Prevent Accidental Injury By Maintaining Your Garage Door Safety Mechanisms

Posted on: 14 August 2015

The garage door mechanism is a complex series of cables, pulleys and high-tension springs designed to make it easier to open and close a heavy garage door. It also includes several ways to keep people safe from being hurt by the springs and door. Prevent accidents that could cripple your family, or worse, by maintaining those safety systems. Here is what you can do to keep yourself and your family safe.

Inspect and Maintain the Safety Cables

The high-tension springs are a primary component of your garage door. They provide the counterbalance to the weight of the door so you can open it easily manually or with a garage door opener using a small motor. Should a spring break or become disconnected at one end, it can create serious damage if it flies across the garage. It can punch a hole in the garage wall and should it strike a person, the results could be fatal.

Safety cables are installed to prevent injury and damage from a garage door spring. Look for a single braided steel cable running through the spring and connecting to a bracket on the ceiling at one end and near the top of the garage door at the other. Should the spring break, the cable will keep the spring from flying. Inspect the cable for any fraying, kinks or rust. Make sure both ends are securely attached to their end points. If you see any problems with this safety cable, have a garage door repair company like A & J Garage Door Inc come out and replace it.

Test the Pressure Sensor

The opener motor should detect any resistance when the garage door is lowered, such as when an object is in its path. The motor should stop and reverse the door immediately. Here is how to test this safety mechanism:

  1. Open the garage door.
  2. Place a chair in the path of the garage door going down. Position the chair so it doesn't block the infrared motion sensors on either side of the garage opening.
  3. Lower the garage door.
  4. The door should stop and reverse as soon as it touches the chair.
  5. If it doesn't stop and reverse, look for the dial on the back of the garage door opener motor that adjusts the pressure sensor. Turn the dial slightly with a flat-blade screwdriver and test again.
  6. If your adjustment makes no difference, have the garage door company come and look at the motor.

Test the Infrared Motion Sensor

The infrared motion sensors that point across the garage floor should also stop and reverse the garage door should someone walk across their path. Testing them is easy.

  1. Open the door.
  2. While closing the door, roll a ball across the floor to block the infrared beam.
  3. The door should stop and reverse the moment the ball blocks the path of the beam.
  4. If it doesn't stop and reverse, contact the repair company. The failure could be in one of the sensors or in the garage door opener motor itself.

Routinely check these safety devices to make sure they are working. If there is a problem, have a service come out soon to make repairs. Until then, people are at risk of serious injury by the high-tension springs or the heavy garage door.