1. Remove any shovels, brooms, or other materials from the corners near the tracks.
A bumped shovel can knock the door off the tracks. This is one of the VERY bad things that is easily preventable.
2. Read the owner’s manual to determine how to use the red handle/release cord in case the power goes out. If you have trouble with this, there’s an article that explains it.
3. Remove the slidelock
On doors with automatic openers, having a slidelock is a potential problem. If the slide lock is engaged and you or someone in your household pushes the button or remote to open the door, It can knock the door off the tracks thus requiring a service call – usually not at the most convenient time. Almost all automatic openers are strong enough that they can’t be forced open by a potential burglar. If you are worried about someone getting your remote, just unplug the opener while you are on vacation (or use the lock button on the wall control if so equipped).
4. Check the balance on the door
Starting with the door in the down position, pull the release cord on the garage door opener and make sure it is dis-engaged from the door. Being careful not to get your fingers caught, operate the door by hand. Bring it up to waist level. If it drops hard, or flies up, it needs adjustment and you need to call for a service. Your garage door opener will wear out much quicker with a door that is out of balance.
5. Check the kickback force
The manufacturers recommend placing a 2×4 flat underneath the center of the door.
See our article on this for a detailed walk-through.
For more reading, see the Maintenance article.