The Creative Door Services Guide to Garage Door Safety Features

At Creative Door Services, we’re committed to the highest standards of safety and keeping our customers out of harm’s way. By providing superior garage door installation, inspection, maintenance, and repair services, we help ensure the safe and proper functioning of your garage door. Moreover, the garage doors we carry are among the safest and sturdiest available on the market.

Here’s what you should know about the various features on your garage door and garage door opener that contribute to keeping you, your family, and guests safe.

closeup of safety feature auto reverse function

Auto-reverse function

An auto-reverse function has been standard on all garage door openers manufactured since 1991. When you close your garage door, a built-in sensor detects the slightest resistance. If a person, pet, or object gets caught under the door while it’s going down, it will stop and reverse direction upon contact.

It’s a good idea to test your auto-reverse function periodically. This is easy to do. Simply place an object such as a two by four or a roll or paper towels where the garage door meets the ground and ensure that the door automatically reverses when it makes contact with the object. If it doesn’t, call in a garage door technician to get your auto-reverse function fixed.

close up of photo eye sensors painted orange and blue

Photo eyes

Also called electric eyes, or photo eye sensors, photo eyes are the little camera-like boxes located about six inches above the ground on either side of your garage door. Standard on garage door openers manufactured since 1993, photo eyes ensure that the garage door stops and reverses direction when anything enters its path. They work by sending an invisible infra-red beam across your garage door opening. When this beam is tripped, the garage door reverses direction (or, if closed, doesn’t budge).

Photo eyes are indispensable pieces of safety equipment, but they can be a little finnicky. If the photo eyes become misaligned with each other, if their lenses are dirty, or if there’s an electrical issue, they can prevent your garage from closing, even though nothing is blocking the path. You can remedy these problems by manually adjusting the photo eyes, cleaning the sensors with a cloth, and reattaching any loose wires.

pinch-resistant wayne dalton garage door panels

Pinch-resistant panels and hinges

In some garage doors (especially older ones), when the panels fold together as the door is closing, there’s a space between them in which a finger or hand can get caught and squished, thereby causing a serious injury. This is a safety hazard for children in particular. Fortunately, the garage doors we carry at Creative Door have pinch-resistant panels and hinges. Thanks to this technology, the panels roll over each other, leaving minimal gaps and greatly reducing the risk of hand injuries.

Mechanical release

Every garage door includes a mechanical release. Typically, it’s operated by a rope with a red handle that dangles from the opener. One purpose of the mechanical release is to allow you to manually open your garage door should the power go out. But it also serves as a vital safety feature if someone gets pinned under your garage door (in the event that the auto-reverse function and photo eyes aren’t working). By disengaging the mechanical release (by pulling down on the rope), you can lift up the garage door by hand. The door will be light and easy to lift, as it’s counterbalanced by the garage door spring.

genie garage door opener in a family-friendly safe garage

Smart garage door openers

The safety features on garage doors and garage door openers are continuously evolving, and one of the latest innovations is the smart garage door opener with myQ technology.

MyQ technology enables you to monitor garage door activity and open and close your door remotely. This allows you to supervise your loved ones (for example, ensure that your kids have gotten home from school safely), double-check that you closed your garage door when leaving home, and be alerted of suspicious activity right away.

For more information about myQ technology, read our comprehensive article on the subject.

The importance of routine maintenance

Having your garage door serviced by a professional on a yearly basis is crucial not only to keeping your garage door running smoothly, but also to ensuring that it’s optimally safe. A garage door technician will ensure that all the safety features outlined above are working correctly. A technician will also ensure that potentially dangerous issues are averted by making sure that every part of your garage door is in optimal condition.

It’s also important that you inspect your garage yourself and perform a few key maintenance tasks every few months. Consult our homeowner’s guide to maintaining your garage door for some pointers.

Safe Garage Doors and Reliable Maintenance in Western Canada

If you’re due to have your garage door serviced, trust the experienced technicians at Creative Door to do a thorough job and to ensure that your door operates smoothly and safely. For more information about our installation, repair or maintenance services, or to schedule a service call, contact us today.

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