Safety is the most important, and overlooked, aspect of garage doors. Garage doors are extremely heavy, with many parts under extreme tension, and are usually operated by a mechanical garage door opener that has the potential to pull or push with a dangerous amount of force. Garage doors cause injury and property damage (including expensive damage to the door itself) in several different ways. The most common causes of injury from garage door systems include falling doors, pinch points, improperly adjusted opener force settings and safety eyes, attempts at do-it-yourself repair without the proper knowledge or tools, and uncontrolled release of spring tension (on extension spring systems).
A garage door with a broken spring, or the wrong strength spring, can fall with tremendous force. Because the effective weight of the door increases as the garage door sections transfer from the horizontal to vertical door tracks, a falling garage door accelerates rapidly. A free falling garage door can cause serious injury or death. Most commonly, unsuspecting homeowners injure their backs while lowering a garage door with a broken spring, because they do not expect to be dealing with the door’s “true weight”.
The sections and rollers on garage doors represent a major pinch hazard. Children should never be allowed near a moving garage door for this reason. On manually operated garage doors, handles should be installed vertically, to promote “vertical orientation of the hand”.