New Year’s resolutions have a long and distinguished history. Some two-thousand years ago the Babylonians set the pace by promising their gods that all borrowed items would be returned and debts paid in full. It was a good start. Not to be thought any less of, the Romans made similar promises to their god Janus. The good people of the Jewish faith soon hopped onto the bandwagon with the Day of Atonement, whereupon one contemplates our darker human side, while both seeking and offering forgiveness.
Our goal today is perhaps not quite so lofty. Nonetheless the common garage door can inspire us to better habits and resolutions. The end goal might be to keep our families safe and secure, or to minimize any unforeseen expense and impact upon our pocket book.
In no particular order, here is a tidy list of habit-changes and resolutions:
An Idle Habit
I will not start my car and let it idle in the garage. This is a deadly habit. And opening your garage door, even a foot or two, does not provide adequate ventilation. In fact, even a fully opened garage door will not provide the required ventilation. Please move your car or truck onto the street or alley or driveway—where there is unrestricted air flow. And even then, make sure that the vehicle exhaust is nowhere near any point of entry to your house or apartment—such as a nearby doorway or window or a vent. Carbon monoxide can kill without warning—because it has no colour, no odour, no taste.
The Gazelle Obsession
I will not leap like a gazelle over the photo-sensor while the garage door is coming down. Really parents! This one is important because you are setting an example for your impressionable children. And equally important, don’t slip under the door while it’s raising up. Wait until the door is fully open before entering. Tragically, people do get trapped under garage doors—with serious and even fatal consequences.
Up Close & Personal Fixation
I will make sure the garage door is fully up and open before placing the car in reverse. Seriously! Don’t just assume that the door is fully open. Shoulder check your garage door! And women, if and when this tragedy happens, rest assured that you are not the first. And believe me, macho guys run their big trucks into garage doors too. The gents are just as inclined as the women to be quick on the accelerator. It keeps me busy!
Drive Away Craving
I will watch to ensure the garage door fully closes before driving away. You would not believe how many times customers have said to me, “I drove away this morning and thought the garage door was closing, but when I got home tonight it was wide open!” And a gaping wide open garage door leaves your home and your possessions and your loved ones vulnerable. Perhaps a watchful and good neighbour will have your back on this one—but don’t count on it.
Annual Maintenance Tradition
I will have the garage door serviced and safety tested at least once per year by a qualified and professional garage door technician. This relates to both safety and the pocket book. Fixing a small problem before it becomes serious is less expensive. And fixing a minor maintenance issue before it becomes an accident-waiting-to-happen can forestall damage to both property and people.
And perhaps the best New Year’s resolution might be to take a moment each day to remember our blessings. Pause to smell the flowers. Speak a kind word. And hug you-know-who. Because it’s only a garage door, after all!