Liftmaster has kicked off a safety campaign this month in order to inform consumers about what to do when it comes to garage safety. Their “Don’t Chance it, Check It” initiative intends to raise awareness about garage door opener safety.
An estimated 1 in every 15 garage door openers lacks the safety features required by federal law on all garage doors installed since 1992.
3-Step Safety Check
Liftmaster recommends for all homeowners, regardless of the age or brand. Following the 3 steps below can ensure proper safety and longevity of your garage door opener.
1. Check the sides of your garage door. Look for properly installed photo-eyes (black sensors, or Infrared Safety Beams), mounted no higher than 6 inches off the floor. This is important because you want the safety beam to transmit in the most effective range possible.
2. Test the safety sensors. Block the photo-eye with an object of at least 6 inches in height, and press the garage door opener’s close button. The door should not close after doing so. If the garage door closes, this is a very bad sign, as your garage door will not reverse or stop properly in the event that your sensors become obstructed.
3. Check the sensitivity. Lay a 1.5 inch-high object on the ground in the door’s path. A block of wood, or paper towel roll is usually sufficient. Press the close button. The garage door should reverse off of this object. If the garage door opener does not reverse the garage door, you need to consider a safety inspection from your local garage door experts. If the garage door slams shut, doesn’t reverse, or continues to run and push downward until you press the button again; you need to get the garage door and opener checked out by professionals. It’s important to remember that safety sensors are the SECOND line of defense. If the opener is not adjusted properly, the safety sensors may not be sufficient enough to prevent an accident.
Be sure to check your garage door and opener when you check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. In other words, be sure to run a safety check- or have preventative maintenance performed- every 6 months.
Check the Door From Ceiling to Floor
- Maintenance. Be sure to keep all the moving parts of the garage door and opener clean and lubricated, including the steel rollers.
- Balance. Start with the door closed, and put the garage door into manual mode by pulling the emergency release cord. If the garage door is properly balanced, it should remain open at the half-way point without falling to the bottom or opening by itself to the top. The door should also be smooth and easy to operate. You shouldn’t have to struggle to open the garage door manually by hand.
- Prepare for Weather. Once you lose power, you lose control of your garage door opener. There’s nothing worse than coming home and not being able to get in in a hailstorm. Having a battery backup system installed with your garage door opener ensures up to 40 cycles opening and closing without power.
- Organize, Clean, and Protect. Avoid storing flammable or hazardous materials in the garage. Pool chemicals, lawn chemicals, and gas cans accelerate the corrosion of steel objects. If this is unavoidable, keep a fire extinguisher handy. Also, keep everything clean to prevent build-up. Staying organized is also important. Using shelves, hooks, and having designated places for shovels and kids toys would prevent about a third of garage door damages.
Contact a local certified Liftmaster Dealer today to learn more. For a Free Safety Check in the North Dallas or Collin County Area (Plano, Richardson, Allen, Frisco, Wylie, Murphy, McKinney, Dallas, Garland); call Plano Overhead Garage Door at 972-422-1695, or visit our website at www.PlanoOverhead.com to request a Free Estimate!
By Nick McGregor