep Your Staff and Customers Safe with Fire Doors

For many business owners, safety for both staff and customers is a top priority. By having the right type of fire doors in your place of business, you can be confident that you are doing your part to protect everyone in the event of a fire.

How They Work 

Fire doors are specifically designed to be resistant to high heat and are not very flammable. They can hold up in extreme situations and provide a protective barrier while the people inside evacuate. Some doors prevent smoke from reaching through, and this gives people even more time to escape. The doors are designed to last for a specific amount of time, making it possible for you to create a feasible evacuation time.

Fire doors are layered with certain fire-resistant materials, and vary in construction depending on the needs and requirements of their application. Possible materials include the following:


The door includes strips known as intumescent strips that expand in heat and seals the gap between the edge of the door and the frame. Many doors are equipped with an electromagnet that keeps he door closed if the fire alarm is triggered. Others are designed to be kept closed at all times. 

Benefits of Fire Doors

Aside from the obvious benefit of providing a safe escape for your employees and customers, a fire door also protects the content of your business. It does this by reducing the spread of the fire. In addition, it makes it easier for fire fighters to extinguish the fire. This further reduces the damage to your business and the building's contents. 

The piece of mind that comes with efficient fire doors is invaluable. You and your employees will feel much safer knowing that there is a good plan, and morale is boosted in their knowledge that their safety is your concern. Depending on your insurance, you may also experience a savings if the proper doors are installed.

Types of Fire Doors

As mentioned above, you may have a fire door that you can open and close on a daily basis or one that is designed to remain shut. You can also have a fire roller screen, which can cover a door but is not designed for daily use.  For larger openings, a roller shutter can protect your business inside or outside.

Different models have different options; you can customize the color, have special detectors installed, and have various controls available. The doors can be designed to resist flames from anywhere between 20 minutes to four hours. No matter what type of business you own or what type of escape plan you have, you can find the right fire door to keep your business and your patrons safe and out of harms way.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Three Garage Door Components Most Likely to Fail

Automated garage doors have made life much easier for many people and also offer a greater degree of safety and security for your vehicles and your home as well. However, moving parts can and will succumb to wear, tear and failure. However, there are three components that are the most likely to cause problems with your garage door.


Springs are widely used in garage door systems to help keeps things on track and moving the way they should. They are often held under a great deal of pressure and tension which can cause them to wear out quickly. Springs, especially torsion springs, are the most expensive and are also the ones most likely to give out and break. Many manufacturers try to save money and cut costs of producing springs and they use un-coated springs. These springs are rated for approximately 10,000 cycles, which means it will last for 10,000 open/close cycles before it gives out to the point where it will no longer function. This type of spring usually will last between 3-5 years.

Higher grade systems will usually use powder-coated and high grade commercial quality springs. The coating helps them stay in shape longer, helps them resist rust, and they usually are rated for 30,000 cycles or higher, which translate into a longer life cycle. Always be sure you look into the cycle ratings each time you replace the spring to ensure you are using one that will last.


Rollers are very important to the functioning of the garage door. Manual garages need them but especially automatic garage doors will rely on rollers for smooth operation. The rollers are what helps guide the door up and down the track. Most garage doors are designed to use plastic or nylon tires that are secured on a steel shaft that will travel along the track for the door. While these rollers are affordable and easy to find and replace they do not last as long and will wear out faster.

Cheap rollers usually have a life span of about 12-18 months with average use. Rollers with metal components and bearings are typically better. They are more expensive and harder to find but they last much longer and actually save you money on frequent replacements. Ask about the rollers that your technician recommends when you need service work done on your garage door system.


Bearings are the third piece of garage door components that you will likely end up replacing quite a bit. A typical automatic garage door system will have several designs but they all should have three sets of bearings- the middle and both ends of the door. The more bearings there are the more distribution there is in the work load they have to carry- so the more the better.

Some designs have only two bearings at the ends of the door, which makes them wear out faster and makes it easier for them to wear out and come out of alignment. When getting a garage door system in place, it is best to get one that uses three bearing sets rather than two.

Call R&S Erection of Concord today to schedule maintenance for a garage door that works better, lasts longer, and keep you and your family safe.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

How to Test Your Garage Door Reversal Function

The typical garage positively brims with goodies that children want to get their hands on. From great stuff they’re allowed, like their bikes, to stuff they’re not - tools and toys requiring adult supervision - the attraction can be overwhelming. Once a kid has seen how the remote clicker works, it’s only a matter of time until he or she tries it alone.

With a malfunctioning or maladjusted reversal function on your automatic garage door, that adventure can swiftly turn lethal.

Real Dangers

In a 1996 report entitled Automatic garage door openers: hazard for children, the National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI) observed that “... at least 85 children have had permanent brain injury or have died since 1974 as a result of accidents involving automatic door openers." Detailing an average of almost four child deaths per year, the data makes salutary reading.

A subsequent news release, from the Consumer Product Safety Administration (CPSA), estimated the number of children trapped and killed beneath closing garage doors at an annual average of approximately three, “with other children having suffered brain damage or serious injuries when the closing door hit them, and failed to stop and reverse its direction."

Clearly, it’s vital that you, as a responsible homeowner, ensure your reversal device is working correctly.

Recommended Tests

The CPSA report suggests placing a length of 2"x4" wood on the garage floor, in the path of the closing door. The door should promptly reverse as soon as it strikes the wood. This test fails to take into account that children’s bodies are far more yielding than a chunk of solid timber; a door which reverses when contacting a 2'x4' may not react so promptly when crushing a child.The authors of the NCBI report used a cardiopulmonary resuscitation mannequin in their experiments, and found that 40 percent of doors tested failed to reverse when contacting the mannequin.

Rightly disturbed, they sought “ develop a means by which homeowners can evaluate their door openers." They came up with the recommendation that you use a large roll of paper towels.
Notwithstanding the professionalism of both the CPSA and the NCBI , the inherent inaccuracies of using a length of wood or a roll of paper towels may seem a little off-putting when weighed against the life of a child.

Ensure family safety with garage door reversal function


Testing the balance of your door is also important. A properly balanced door will maintain a partially-opened position when not held in place, either by an operator or any attached machinery. Unbalanced doors can crash to the floor unexpectedly, presenting yet another danger to people beneath them, both adults and children alike.

To test balance:
•Close the garage door
•Detach the opener using the Quick Release mechanism
•Grasp the handle and move the door to a semi-open position
•Release the handle

A properly balanced door will remain absolutely static.

Professional Advice

Old-fashioned automatic doors may not be fitted with a reverse function, and doors that simply stop moving when they encounter an obstruction can hold a person trapped beneath them. This is more likely to be the case with garage door equipment manufactured, or imported, before December 1992, after which the  CPSC required that they be outfitted with an external entrapment protection system. While these devices, most commonly an electric eye or a door edge sensor, add another level of operational safety, they also create another level of potential system failure.

Homeowners who suspect their doors to be of pre-1993 vintage, or with doors that bind or stick in operation, should immediately disconnect the mechanisms or power supply, then use the door manually until you can call on a professional like R&S in your area.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

3 DIY Garage Door Maintenance Tips

In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, many homeowners can overlook a myriad of things involving the maintenance of their property. One thing you don't want to overlook is the maintenance of your garage door, or they  will soon fail to work properly. With that simple thought in mind, here are 3 garage door maintenance tips that every prudent homeowner should follow:

Keep Everything Lubricated

An automated garage door assembly – while quite complicated to engineer and manufacture – operates on some pretty simple mechanical principles. This single fact means that it must be maintained on a regular basis or it will fail to operate efficiently and properly. Most importantly, regular lubrication must be applied or the system can fail entirely. In particular, WD-40 or some other graphite lubricant should be applied directly to the chain, the casters and the motor assembly to keep everything running as smoothly as possible.

Maintain the Springs Properly

While some garage doors will use a counterweight, most modern ones function with a set of finely tuned springs. Typically, these springs exactly counter the weight of the door and allow the electronic mechanism to work with a minimum of effort. Keeping them in tip top condition only requires a little bit of effort and pays off big time. Most garage door springs are tightly sprung and – if there's a major problem – should only be dealt with by a professional. Still, maintaining them is merely a matter of keeping them clean and lubricated once per year.

Adjust the Electronics Regularly

One of the most common places for a garage door system to fail is in the electrical system. The wires and the sensors comprise not only a convenient method for controlling the system but also a highly developed safety net. In terms of maintaining the system, the sensors that control the emergency recoil system are the most sensitive. These sensors – usually located at the bottom of the garage door – can easily be knocked askew by a inattentive guest, a careening child or even by an overburdened delivery person.

A Final Thought

As you can see, keeping your garage door in the best physical condition does not take a whole lot of time, energy or money. Instead, a little proactive maintenance like the ones mentioned above will go a long way towards keeping your garage door in the finest of conditions for many years to come.

garage door maintenance