A garage door opener is highly convenient: With the push of a button, you can easily open and close the door. But, it’s still the largest moving wall in your home, which means it can be dangerous. Luckily, openers come installed with certain features that ensure the safety of your family and reduce the risk of injuries that could be potentially fatal.

When you’re in the market for a new garage door opener, make sure that the one you choose has safety features to keep your family safe. Learn more about the most important safety features to look for in a garage door opener below.

1. Safety Eyes

Garage door openers come with infrared safety eye protection systems to “see” when a person is in the path of the garage door. These safety eyes are equipped with specialized filters for accurate readings.

The safety eye is mounted six inches off the ground on each side of the door. It’s important for them to be set up correctly and be the proper distance off the ground to work as they should.

You can test to make sure your safety eye is working by opening the garage door, then placing a board or stick between the two sensors. Press the button to close the garage door. If your safety eyes are aligned and in good condition, the door should start closing and immediately reverse.

Safety eye trouble: If your door doesn’t behave as above, it could be that your safety eyes either got knocked out of alignment or need to be cleaned.

Try cleaning the lenses with a clean microfiber cloth and consult this Precision video for the next steps on how to safely realign them.

2. Force Settings

Your garage door opener’s force settings stop your door from closing on anything that it encounters when it feels resistance against it. The system utilizes sensing technology that stops the door from closing when it comes into contact with a person or object.

You can test your force settings by placing a brick or a block of wood on the ground under the door without it breaking the beam of light from your safety eyes. If the force settings are correct, your door will open again as soon as it touches the object.

Incorrect force settings: If that’s not the case, your force settings need to be adjusted. See the following guidelines for how to adjust a LiftMaster® garage door force settings:

  • Locate the force adjustment screws on the back panel of your garage door motor. The screw on the left is the open force (up arrow) and the screw on the right is the close force (down arrow).
  • Follow the procedure detailed in your garage door’s owner’s manual to test the down close force and the up open force. Based on the door’s performance, you’ll be instructed to make small adjustments to either the open force or close force screws.

After making any adjustment, retest the safety reversal system using the procedure in safety feature #1.

3. Balance

A garage door’s balance ensures that the weight of the door is evenly distributed to the garage door springs. If too much or too little tension is being exerted by the springs, excess strain is placed on the opener and you can end up with lopsided operation, or worse, a broken spring or cable. A garage door’s balance is less of a safety feature and more of a safety state.

To make sure your door is working with good balance, it’s encouraged that you perform your own balance test seasonally.

Check out our detailed post on door balance for step-by-step directions on how to perform your own at-home balance test.

Your garage door may be operating safely, but is it secure? Check out these 7 Home Security Tips for Your Garage Door.

4. Garage Door Repairs

Your garage door, like many other mechanical marvels, isn’t meant to operate without regular maintenance and upkeep. If you sense that something’s off about your garage door, hear a different noise you haven’t heard before, or notice a change in the way it’s operating, don’t wait to get a professional’s opinion.

Hundreds of injuries occur each year to people who aren’t qualified to repair their own garage doors trying their luck. When it comes to fixing a broken part, don’t put your well-being in jeopardy.

Find a professional garage door services company near you like Precision Garage Door of Delaware for garage door repairs and replacements. Trained in-house and certified by the International Door Association, Precision technicians will make sure your garage door gets fixed properly and efficiently.

5. You!

Your opener has safety features, but you also need to be safe in the way you use your garage door. To ensure others who use the garage are also aware of garage door safety, share this article, keep remotes out of reach of kids, and make sure they understand that the garage door isn’t a toy.

To learn more about garage door safety, download Precision’s free resource for homeowners like you, Keeping Your Family Safe: Garage Door Safety and Maintenance. This safety-minded eBook will walk you through the areas of your garage door system that pose the largest threats, introduce you to precautions you can take to avoid risk, and show you what to look for in a garage door services company you can trust.

Click here to learn more about the areas we serve in Delaware.