Door Depot wants to make sure that you and your family know how to operate and maintain your garage door system safely at all times. You are the key to garage door safety.

Here are 10 things everyone in your household should know about garage door safety. It’s a good idea to review these with everyone in your household from time to time – especially children.

  • 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.
  • 7. Keep your garage door properly maintained to keep it operating safely. Annual maintenance by a trained Door Depot service technician is recommended. There are other tests and maintenance tasks that you can perform.
  • 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 (yes, it does happen – all of us are in a hurry at one time or another), it’s 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.

You can easily perform some garage door system safety and maintenance tasks yourself. If you are not comfortable performing these tests, have them performed by a trained Door Depot technician.

SAFETY NOTE: To avoid injury, it’s a good idea to let everyone in your household know that you are checking the garage door and that it is not to be opened or closed by anyone until you tell them you are finished.

The following tests and related maintenance should be performed in the following order:

Stand inside the garage with the garage door closed. Look over the garage door springs, cables, rollers, pulleys and mounting hardware, such as hinges, for signs of wear or damage. Look for cable wear or fraying. Is the mounting hardware becoming loose? If something doesn’t look quite right – or doesn’t sound quite right – it could be the symptom of a more serious issue. Have the garage door system inspected by a trained service technician.
If your door is equipped with an automatic opener system: close the door and disconnect the automatic opener. Once you are able to lift the door manually: Lift the door. It should lift smoothly with little resistance and should remain fully open. If it is difficult to open or does not remain open, the door may be out of balance and should be serviced by a trained service technician.
Note: garage door openers manufactured after January 1, 1993, are required by federal law to be equipped with a reversing mechanism and a photo eye or edge sensor as added measures of safety to prevent entrapment. If your system does not have these features, replacement of your automatic operating system is recommended.

With the door fully open, lay a piece of wood such as a section of a 2 x 4 on the floor in the center of the garage door opening where the door would touch the floor. Push your garage door opener’s transmitter or wall button to close the door. When the door strikes the wood, the door should automatically reverse. If the door does not automatically reverse, the door should be serviced by a trained service technician.

Note: garage door openers manufactured after January 1, 1993, are required by federal law to be equipped with a reversing mechanism and a photo eye or edge sensor as added measures of safety to prevent entrapment. If your system does not have these features, replacement of your automatic operating system is recommended.

With the door fully open, push your garage door opener’s transmitter or wall button to close the door. Wave a long object, such as a broomstick, in front of one of the door’s photo eyes so it “breaks the beam.” The door should reverse.

If it does not reverse and reopen, pull the broomstick out of the path of the closing door. Close the door. With the door in the closed position, clean the photo eyes with a soft, dry cloth. Gently adjust the photo eyes by hand if they appear to be out of alignment. Open the door and repeat the photo eye test. If the door does not reverse and reopen, the door should be serviced by a trained service technician.

With the door fully open, push your garage door opener’s transmitter or wall button to close the door. As the door is closing, hold up the bottom of the door with your hands outstretched and stiff. If the door does not easily reverse and continues to close, pull your hands away immediately. The closing force is excessive and the door should be serviced by a trained service technician.
Apply a small amount of spray lubricant to the door’s hinges, rollers and tracks.