5 Garage Door Injuries that Will Make You Think Twice About DIY Repair
Your kids or younger family members might remember reality shows that featured some hard-to-watch injuries. We’re not talking about hilarious mishaps on America’s Funniest Home Videos. For example, there was the MTV series, “Scarred”, which showcased reels of skateboarding, BMX and snowboarding accidents. Rolling down steps, crashing head-first into walls and landing on railings (as in, groin-to-metal contact) were not unusual sights. There’s a good chance that the smart kids who saw these injuries concluded that they shouldn’t try those stunts at home.
When it comes to home renovations, DIY continues to take over as a trend. There’s nothing wrong with such independance. However, there are tons of people who sustain injuries from attempting to fix things that they shouldn’t do by themselves. Residential garage doors are one part of the home that you should leave to a professional if you have no experience with it. You may have the tools to do the job, but that doesn’t mean they’ll keep you any safer. It’s worth taking a look at some of the injuries that can occur with garage door work.
What Can Happen When DIY Garage Door Repair Goes Badly
Realistically speaking, any home renovation project can lead to injury, and even a professional with 20 years of experience can get hurt. So again, the purpose isn’t to discount your independence. But there’s a lot to say about those who make repairs by means of guesswork. It’s like walking into your room and looking for a pair of missing keys with the lights turned off. Doesn’t make much sense, does it? Likewise, you can risk hurting yourself or making the problem worse if you’re not sure how to handle things. Choosing to leave garage door repair in the hands of a professional could be the best choice you make.
Lacerations and Deep Cuts
Not all cuts are the same. There are those that a band-aid and rubbing alcohol will fix. And then there are those which are so deep, that only the treatments at a clinic or hospital will suffice. Residential garage door components often contain protrusions that can tear skin away and produce nasty wounds. The garage tracks are notorious for this since they have sharp edges, and close contact or a “swipe” with them can leave you with a cut that needs stitches.
Possible Effects of Deep Wounds
- Scarring – Some individuals have skin that bruises and produces scars very easily. If you fit into that group, a deep cut will certainly leave its mark on you for years to come.
- Infections – Fortunately, we live in an age of awareness and vaccination, so it’s unlikely for doctors to ignore this aspect. However, there is always a risk, no matter how small.
- Nerve Damage – Although rare, a cut that’s really deep can lead to nerve damage, leading to chronic pain and motor difficulties. In severe cases, surgery may be the only fix.
Falls, Fractures & Broken Bones
A lot of garage repair projects will require you to use a ladder. You most likely won’t have to climb all the way up, but slipping off from even one of the lower steps could end up badly. A fall, depending on where you land, can produce significant bruising. Fractures can occur anywhere in the body if the fall is hard enough – the skull being the most worrisome.
The Consequences of Fractures and other Bone Injuries
- Long, painful recovery – If you’ve fractured something before, you know how much it hurts. If you haven’t fractured anything before, you know that it hurts. It’s something we’re all familiar with. An itchy cast, strenuous physio, and surgery are treatments you definitely want to avoid.
- Weeks or months of “sidelining” – Your recovery may also mean a significant period of time where you can’t do the things you love. Sports, work…home repairs – you’ll have to put them all on the back burner.
Crushed Limbs and Appendages
You may not like to think about the prospect of a crushed limb. However, it happens. Garage doors are considerably heavy objects, formulated to withstand external elements. But that makes them hazardous to the health and safety of people. For example, with two people working on a door, you may have one fixing an opener unit while another stands underneath the door – something that you should NEVER do. If something were to happen where the door unhinges from it’s overhead position, the person lingering underneath it may not have time to escape. Crushed toes and fingers are not only excruciating, but they can result in terrible consequences.
The Horrors of Crushed Appendages
- Amputation – It’s something that no one deserves to go through. However, the amputation of a limb or appendage may be the only way to prevent the onslaught of gangrene.
- Permanent disfigurement – Doctors may not have to remove a crushed limb, and a victim can breathe a sigh of relief in the case of such a verdict. But the severity of the injury can lead to disfigurement, which no treatment can reverse.
With it’s mass of metal, rollers and chains, it’s easy to forget that residential garage doors contain electronic components. That automatically renders them as an electrical hazard. It’s obvious that you should NEVER repair or fix an opener while the power is on, but some people do so without checking, assuming that it’s off. These units may also contain damaged but live circuits that can shock a person if they get too close.
The Dangers of Electrocution
- Burns – Any device that produces a high voltage has the potential to cause serious burns. The same goes for openers and other electronic units in garage doors.
- Death – If electrocution is severe enough, the individual may die. Again, it’s not something you may want to think about, but it’s a real consequence and it does happen to people.
Closely related to broken bones and fractures is the issue of trauma. However, these injuries generally involve muscle injuries or blunt hits directly on bones that produce “ripple” effects. The cause of such accidents often occur because of a sudden collision. With residential garage doors, a common example of this are uncoiling torsion springs. The word “uncoiling” may give the impression that it happens slowly, but that’s not the case. They hold a ton of tension, and the torque they unleash is powerful and fast enough to cause serious and sometimes fatal injury if they make contact.
The Aftermath of Traumatic Injuries
- Debilitating Pain – Traumatic injuries are well-known for the level of pain they inflict. In most cases, the victim will need to take painkillers to reduce the discomfort.
- Hospitalization – Pain may not always be the primary concern. Traumatic injuries may lead to internal bruising and bleeding that require overnight stays and examination.
Don’t Try This at Home?
It depends. Painting your garage or checking to see if it’s opening and closing properly doesn’t necessitate outside help. On the other hand, you shouldn’t touch electrical units, torsion springs and other mechanical components if you don’t know how to do handle them. The injuries listed above aren’t designed to scare you, but they are there to remind you of what happens if you’re not in control of the job. It’s better to leave your garage doors in the hands of professionals if you don’t have the experience with certain tasks. Doing so can spare you from the terrible injuries that others have sustained. With that said, the choice to undertake a DIY project is yours to make, and no one else’s.
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