You likely have heard that garage door springs may snap, fly, and cause property damage and serious accidents – even death. Our intention is not to scare you but protect you by keeping you informed about the significance of safety cables.
First things first: what are the safety cables?
No, they are not your regular garage door cables – the ones connected to your spring system. These ones are also known as lifting cables – that’s because they help the spring lift the garage door.
With that distinction out of the way, let us now focus on the safety cables. These cables resemble lifting cables. They are just a bit smaller and lighter.
Safety cables go hand in hand with extension springs – not torsion springs. Let us explain why. Most garage door spring accidents happen with extension springs. Does that mean that torsion springs are totally safe? Well, they are surely safer than extension springs. All springs have lots of tension and since their role is to lift heavy garage doors, they are particularly tense. The good thing about torsion springs is that most of them have a rod going through them – aka shaft, which keeps them from flying. Extension springs have no rods going through them and that’s where safety cables step in – or lace through, to be exact, to change the situation for the better.
Garage door spring dangers – the importance of safety cables
The role of safety cables is to keep the extension springs in place, if they snap. That’s the greatest fear when it comes to springs: breaking and flying in the garage.
Why do springs break? They break when they are not suitable for the garage door – mainly, its weight. They also break when they get lots of pressure, when they are hardened and thus, become brittle during the cold season, and when they are not properly installed and adjusted. And while a snapped spring could be one more garage door problem, it’s more than that. You see, when springs snap, their tension is released. And so, they are inclined to jump upwards and forward with the risk of causing property damage – wherever they land, due to their tension. The even greater fear is that they will land on a member of the family and the spring tension will likely cause a major injury, if not a fatality.
Extension springs safety cables do a simple, yet crucial job
What springs need is something to keep them from flying if they break. And that’s what the safety cables do. The cables are attached to the garage door tracks and pulleys or the nearby wall and then laced through the springs. When they exit on the other side of the spring, they are attached to the spring support. That’s all to it, as a matter of fact. As they say, sometimes, the simplest things in life play a major role in our everyday sanity and peace of mind. A safety cable threaded through the spring will keep it from flying and injuring someone in its path. And while this is the most important thing, it’s also crucial that it could also save you a considerable amount of structural repair should the spring causes wall damage.
Safety cables do not cost much, are easy to install and replace, and will ease your mind. Of course, no matter how easy installing safety cables is, it’s all the best to entrust the job to a professional garage door repair tech.
It’s also prudent to check the extension springs. If and when the extension springs become worn, damaged, and loose, it’s best to have them replaced – safety cables or not. As it’s wise to still lace safety cables through new extension springs. After all, you don’t know when the springs may get some unexpected pressure – often due to the weather and other external factors. Isn’t it better to be prepared than exposed to dangers that could be prevented?