Garage Door Child Safety Information

  • Published on July 15, 2013

Garage doors aren’t always the first thing that people think about when they consider hazards to children in the home, but this equipment can pose a risk if safety precautions aren’t taken into account. These days, most automatic garage doors have safety features installed that ensure the door will open immediately if met with an obstruction (i.e. a person), but there are certain steps that people need to take to make sure that all of these features are working effectively.

Testing The Reverse Mechanism

There are a few different ways for home owners to test the reverse mechanism on an automatic garage door, depending on which safety feature has been installed within the device. One of the main type of safety features that are commonly use when manufacturing this product is the one that will force the door to reverse if it is physically obstructed by an object. This means that if the door is closing while someone is beneath it, it should touch the object, detect the extra resistance and open once again. To test this feature out, start off by placing a wooden board on the ground; when the door comes into contact with the board, it should start opening immediately.

Testing the safety reverse feature with a board might be a great place to start out with testing this mechanism, but it might not give a person an accurate idea about the force that the door will apply to the object before it starts reversing. If a child is standing or lying beneath the door as it is closing, parents will want to make sure that it starts opening the moment it comes into contact with the child, without applying a force that could injure the child before this safety feature is activated.

To test the pressure that a door will apply before it opens again, home owners should hold their arms about 90 degrees to their body, just beneath the door. As it closes, the door should gently push down on a person’s arms before reversing; if this pressure is too strong, parents should contact a professional to come out and have a look at the mechanism in order to make the relevant changes.

Testing the Electric Eye or PE Beams

Another safety feature option to consider on automatic garage doors to increase their safety is the electric eye. This function forces the door to reverse in the event that something breaks the sensor of the eye. In the US they are now a mandatory option with all new garage door openers installed and they have been included in most models since 1993. Australian regulations are behind that of the states, and although available they are not mandatory here yet. In order to test this feature, parents simply need to wave their arms under the garage door where the electric beam is to see if it begins to reverse. Testing this sensor is particularly important because if it is misaligned, it could end up malfunctioning and failing to work effectively.

What to Do in The Event of a Fault

It is imperative that individuals take action the moment they realise the reverse feature on an automatic door isn’t working. Accidents can happen even while a person is waiting for a repairman to reach their premises, and so the openers need to be disconnected the moment that a fault is found. It is best to operate the doors manually while the motors and other features are being fixed. It is just as important for adults to wait until their doors have been closed before exiting their premises to ensure that a child isn’t accidentally injured as they try to follow the adults out of the house.

Place Control Switches Out Of The Way

Many garage door accidents have occurred because children have somehow got hold of a remote control and used it to activate the opener. Adults should ensure these are placed out of reach at all times. The wall button inside the garage should be mounted at a height that is out of reach of small children.

Increasing the safety levels within a home is easy when people know how to undertake this task; after all, when a child’s well being is on the line, these measures are not only worthwhile, they are imperative.

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