3 Garage Door Safety Features You Need to Know and Understand

LiftMaster Garage DOor Safety Campaign Tampa BayThe garage door is designed to keep your belongings safe from weather and intruders, but it also has built-in safety features that you should know and understand. There is an automatic reverse function, a motion detector that automatically stops if someone blocks the sensor, and a manual release that allows you to operate the door if it malfunctions or the power goes out. Let’s take a look at all three of these garage door safety features and how they work.

  1. Auto-Reverse: The auto-reverse function is designed to change the direction the door is moving if it meets any type of obstruction or solid object. All garage door openers manufactured past 1991 are required to have this incredibly useful safety feature. To test the auto-reverse to ensure that it is working properly, place something solid like a cinder block or bicycle in the way and try to close the door. It should touch the obstacle and immediately reverse to return to the open position.
  2. Garage Door Safety Beam for Children Motion Detection: The motion detector safety function is designed to stop all movement of the garage door in the event that someone or something breaks the line of sight from the eye. The eye is located on the garage door’s track system. It transmits an infrared beam of light while the door is closing. Anything can break the beam including people, pets, or any other object. The garage door should stop and reverse motion to the full open position when the beam is broken. Test the functionality by rolling a ball or other inanimate object under the garage door while it is in the process of closing.
  3. Manual Controls: Manual controls are another of the garage door safety features in place to prevent entrapment during a storm, garage door opener malfunction, or power outage. The manual release mechanism releases the system so you can open or close the garage door manually when needed. Familiarize yourself with the manual release handle before disaster strikes so you’re comfortable with where it is and how it works. It should be a red handle located no higher than six feet off the ground. Test it occasionally by pulling it and making sure you can lift and lower the door manually.

Always use an object such as a toy or a cinder block to test the functionality of your garage door and garage door opener. Never ask someone to stand in or otherwise put a body part in harm’s way. Garage door opener testing with a human target could result in a trip to the emergency room if the garage door or opener malfunctions during testing.


The Overhead Door Company of Tampa Bay has proudly served Tampa area homeowners with quality garage doors and professional service for more than 60 years. We’re the winner of the Women’s Choice Award for America’s Most Recommended Garage Doors for three years and running. Our partnership with Metropolitan Ministries and 2nd annual Hope is Here Holiday Food Drive was a success and will continue again this year. Contact us to learn more about garage door safety and schedule a yearly safety & maintenance check on your garage door and garage door opener. Call us at 813-885-DOOR or email us at info@overheadtampa.com!

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