Tag Archives: garage door sensor

Garage Door Safety Measures

How often do you think about your garage door other than to push the remote button to open or close it as you come home or head out?

Automatic garage doors are designed to be as simple for you to use as pushing a single button and the door opens or shuts. With keyless entry systems, your children can come home from school to a locked house and quickly get in the house by entering the code, rather than having to worry about taking care of a key all day long. You have the convenience of pressing the button, waiting a moment while the door opens and driving your car into the garage to unload your groceries.

You may not realize that there are safety measures built into garage doors. However, if your doors are not properly adjusted, they may not work properly and could possibly cause damage or injury. If the door were to suddenly close without the button being pressed, you can imagine the problems that it could create.

Even though we often take garage doors for granted, we should teach our children to be careful around them and never let small children play with the remote opening devices. It is never a good idea to push the button and then run out of the garage, beating it before it closes; that sets a poor example for the children.

The best thing to do is to lead by example and wait until the door is either fully open or closed before getting close to it. One of the most important safety measures utilized by garage doors is the safety sensor system. This system sends a beam of light from one sensor to the other. When the beam is broken, the door does not continue to shut. This helps you keep your kids and pets safe, because if a small child were to cross the path of the garage door when it was closing and it did not stop, you could have some serious injuries.

It is a good idea to check your manual on how to care for these sensors, but the most important thing is to keep the clean of dust, dirt, and cobwebs, and to occasionally check their alignment. If you have ever pressed the button to shut the door and just got a blinking light rather than a shutting door, you know that something is in the way of the security beam and you can check out the problem and remove it before proceeding.

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Why Didn’t It Close?

Everyone’s finally dressed and ready to leave. You back the car out, hit the remote, and you’re off. Until you realize the garage door hasn’t gone down. You reluctantly pull back into the driveway, brow furrowing in frustration. It happens to everyone. Many homeowners don’t even realize they left it open until they return home.

Why didn’t it close? Garage doors usually fail to close as a result of the safety sensors being blocked. They’re located on each side of the opening, no more than a foot or so off the ground. Typically, each will have a small light that stays lit when everything is going well. If either of the lights are out, simply move whatever is blocking the sensor (sometimes even cobwebs/small debris can cause safety sensors to malfunction) or adjust them so that they are pointing at each other again. You can move these around by hand if they’ve been knocked out of alignment.

If you’re still stuck at home, make sure nothing is blocking the path of the door. This can be a common cause for service calls on garage doors. Always use caution when operating your door, but be extra cautious when it’s not working correctly. It’s the probably the largest, heaviest piece of machinery in the house. The counter balance system of the door is under extreme pressure, and when it doesn’t work properly, it can be dangerous. Many people have been injured or even killed by garage doors, some of them professionals. If your garage door is sitting crooked in the opening, has come off the tracks, or is not working properly, call a professional repair company immediately.

If the door works but the opener still won’t close it, there are a couple more things to try before calling a professional. Try using the wall button instead of the remote or keyless entry. It’s possible the remote’s batteries are dead, or the opener’s lock function has been enabled. If the garage door itself is working properly, you can pull the manual release on the opener. This will let you close the door manually, although the opener won’t be locking it shut the way it normally would.

Some openers have an indicator light that can help troubleshoot any problems. Again, you’ll need your owner’s manual for your opener. Many can be found online by doing a quick search for your make and model number. You can find the model and manufacturer on the back of the opener.

If all else fails, it may be time to call a pro. Some companies will be able to give an estimate on probable repairs over the phone, so let them know what steps you may have already taken. Call a few different companies to ensure their numbers are competitive. Since openers have an expected life span of about 10 years, it might also be a good idea to check prices for new openers, instead of repairing an older model. Newer models will also have more up to date security features.

For more information about garage door openers, click here: Openers

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Get Qualified Help!

Installing a garage door isn’t a thing that could be carried out without having the qualified help of someone who is specialized and experienced in it. A garage door professional will have sufficient hands on experience to correctly install or repair your garage door.  Improper installation of a garage door could create a hazardous situation.

 Kids or tiny pets or animals could be caught under the closing door or get themselves hurt while closing the door. It must be closed correctly. Give ample time for closing when using a remote control transmitter or push button and look carefully for a complete shutdown. The opener must be given particular attention while using the door. If the door feels heavy and more energy is necessary to open the door than usually, there may be a problem with the balance or proper adjustment of the door. Realizing the issue, a professional technician should be contacted to analyze and fix the issue. Self adjustments or just keeping it heavy may possibly trigger much more hazardous circumstances in the end. A stronger garage opener is not necessarily the answer as maintaining the appropriate adjustment and balance of the door is the proper remedy. 

Garage doors are normally installed with sensitivity sensors. These doors are equipped with this powerful safety measure, as if there’s some barrier or blockage while door operations, it will revert back. This would be to sense any obstruction or presence of somebody. If it doesn’t move in reverse direction upon obstruction, the sensitivity sensors must be either adjusted properly or proper servicing should be scheduled, otherwise this could result in a really dangerous scenario. The safety reverse feature is set up for each and every garage door. 

If a remote control function is set up on the door, then this remote control unit must be kept with extreme care, as putting it in the incorrect place or in wide open access to everybody not only will it result in loss, but it may cause damage at the same time. Kids need to be educated accordingly not to play with remote control unit as inappropriate and inadequate usage or careless handling can cause serious harm not simply in terms of parts and material loss, but it might also open the access to possible burglars. A secured enclosure is advised to hold the remote unit secure and in control. 

There’s a unique function in remote-controlled units. The frequency continues rolling and following each usage, the door remote unit adjusts the frequency, thus this altering frequency cannot be pre recorded by thieves, who sometimes after recoding the frequency might gain access to your garages. This is referred to as Rolling Code Technology. Most remote control transmitters are available with this feature.

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Garage Door Sensors: Beam Me Up Scotty

Government regulations stipulate that garage door opener sensors must have safety devices installed to prevent accidents. Garage doors with remote sensors allow the homeowner to remotely access and open or close their garage door, either from their home or their car.

Garage door openers have infra-red radio wave signals installed into the receiver end and the remote controlled end. As with a TV remote, the infra-red signal sent by the garage door remote control carries the waves across to the receiver inside the garage. The receiver is wired to the garage door opener and in turn, when the remote control is activated, the signal tells the door to open. The sensor switch receivers are usually found just inside the garage door, very close to the ground.

Garage door sensors can also be hard wired into the home, so that before you leave you can open your garage door via a switch, which sends a signal to the remote receiver. The door then opens automatically so that you can drive your car from the garage. At the same time, you can press the remote control device from your car to close the garage door as you leave.

Garage door safety sensors are there to both protect and enhance the safety of your automated garage door. Too many accidents can occur without them or if they are malfunctioning.

What Do Garage Door Safety Sensors Do?

Safety sensors were invented as a result of accidents happening with automatic doors coming down on top of people, cars and animals.

When the device detects any person or object in the path of a closing garage door, it signals the motor to stop the downward action and switch the motion into reverse to stop the obstacle being crushed. The sensors are located low on each side of the garage door, and the 2 beams meet performing a connection. Should something block the beam, they set the garage doors into a reverse motion to keep the door from hitting or crushing the object.

Can Sensors Malfunction?

Sensors can malfunction if the beams are out of alignment or dirty. When this happens, they need to either be repaired or replaced. If the beams are dirty, they will not reach each other properly and this can cause them to malfunction.

The position of the sensors is such that they can be accidentally damaged by a knock or a bump. Being moved can throw them out of alignment, and they will then need to be adjusted to work correctly again. Knocking or bumping can also sometimes cause the connection wires to be damaged, which will then require repair.

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I know I closed that damn thing!

Everyone is ready to go. You pull the car out of the garage, press the remote, and off you go. No worries. That is until, upon your return, you realize the garage door isn’t closed.

It’s a common mistake that many homeowners make not realizing what they have done until they return.

Why did it not close? Garage doors do not close normally if the safety sensors are blocked. There’s a little light that shines  and meets the receptor on the other side of the garage. If anything blocks the sensor, sometimes even a cobweb, this will cause a malfunction.

You have to make sure nothing is blocking the path of the door. This is a frequent cause of service calls for garage doors. Always be careful when you use your door, be especially careful, however, if it does not work correctly. It is probably the largest, heaviest piece of machinery in the house. The counterweight system of the door is under extreme pressure, and if it does not work properly, it can be dangerous. Many people have been injured not knowing what they were doing. It’s always safer to call a professional repair company immediately.

If the door works, but does not close the first game, it there a few more things before you try a professional. Try using the wall button instead of the remote control or keyless entry. It is possible that the remotes batteries are dead. If the garage door works correctly, you can pull the manual release on the opener allowing you to manually close and open the door.

Some may have opened an indicator light that can help solve problems. Again, you need your manual for your opener. Information can be found online with a quick search of your brand and model number. You can find the model and manufacturer on the opener.

If all else fails, it may be time to call a pro. Some companies may give an estimate of likely repairs by phone, so they know what steps you have already met. Call a few different companies to ensure their numbers are competitive. Since the life expectancy of an opener is about 10 years, it could also be a good idea to check the prices of new opener, instead of repairing an older model. The new models have up to date safety features, as well.

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Homemade Garage Door Sensor

How many times have you accidentally left you garage door open all night, revealing all the tools, bikes, and other stuff are available to thieves – who might even enter your home via the door from your garage. It’s not uncommon. But now, there’s a new homemade “Hey dummy, you left your garage door open” reminder system!

At a cost of less than $40 this is a really clever idea.


An open switch activates a small but annoying light in the master bedroom. If the garage door is open, you’ll see it at night when you turn out the lights when you turn into bed. It’s unobtrusive, but extremely functional!

Take a look!

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