Garage Door Safety

By BuiltRite Garage Doors Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Hey folks, pop quiz…can you name the largest, heaviest and, potentially, one of the most dangerous systems in your home? That’s right! Your garage door is a large piece of moving metal, that, if not properly maintained, can be the largest hazard in your home. With just a few simple household items, you can ensure that your protective features are working properly and ensure the security sand safety of your family and your home. 

Let’s start with the most obvious culprit, the garage door opener. Almost 70% of Americans rely on this modern convenience appliance, however 1 out of 15 lacks the recommended safety features. Do the math…unless you built your home after 1993, when these features were mandated, there is a good possibility that your residential garage door opener does not have them installed. The infrared “photo-eye” is one of the most important safety features to be added to the garage door since its development. Those small, black boxes on either side of your door have saved countless lives. It’s a simple concept. The boxes produce a small beam across the bottom of your door, no higher than 6 inches, and if that beam is interrupted, your door either goes up or simply does not close. As simple as this concept is, they are still electronic garage door parts, and need to be tested from time to time. Here’s a tip…you can test this feature yourself. 

First, make sure you see 2 little black boxes on either side of your door. Don’t see the boxes? Call us immediately as you need a new garage door opener with the proper safety features installed. You do see the boxes? Great. Take a ruler and measure how far the eye is from of the floor. If your eye is higher than 6 inches, then you need to have it adjusted by a professional. 6 inches is the magic number as this ensures that both people and pets cannot get under its watching eye. If it is 6 inches or lower, step three is a breeze. Lean your ruler in front of the eye, making sure to obstruct the beam. Try to close the door. Does it move? If so, you need to call us immediately as your garage door opener poses a serious threat to the safety of anyone who walks under. If your door stands fast, then you are in good shape. Just one more test.

As with all well-built safety features, modern garage doors have a failsafe in case the all-seeing eye misses you or is not working properly. This is also easily tested. Grab an item that is hard and about an inch and a half thick. You could use a bar of soap, a stack of recipe cards, or a hardcover book…maybe one of those encyclopedia volumes that are gathering dust. Lay it down directly under the door’s path and close the door. Your garage door, if working properly, should immediately reverse upon making solid contact with the object. If your door fails to reverse, we suggest disconnecting your opener and using the door in manual mode until we can get out there to correct the situation. A perfectly balanced door can feel like it weighs just a few pounds, however, these metal sentries are extremely heavy and can cause serious injury or death if not treated with caution and respect. 

As you can see, it only takes a few minutes and some simple household items to ensure that your garage door’s safety features are working properly, keeping your family and home safe. Since 1971, Bilt Rite Garage Doors has been installing and maintaining commercial and residential garage doors, making it easy for you to leave your home or office and helping you protect your investments and family. We would enjoy the opportunity to help make your home or office a safer, more secure place.