Your garage door is most likely the largest moving object in your home. Therefore it has the potential to be one of the most dangerous objects in your home. But, it doesn’t have to be.
Does the garage door opener actually open the garage door?
I guess that is a trick question, because if the door is not installed properly, it will, but it is not supposed to. Most of the actual lifting of the door should be accomplished by a properly adjusted counterbalance spring system.
There are safety devices that are standard with today’s garage door openers that make them so much safer than the openers of the past. Today’s openers come with an auto reverse function that automatically reverses the direction of the door if it encounters too much resistance. New openers also come with photo eyes that reverse the door if the beam of light between them is broken. Another standard safety feature is a quick release mechanism on the trolley which allows the door to be opened from inside the garage if the unit fails or if there is a power failure.
All of these safety features must be operational to ensure the lowest possibility of injury occurring from the moving garage door. It all starts with the installation. During installation, if the counterbalance springs are not adjusted properly, they may cause the auto reverse to malfunction which may cause damage, injury or death. The auto reverse should trigger if there is more than 15 lbs of downward force exerted on the door.
The photoelectric eyes cast a beam of light across the entire width of the door opening. If anything breaks that beam of light while the door is traveling closed, the door immediately reverses. The photoelectric eyes are normally mounted on the door track and must be no more than 6” above the ground. At this height even a small child or a toy will activate the reverse mechanism.
The key to a safe garage door opener is proper installation. If you have questions about the safety of your garage door openers or any other feature in your home, please call me to schedule a maintenance inspection.
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