With an automatic garage door, keep safety in mind.
What is the largest moving object in your home?
Don't peek, but the answer is at the end of the column.
This subject came to mind while I was discussing the safety features of an automatic garage-door opener with a local installer.
What is the proper and safe way to test the auto-reverse feature of your garage-door opener?
The auto-reverse feature has been required by federal law since 1993.
When the overhead door is closing, there is enough force to maim or cause death if a person were trapped under the door. The Consumer Product Safety Commission says that "approximately 60 children between the ages of 2 and 14 have been trapped and killed under automatic garage doors since March 1982."
What can you do to ensure that the garage-door opener is operating properly? Inspect your door every 30 days for:
A properly balanced door will remain in place when stopped in any position. When manually checking the door, keep your hands and fingers away from springs, rollers, hinges and tracks.
An unbalanced door should be adjusted by a professional. There is enough stored energy in the door's springs to cause serious injury.
Most openers have a closing-force adjustment screw or knob on the main motor housing. When adjusting it, make sure the door will close all the way without reversing. If the door cannot be adjusted, it's time for a new door opener.
The garage door. But by now you should have guessed that.
(Dwight Barnett is a certified master inspector with the American Society of Home Inspectors.)