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Garage Door Safety Testing. Mammoth Door.

Garage Door Safety Testing

June 26, 2013

We all have garage doors – and use them on a daily basis. In fact, the garage door is usually our main entry point into our home. An automatic garage door is a mechanized device, so it is critical that it be up-to-date with safety features and current standards. So how do you know if your garage door is using current safety features? Use these three quick-and-easy tests to find out if your door is performing to safety standards.

Garage Door Reversal Test

Photo Eye Sensors are small devices that sit on either side of your garage door, with an invisible laser beam between them. If the beam between the two sensors is “broken” – or blocked – when the garage door is closing, the door will automatically reverse back to its open position, preventing contact with whatever is obstructing the beam. So how can you tell if your photo eye sensors are working correctly? Perform this easy test – while the garage door is closing, roll a ball (a soccer ball, basketball, etc) across the threshold. If the ball triggers the garage door to reverse direction back to open, your sensors are working correctly! If the door continues to close (and does not reverse back to open), contact a garage door professional immediately.

The Dollar-Bill Test

Your Photo Eye Sensors only work if they’re installed at a proper height – they should be no more than 6 inches above the garage’s floor. To test the height, pull out a dollar bill. A dollar bill is 6 inches at its widest – so stand the bill tall, and make sure that the Photo Eye Sensors are not sitting above that height. If the sensors are installed higher than 6 inches above floor level, a person, pet, or child could get under the beam and not be detected (and therefore not trigger the automatic garage door reverse). If you think there may be a problem, contact your local garage door professionals for a safety check.

Sensitivity Test

Every month, you should be checking your garage door’s sensitivity to make sure that the settings allow for automatic reversal when needed. Luckily, this is also a quick and easy test to perform. Simply place a 2-inch thick piece of wood (a scrap works great for this) in the door’s path, and then trigger your automatic garage door opener to close the door. When the door hits the wood, it should automatically reverse itself back into the open position. If this doesn’t happen, your opener needs to be adjusted. Contact a garage door professional to have your settings adjusted so that this important safety feature continues to work correctly.

Performing these three easy tests takes very little time, but they are critical to do on a regular basis. Making sure that your garage door continues to function safely will allow for your peace of mind – garage door safety is a critical aspect of keeping your home safe and secure.


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