Why are safety sensors required?
Many homeowners underestimate the power and weight of garage doors. Because the spring holds the majority of its weight, people tend to forget that a garage door is a very heavy and potentially dangerous piece of equipment. Even the most basic garage door could easily cause serious injury or death without proper precautions. Many children, pets, and unsuspecting adults have been seriously injured because of faulty or nonexistent garage door safety sensors. According to their website, between 1982 and 1992, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) received reports of 54 children between the ages of 2 and 14 who died or became seriously injured after becoming entrapped under doors with automatic garage door openers.
Who requires safety sensors?
Safety sensors are a relatively new requirement. Before 1982 there were virtually no requirements for garage door safety; however, after that time, some basic standards were put in place that only addressed a small amount of the safety issues. Over the years, garage door safety has become more and more of a priority. Safety sensors were made a requirement by the CPSC for all garage door openers manufactured on or after January 1, 1993. The entrapment protection requirements are part of a Congressional mandate in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 1990. The CPSC recommends that consumers with automatic garage door openers test the openers according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, to make sure they have a reversing feature.
How do safety sensors work?
Garage door safety sensors are infrared safety beams (ISB’s) that use infrared light to detect any obstruction under your garage door. These sensors send a signal to your opener unit that something is in the way of the door. These little square boxes at the bottom of your garage door must be aligned in order for your door to close. Is nothing under your door but it is still reversing? Check to be sure that nothing is blocking the sensors, and try loosening the wing nuts to adjust them. Sweep the area around the sensors and make sure that nothing on the door or tracks might be obstructing the path of the beam. Both safety sensors should be lit up a solid color, not flickering or off. If both lights are lit up on either side, your opener might need to have its’ force settings or travel limits adjusted on the unit. This is something that a professional should perform. Routine maintenance can help prevent sensors from coming misaligned due to vibration and loose tracks or hardware on the garage door.
Do you have any questions about or problems with your sensors? As with all garage door/openers, we recommend service once a year. Schedule a tune-up today to ensure that your door and all safety features are working properly. Call our office at 972-422-1695.