Safety is a big priority when considering whether you need to replace your garage door. It shouldn’t be taken lightly. That’s because your garage door can weigh hundreds of pounds – likely the heaviest working component on your property. When not working properly, it can present a danger to people and pets.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 40 percent of photoelectric sensors on garage doors failed to work properly in a recent study; the garage doors that didn’t reverse came down with enough pressure to crush a child. If that weren’t enough, 30,000 people a year are injured in garages and garage door-related accidents.

You can’t be too careful! Heed these garage safety tips, especially if you have an older model and are looking to get a replacement.

Safety Tip #1: Inspect Safety Sensors

Every garage door opener has a safety sensor that attaches to rails on which the door opens and closes. You’ll find them about six inches from the ground. Their purpose? To reverse the direction of the garage door as it closes if it senses an object in the way. This is an important safety feature that should never be neglected.  

You’ll want to test this sensor regularly so you know it’s operating properly. All you have to do is push the control button, prompting the garage door to close. First, place an object (perhaps a roll of paper towels or maybe a broom) in the path of the door. If the door doesn’t stop and immediately go in the opposite direction, it’s unsafe and shouldn’t be used. Your first step is to call a garage door repair professional.

Safety Tip #2: Keep Those Passwords to Yourself

Openers these days offer both one-time and user-specific codes. Let’s say you have friends visiting from out of town and you want them to be able to use the garage door but don’t want to give up your own code. You can set them up with their own code and still keep yours private. For even greater control when not at home, many sensors can be controlled from smartphone apps so you can open and close your door from a remote location. This comes in handy when you’ve left for work or vacation, and aren’t sure if you closed the door. With the push of a button on your phone, you can be sure.

Safety Tip #3: Be Upfront With Your Kids

The garage door can look like one big toy to a kid. They may want to hang onto the door for a quick thrill ride or push the open and close buttons repeatedly. This is where you come in. As a parent, it’s your job to teach your children to respect the garage door. Make sure they know it’s NOT a toy and shouldn’t even be used by them for normal purposes (unless of course they are old enough to realize the responsibility). Make sure you place the opener at least five feet from the ground, mounted to the wall.

Safety Tip #4: Adjust Force Settings

If any kind of force is put upon your door, it should stop immediately. You can test out the force by pushing it down while it is rising or pushing up on the bottom when lowering. If it continues to open or close without stopping, adjust the force settings. Call a professional for the safest option.

Safety Tip #5: Keep Fingers to Yourself

Garage door panels, especially when gaps appear when opening or closing, can slice off or crush a finger. Tell your kids to keep their hands away from the areas between the panels when the door is rising or shutting. There are about 20,000 garage door injuries every year resulting in serious hand and finger injuries. Just think about it: hundreds of pounds of pressure can crush fingers that are mistakenly placed between the slats of a closing door.

Contact M&M Garage Doors

Ensuring the safety of your garage door, sensor and opener means you may have to occasionally inspect and troubleshoot some issues that may reveal the need for a repair. It’s always best to have a professional handle that. We welcome you to call M&M Doors at 586-610-5434 or fill out our online form.