Protect your family by learning what to look for to keep your garage doors and openers operating safely.


A recent study showed that 1 in 15 garage doors may lack the latest garage door safety features or may not be operating properly. In order to increase awareness of possible safety hazards of garage doors and openers, and emphasize the importance of having garage door and opener systems inspected periodically to ensure safe and trouble-free operation, June has been designated Garage Door Safety Month.

Your garage door is the largest moving object in the home and are often operated by electric door openers. Proper installation, operation, maintenance and testing are necessary to provide safe and trouble-free operation.

Over time, parts wear and breakage can occur, also improperly adjusted garage doors or automatic openers exert a lot of force when closing, and can therefore be a potential safety hazard for your family and pets. Regular service and safety awareness are highly recommended to protect you and your family from potential harm.


  1. The garage door and garage door opener are not toys. They are dangerous if misused, and can cause serious injury or even death.
  2. Children should never be allowed to play with the garage door or its operating system. Children should never stand, run or play under or near any garage door, especially when the door is open or moving.
  3. Adults should not allow children access to the remote controls or push button wall controls for garage door opener systems; these should be kept out of reach of children. The push button wall control for a garage door operating system should be mounted at least five feet off the floor, out of the reach of children.
  4. Never stand or walk under a moving garage door. Never try to enter or exit the garage by racing under a moving garage door.
  5. When opening or closing the garage door, always keep the door in view until the door is fully opened or fully closed. Make certain that no adults, children or animals try to enter or exit while the door is closing.
  6. Keep fingers and hands away from door sections when the door is opening or closing to avoid injury. Never place fingers between door sections – always use the handles or the gripping areas to close it. If you manually open or close the door, use the handles or the safe gripping points!
  7. Keep your garage door properly maintained to keep it operating safely. Annual maintenance by a trained service technician is recommended.
  8. Remember that your garage door opener uses electricity, which can shock or kill if mishandled. Service should be performed by a trained service technician.
  9. Never attempt to repair a garage door’s springs or cables. These are under extreme tension and can cause severe injury or even death. These are best repaired by a trained service technician.
  10. If someone has backed into the garage door its a good idea to have the door inspected and/or repaired by a trained service technician. Even if the door doesn’t appear to be severely damaged, the operating system may have become misaligned and wear prematurely, creating what could be a dangerous environment.

While a trained technician should make any maintenance, repairs or adjustments as needed, there are a few things that you can do:

  1. Visually inspect garage door and opener looking for signs of wear in cables, springs, rollers. Look for loose brackets on the garage door, but do not attempt to make any adjustments these parts or any parts near them as they are under extreme tension. •
  2. Checking safety features.
    • Check the sides of the garage door for properly installed photo eyes (black sensors), mounted no higher than 6 inches off the floor.
    • Block the photo eye with an object over 6 inches tall, and press the Garage Door Opener's close button. The door should not close.
    • Lay an object that is at least 1.5 inches higher on the ground in the door's path, and press the close button. The door should reverse off this object.
    • If any of these features do not work, please contact us for repair.
  3. If the opener hasn’t been replaced since 1993, it is highly recommended that you replace it with a new opener that has today’s standard auto-reverse safety features.
  4. Periodically test the balance of the door: With the door closed, if you have a garage door opener, release the mechanism to open the door manually. You should be able to lift the door with one hand relatively smoothly, with little resistance. The door should stay open around 3-4 feet above the floor. If not, it’s a good indication that it is not properly balanced, and your torsion spring may need to be adjusted. Again, do not attempt this on your own.
  5. If the power is out use the red emergency cord to release garage door locking mechanism. This should only be used with the door in the closed position, as a broken spring, or spring that is not properly adjusted could cause the door to crash to the ground. Please familiarize yourself with the owner’s manual and learn how to use the garage door’s emergency release feature.

If you discover or suspect any issues with your garage door or opener, please contact American Door Works and we can make sure your door and opener are operating safely.

Garage door safety and regular maintenance should be practiced all year round. To help you get started on the right foot, please go to our Facebook page,, to see a special offer for a residential door inspection and contact us to discuss planned maintenance options for your home.

Best wishes for continued safety from the team at American Door Works.