Since an automatic garage door is frequently the largest moving object in the house, it’s more important than ever to make sure your door’s safety features are working properly. Unfortunately, although garages have become much more safe over the years, accidents with garage doors are not uncommon. Thousands of people each year report injuries from garage door malfunctions that may have been caught in time with more routine maintenance and inspections.
In today’s garage doors, safety features are now the standard. One of these features is the automatic reversal system which has been required by the Consumer Product Safety Commission since 1991. This feature is what makes your garage door automatically reverse course if it senses something blocking its path. Still, the springs and openers that make this feature work can wear out with use, so you should check periodically that the feature is working. Test the system yourself by placing something in the path of the door. When the door senses or touches the object, it should immediately reverse directions and open back up again.
The infrared motion detector is another modern safety feature for automatic garage doors. It’s a sensor usually located near the ground, on either the left or right side of the door. This sensor will also cause the door to stop and reverse motion if it catches something in its sights.
Another important safety feature is arguably the most important of them all — or of any in your home. The emergency manual release for your door is a red cord that disconnects the garage door from the opening mechanism when pulled. You’ll need this feature if the door malfunctions during a power outage, if someone is trapped, or if the electrical components of your opener malfunction and affect the door’s movements.
Each of these important features should all be checked regularly to insure that they’re all ready to do the job they’re meant to.