Garage Door Opener Safety
The largest moving part in many modern homes is the garage door. Because of its size and weight, it can come
crashing down on a family member, pet, car or other belongings, causing personal injury, damage or even death. It
is therefore very important to ensure both the door and opener are safe and operating correctly.
One of the most important aspects of garage door opener safety is making sure the reverse mechanism works
properly. This is an internal safety feature that causes the garage door to reverse direction and clear any
obstruction that it may hit when it is coming down. When it hits something, it will automatically reverse direction
provided that it is performing properly. This is so important that it must be checked frequently in order to make
sure it is working.
A good way to check whether or not the reverse safety control on your garage door installation is operating is
to set an object such as a roll of paper towels or a block of wood under the door. Lower the garage door and see if
it reverses when it contacts with the paper towels or block of wood. If it doesn't clear on its own, it will need
to be looked at by a qualified service engineer. If it is quite old, it probably ought to be replaced with a new
The auto reverse mechanism is controlled by sensors or electric eyes that are mounted several inches above the
ground on each side of the door. They act like a switch in as much that when they sense something or somebody is in
the way, they will either stop or reverse the lowering of the door.
These sensors, as well as the reverse mechanism, are required by law on any new garage installation. All of the
major manufacturers such as Chamberlin, Sears Craftsman, Genie and Stanley come with these safety features as
standard. You should never attempt to defeat or bypass garage door opener safety sensors. Defeating them will
remove the protection for which they are designed resulting in the possibility of a child or pet being injured or
In addition to the door opener itself, there are many parts of the door that can also inflict injury. For
instance, the joints between the sections of the garage door can injure people's fingers if they get them into the
gaps. Also, the corner brackets are dangerous in that they are attached to cables that are under high tension. If
the cable or attachment should break or come loose, the brackets can fly off. These should only be serviced by
someone with experience in garage door repair.
The torsion spring on garage doors, which is used to move the door up and down, are under very high tension and
can pose a safety hazard. These springs are in their most dangerous state when the door is closed since that is
when they are most tightly stretched. If there is any problem with the springs, you should enlist the help of a
trained professional with the right tools.
Remote controls that operate your garage door opener, as well as the wall mounted keypads, can be tempting to
youngsters who would like to play with them. Keypads should therefore be mounted above the reach of children, and
remotes should be kept out of their reach, too. Teach your kids that they must be careful around the garage door or
they can be seriously hurt.
It is very important that the largest moving part in the home be kept in proper working order so there are no
injuries or damage caused. Remember that there are a number of safety issues involved with garage doors and their
openers, which should generally be serviced by professionals.