As anyone who has kids can tell you, it only takes a split second for any situation to turn dangerous. They are faster than you might think and can be surprisingly stealthy when they want to be. There is a reason the mantra of most mothers is “quiet is suspicious.” One place to exercise extra caution is in the garage. Not only are there usually cars and chemicals stored there, but even the garage door can be a hazard if not properly maintained. Most garage doors these days have some safety features installed standard. But these features are only as good as your upkeep of them. Below are some tips to check to keep your family safe in the garage.

Check Sensors

Any garage door opener manufactured after 1993 in the United States is required by Federal Law to have safety sensors. Homeowners need to check these sensors periodically to ensure that they are in good working order. Then, check them for obstructions. In your check, make sure that the sensors are not bent or turned in the wrong direction. Make sure that they are free of cobwebs. Then, check that they are the appropriate height from the ground, no higher than six inches.

Test that your sensors are functioning properly by placing an object like a box or a shoe in front of the sensor and then try to close the garage door. You should hear the garage door motor start to close then quickly stop and go back up. Some sensors will also have a blinking light to tell you that something is in the way of the door. If you garage does not have sensors or if they are not working properly, please give us a call right away to make your garage as safe as possible.

Auto-Reverse

Your garage door should also have a feature called auto-reverse. This feature allows the garage door to quickly respond if it comes into contact with an object in its path and go back up without closing down on the object. To test that that auto-reverse is working in your garage door, place a board in the door’s path and try to close the garage door. When the door makes contact with the board, it should automatically reverse direction and go back up. If auto-reverse is not working, contact us immediately to get this fixed. This is a major safety concern, and repairs should not be put off. Garage doors are very heavy, anywhere between 150-400 pounds. If anybody is under one when it comes down, the consequences are deadly.

Additional Tips

As a rule, it is best to teach children who are playing outside to steer clear of the path of the garage doors. Whether these safety features are functioning or not, it is better to be safe than sorry. Another way to practice garage door safety is to have a garage door technician come to your home once a year to inspect your door, springs, motor, cables, and all other components to ensure they are all functioning properly.