Garage Door Safety – Protecting Your Family and Property

Sectional Garage Doors - New Security

Burglars will often target a garage because it allows them to break into the house without being seen by neighbors. Putting a deadbolt on the man door between your home and garage will discourage burglars, and add a programmable lock or upgrade the strike plate to a heavier one.

Safety Sensors

Before safety sensors, children, pets, and property were routinely trapped under closing garage doors. These vital safety features are required by modern building codes and work to prevent injuries and damage by detecting obstructions in the path of the lowering door. The sensor sends an infrared beam between two small sensors, or photo eyes, which detects any object interrupting this line of light. If the door senses a thing, it immediately stops and reverses its direction to prevent injury and damage.

The sensors are mounted on either side of the Clovis garage door tracks facing one another and consist of a transmitter and receiver element. The sensor detects the light reflected from objects in the garage to determine if it is obstructed. Usually, simple problems with the sensitivity settings are easily remedied, but more severe issues may require assistance from a professional. Test your sensors monthly by placing a 2×4 under the door. Upon contact with the wood, the door should reverse to open.

Safety Lever

Since 1991, garage door openers have been required to comply with entrapment protection requirements set forth by Underwriters Laboratories. These include safety sensors, also known as photo eye systems, which use two infrared beams that connect. If an object obstructs the connection between the sensors, the garage door will stop closing and reverse direction. This feature has saved many people, pets, and vehicles from potential harm or injury.

Sadly, more is needed to stop thieves from using the same method to break into homes through the garage. This is why we recommend you use the methods mentioned above as a complement to securing your home with a heavy-duty deadbolt on the door leading into your house.

A popular suggestion to prevent this type of break-in is to attach a zip tie to the emergency release handle on the garage door; however, tying the emergency release cord violates Underwriters Laboratories’ safety standards. The best solution is to install a security door brace that can be used temporarily, or if you want something more permanent, consider a portable garage door alarm.

Safety Cable

Professional technicians can install safety cables to prevent a broken spring from sailing around the garage and hitting people or cars. Homeowners should also have a professional inspect and maintain their garage door fixtures to avoid problems like misalignment, slack, and rust. These issues cause the cables and drums to have uneven weight distribution, which can damage the garage door or injure people.

In addition, frayed and rusted cables are a severe hazard as they can suddenly fail to support the garage door’s weight. This can lead to the door slamming on your car, pets, or family members. This is particularly dangerous in older doors that use a single torsion spring. In these cases, the snapped spring can fly across the garage and hit someone in the head or body. Safety cables inserted into extension springs protect the failsafe by preventing the broken spring from shooting across the garage. This vital feature can save lives and reduce expensive property damage.

Safety Plates

The garage door may seem like a security weak point for enterprising thieves, but there are several ways to improve your garage’s protection. Remember that safety features only work if they’re properly maintained and used. Always consult a professional for repairs or installations, and educate your family on the dangers of using the garage door.

Keep the Service Door Secure

Many burglars break into the home through a garage, mainly because the walk-through entry door (called the “service door”) is so easy to open. This door should be equipped with a deadbolt, just like the other exterior doors in your house.

Enhance Roller Door Security

While a double-skinned roller garage door provides extra protection from forced entry, adding additional locking points boosts the security even more. Investing in an up-and-over door with multiple lock mechanisms and a Euro cylinder anti-snap lock makes it harder for thieves to open your garage.