Automatic Garage Door Opener and Garage Door Safety
& Maintenance Guide
System Safety - An Automatic Decision
A garage door is the largest moving object in the home. They are
often operated by electric door openers. Proper installation, operation,
and maintenance and testing are necessary to provide safe, trouble-free
operation. An improperly adjusted garage door or automatic opener can
exert deadly force when the door closes. This could lead to serious
injury or death from being hit by a closing garage door or from being
trapped under the door.
Safety is Everyone's
A few simple precautions can protect your family and friends from
potential harm. Please take a few minutes to read the following safety
and maintenance information. Refer to your garage door and opener's
manual for details specific to the model you own. Then check the
operation of your garage door and automatic opener.
| Garage Door Openers are not Toys
Do Not stand or walk under a moving door! Do not let
children or adults play "beat the door". It is dangerous and can result
in serious injury or death. Adults should set a good example. Know how
to use the emergency release, in case someone is pinned by the door.
Do Not let children play with or use the transmitters or remote
controls. Always place and store them out of the reach of children.
The pushbutton wall control should be out of the reach of children (at
least 5 feet from the floor) and away from all moving parts. Mount and
use the button where you can clearly see the moving garage door.
Children About Garage Door and Opener Safety
Garage door openers are not toys. Careless operation and allowing
children to play with or use garage door opener controls can lead to
tragic results. Discuss garage door safety with your children. Explain
the danger of being trapped under the door.
When using the pushbutton or transmitter, keep the door in sight until
it completely stops moving. Teach children never to play under or near
an open garage door.
Teach children to keep their hands and fingers clear of section joints,
hinges, tracks, springs and other door parts. Contact with a moving door
or its hardware could cause serious injury. These injuries can also
happen with garage doors that don't have automatic openers.
Maintenance Can Prevent Tragedies
Take a few minutes to inspect and test your complete garage door
system. Make monthly inspection and testing a part of your regular
routine. Safety is everyone's business. Make garage door and garage door
opener safety automatic in your home.
|Monthly Maintenance Checklist
|Garage Door Opener
- Reversal Test
- Force Setting Test
- Additional Safety Devices
- Visual Inspection - Springs, Rollers, Pulleys, Cables, and
- Door Balance
Consult owner's manual for additional recommended maintenance for your
models of door and opener.
| Testing and Maintaining the Garage Door
There are routine safety and maintenance steps that you should
follow once a month. Review your owner's manual for the door opener. If
you do not have an owners manual, look for the opener model number on
the back of the power unit and request a manual from the
Make sure your opener has a reversing feature. If a reversing feature is
not present, it should be replaced. Garage door openers manufactured
after January 1, 1993 are required by federal law to have advanced
safety features which comply with the latest U.L. 325 standards: Contact
your manufacturer or installer for additional information.
Test the reversing feature every month.
- First, test the balance of the door (see "Testing and Maintaining
The Garage Door."). If the door is properly balanced, then proceed.
- With the door fully open, place a 1-1/2" thich piece of wood (a
2"x4" laid flat) on the floor in the center of the door.
- Push the transmitter or wall button to close the door. The door must
reverse when it strikes the wood. (Note that the bottom part of "one
piece doors" must be rigid so that the door will not close without
- If the door does not reverse, have it repaired or replaced. Have a
qualified individual adjust, repair or replace the opener or door.
Force Setting Test
Test the force setting of your garage door opener by holding the bottom
of the door as it closes. If the door does not reverse readily, the
force may be excessive and need adjusting. See your owners manual for
details on how to make the adjustment. Test the revesring feature after
Additional Safety Devices
Many garage door openers can be equipped with additional safety devices.
Consider adding a photo eye or edge sensor as an extra measure of safety
to prevent against entrapment. Keep in mind that adding more safety
devices will not make an old opener meet current U.L. standards.
Make sure the additional safety devices, such as photoeyes or edge
sensors, are properly installed and adjusted (see owner's manual).
Maintaining the Garage Door
Perform routine maintenance steps once a month. Review your
owner's manual for the garage door. If you don't have a manual, look for
the model number on the back of the door, or check the lock handle,
hinges, or other hardware for the manufacturer's name and request a
manual from the manufacturer.
Look at the garage door springs, cables, rollers, pulleys, and other
door hardware for signs of wear. If you suspect problems, have a
qualified person make repairs.
Warning - Springs are under high tension. Only qualified persons
should adjust them
Garage door springs, cables, brackets, and other hardware attached to
the springs, are under very high tension and, if handled improperly, can
cause serious injury. Only a qualified professional or a mechanically
experienced person carefully following the manufacturer's instructions
should adjust them. The torsion springs (the springs above the door)
should only be adjusted by a professional. Do not attempt to repair or
adjust the torsion springs yourself.
A restraining cable or other device should be installed on the extension
spring (the spring along the side of the door) to help contain the
spring if it breaks.
Never remove, adjust or loosen the screws on the bottom brackets of the
door. These brackets are connected to the spring by the lift cable and
are under extreme tension.
Regularly lubricate the moving parts of the door. However, do not
lubricate plastic parts such as plastic rollers and plastic idler
bearings. Consult the door owner's manual for the manufacturer's
Periodically test the balance of your door.
- Start with the door closed
- If you have a garage door opener, use the release mechanism so you
can operate the door by hand when doing this test
- You should be able to lift the door smoothly and with little
resistance. It should stay open around three or four feet above the
floor. If it does not, it is out of adjustment. Have it adjusted by a
qualified service person.
|Garage Door Opener
Safety - An Automatic Decision
This important information is provided by the U.S. Consumer
Product Safety Commission, the National Safety Counsel and the Industry
Coalition for Automatic Garage Door Opener Safety.