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Keep the family safe around the garage with Merlin’s five top safety tips

Most of us use the garage every single day. From the school run to the work dash or a quick trip to the shops – it’s one of the most common entryways to the home.

But did you know that only six per cent[1] of Aussies think about the garage door when it comes to safety at home, and less than a third of homeowners conduct regular safety checks on it?

With 2,792 garage related accidents resulting in hospitalisations in Australia[2] in 2020 alone, thinking about garage safety is more important than ever.

When your garage door is in good working condition, you can have the confidence that your family, pets and belongings are safe. Here are Merlin’s top five tips to ensure your garage safety is up to scratch.

1. Keep controls away from children and fingers clear

Make sure the garage door opener wall button is well out of reach of small children. Kids should never have access to the remote controls as they may be tempted to play with the garage door and could get caught underneath.

Playing with garage doors, particularly sectional doors, can also make for the perfect finger trap. Ensure fingers are kept clear when the door is in operation.

2.Learn the safety features

Learn all the safety features of your automated garage door and read the manual so you’re aware of the door’s emergency release feature in case of trouble or in the event of a backout.

3.Test your opener by performing a safety reversal test

Test the reversing mechanism on your garage door every month by placing a solid object, such as a block of wood, 40mm above the base of the garage door’s path and setting it to close.

If the door doesn’t reverse in less than a second (0.75 second) when it touches the object, call a professional dealer to assess it.

4.Regular inspections and servicing

Equipment can show wear and tear over time with openers becoming slower and louder when they operate.

To avoid this, make it a habit to visually inspect all the automatic door parts such as springs, cables, rollers and pulleys every month to check that nothing looks worn or broken.

If something doesn’t look right, make sure you book a service with a professional dealer.

5.Update older openers with newer units

Newer garage door openers have improved safety features. Garage door openers made before 1993 do not usually include auto reverse as a standard feature, so consider replacing the opener for peace of mind. All Merlin openers currently available are fitted with auto-reverse as standard.

By instilling safe driveway habits and making sure that all garage technology is functional and up to date, you can be confident about your family’s safety when moving in and around the garage.

To read more about tools and knowledge to keep your family safe around the driveway and garage, check out the Merlin Safety Hub.

For more information about Merlin’s or to browse our range of garage door openers and accessories, visit our website or call 1800 638 234.

[1] Mitchell R, Curtis K, Foster K. A 10-year review of the characteristics and health outcomes of injury-related hospitalisations of children in Australia. Day of Difference

[2] It’s an open and shut case – Merlin Garage Safety Report 2018