If you do a google search for “garage door crushes child” you will be bombarded with story after story of children who have been crushed by garage doors and died.
Did you know the average garage door weights between 150 and 250 pounds? Your garage door is the largest moving object in your home and can be very dangerous. Because of the dangers associated with garage doors, in 1993, the Consumer Product Safety Commission began requiring all garage doors to have external entrapment protection systems.
What are Sensor Beams
These systems have evolved into the sensor beams that we see on most garage doors today. These sensor beams act as electric eyes and detect objects under the garage door. These sensor beams are usually located 4 to 6 inches from the floor. One sensor will be placed on either side of the door. When an object comes between the sensors, the garage door will stop and often reverse directions to prevent the object from being crushed.
Make Sure the Sensor Beams are Working Properly
These sensor beams have saved countless children and pets from being crushed by garage doors, however, there are still children (and adults) and pets who get crushed by garage doors due to faulty sensors. It is important to test your sensors monthly to make sure they are functioning properly. Never put yourself under the garage door to test the safety sensors. Instead to test the sensor beams, use a long piece of wood like a two by four. Press the button on your garage door opener to close the door. As the door is closing, place the piece of wood in front of the sensor beam. The door should stop moving and go back up.
If your safety beams are not working properly, clean the sensors and check for proper alignment. If after making these adjustments your garage door sensors are still not working properly contact your garage door repair company as soon as possible to fix the problem.
What if You Don’t Have Sensor Beams
If you don’t have sensor beams on your garage door, it is important that you upgrade your garage door opener to a model that does have these safety features. By doing so you will be protecting children and pets from the potential hazards of being crushed your garage door.