Your garage door was installed with a number of safety options to prevent property damage or personal injury should something in the mechanism fail. While an annual inspection of the door by a garage door company is a good idea, you can test out these features throughout the year. Here are the steps to make sure that you and your family are safe around the garage door.
Garage Door Spring Safety Cables
High-tension steel springs counterbalance the heavy garage door so you or a small electric motor can lift and lower it safely. Should one of these springs break or become disconnected, it could fly across the garage with enough force to seriously hurt someone. Safety cables installed when the springs were put in place prevent this and should be checked periodically.
- Look for the coiled springs running parallel to the ceiling and slightly below it.
- Locate the braided steel cable running through the center of each spring.
- Look for any signs of fraying, twisting or kinks in this cable.
- Check that one end of the cable is secured to a plate on the ceiling and the other end to a place near the top of the garage door and off to the side.
- Contact a garage door repair company should you find any problems. Do not attempt any repair of the safety cable yourself as the springs are dangerous components to work around.
To prevent the garage door from closing on something or someone, infrared motion sensors stop the door from lowering if something gets in the way. You can easily test this safety feature.
- Locate the two motion sensors on the garage floor on both sides of the garage opening.
- Make sure that the two sensors are pointed at each other.
- Find a ball or other item that rolls easily.
- Open the garage door.
- Lower the garage door and, as it is going down, roll the object through the garage opening to interrupt the infrared beam.
- The door should stop going down immediately and reverse.
- If it doesn't stop and reverse, call to have the sensors serviced.
To augment the motion sensors, a pressure sensor is built into the garage door opener motor. This feature should cause the garage door to stop and reverse if it meets with any resistance when lowering. This is also an easy feature to test.
- Open the garage door.
- Place a chair in the path of the door going down so the legs of the chair don't break the infrared beam of the motion sensor.
- Lower the garage door.
- As soon as the door touches the chair, it should stop and reverse.
- If the door continues to go down slightly before reversing, find the pressure adjustment on the back of the garage door motor.
- Turn the adjustment dial in the direction marked "Less Pressure" and test the door again.
- If the door still doesn't stop immediately and reverse, call for help and info from Able Door Company or a similar location.