The garage door is the largest and heaviest piece of moving equipment in most homes. In order to avoid injury, the door and the automatic garage door opener system should be adjusted and maintained properly.

The National Safety Council recommends a monthly test of the door’s automatic reverse mechanism. Place a 2″ x 4″ piece of wood on the garage floor under the center of the garage door. Activate the opener. When the door hits the piece of wood it should reverse and reopen within 30 seconds. If the door does not reverse, disconnect the opener immediately and operate the door manually until the opener is repaired or replaced.

garage door springsThe National Safety Council recommends these additional safeguards:

  • Read and be familiar with the safety, operation and maintenance information found in the owner’s manual. If needed, contact the manufacturer for a copy.
  • Know how to use the emergency release mechanism. Test it periodically.
  • Garage doors and door openers are not toys! Place the remote control device out of children’s reach. Caution children that running under a closing door can be deadly.
  • Locate wall-mounted controls high up, out of reach of children.
  • Never walk under a moving garage door.
  • Do not use the remote control device unless you have a clear view of the garage door.

All moving parts of a garage door require periodic lubrication. Check the pivot points monthly, and lubricate when necessary. A few drops of lightweight household oil, motor oil, or spray silicone lubricant can be used. (See diagram)
All garage door openers made after 1982 must have a reversing mechanism. Current law mandates that in all real estate transactions, the Seller is required to notify the Buyer if the property has a garage door opener and must also inform the Buyer if the garage door opener is not in compliance with safety standards. As of January 1993, all new garage door openers must include a tactile garage door sensor, an optical sensor, or a similar device that, when activated, automatically reverses the door or prevents it from closing. Furthermore, anyone hired to service or repair a garage door opener after January 1993 must test the opener for reversal on a 2-inch block. If the unit fails, the technician must place a red warning label on the unit.

Some existing models of automatic openers can be retrofitted with a sensor. Call the manufacturer to find out whether your opener is compatible. The Genie customer service number is (800) 654-3643.