Garage Door Safety Tips for Homeowners

How Does Your Garage Door Measure Up?

Millions of garage doors lack the latest safety features or may not be operating properly. LiftMaster believes that garage safety is essential to ensure a safe home. Through its Don’t Chance It. Check It. safety campaign, LiftMaster is educating homeowners on the importance of garage safety and creating additional value for real estate professionals. The cornerstone of the campaign encourages families to conduct a simple, three-step safety check to ensure their garage door is operating perfectly. With this information in hand, you can help keep families safe by spreading the message and sharing some important tips.

Three-Step Safety:

  • STEP 1: Check to make sure your client’s garage door opener is equipped with photo eyes (black sensors). If the opener lacks a similar safety reversing feature, it’s time to get a new opener. Properly installed photo-eyes should be mounted no higher than six inches off the floor. If the eyes are installed higher, a person or pet could get under the beam and not be detected by the photo eyes.
  • STEP 2: Block the photo-eye with an object over six inches tall and press the close button on the garage door opener. The door should not close. If it does, you need to call a garage door professional.
  • STEP 3: Test the door’s sensitivity. Lay an object that is at least 1.5 inches in height flat on the ground in the door’s path and press the close button. Household objects of this size might be a bar of soap, a stack of index cards or a hardcover book. A correctly installed garage door opener will automatically reverse after making contact with an object.

Check the Door, from Ceiling to Floor:

  • MAINTENANCE – To keep the garage door properly maintained and functioning safely, be sure to keep all moving parts of the door clean and lubricated, including the steel rollers.
  • BALANCE – To check balance, start with the door closed and pull the opener release mechanism to maneuver the door by hand. If the door is balanced (properly spring-loaded and running freely on its tracks), it should lift smoothly without much effort and stay open about 3-4 feet above the door.
  • WEATHER – Be prepared as seasonal storms may lead to power outages. Once power is lost to the home, an automatic garage door opener will also be impacted. Ensure your opener if equipped with a Battery Backup system, which continues to operate LiftMaster openers for an additional 40 up/down cycles. So, even during unforeseen outages, homeowners have peace-of-mind that their main entranceway to the home reliably opens and closes.

Organizing the Inside Out:

  • OIL OUT – The garage usually tops the basement or attic for clutter and debris. Keep it clear of oily and greasy rags as they are easily flammable and can ignite spontaneously. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby.
  • DUST UP – It may seem like you’re adding to the mess, but grass clippings are great for keeping dust under control in the garage. Next time you mow the lawn, sprinkle fresh lawn clippings on the garage floor then sweep it clean.
  • SHELF IT – Better organization of lawn equipment, sporting goods and bicycles is also crucial to a presentable garage. Install shelves and hooks to lift things off the floor and maintain order. Get in the habit of putting things back where they belong after use and regularly sweeping up.

(Source: LiftMaster)

Visit NAR’s REALTOR® Safety website at

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