Residential Garage Doors and Garage Door Openers
The garage door is the largest moving object
in the typical home. Because of its size
and complexity, it should be treated with
cautious respect. The following garage door
parts can be dangerous. Familiarize yourself
with these parts and know how to treat them
Defined: The corner brackets are the two
brackets that are attached to the lower
left and lower right corners of the door.
The cables that lift your garage door are
typically attached to these brackets.
Warning: Since these cables are under high
tension, the brackets could fly dangerously
when disconnected. Only an experienced technician
should service these brackets.
Defined: Garage doors are typically balanced
either by torsion springs (see below) or
extension springs. Extension springs are
generally mounted just above the horizontal
track, perpendicular to the closed garage
door. They provide lifting power by stretching
Warning: If an extension spring breaks,
broken spring parts can cause injury by
flying around the garage. However, a safety
cable, installed inside each extension spring,
can contain the spring and prevent injury.
If you have extension springs but do not
have a safety cable, call your local garage
door dealer for a safety inspection. Only
an experienced technician should service
garage door springs.
Defined: Torsion springs are usually mounted
above a closed door, parallel and horizontal
to the top section of the door. They provide
lifting power for the door by winding and
unwinding while the door is opened and closed.
Warning: The torsion spring is under high
tension and requires special tools for adjustment.
Because of the high tension, the torsion
spring and any part associated with the
counterbalance system should be adjusted
only by a professional. These parts include:
the springs, the cables, the corner brackets
attached to the cables, the cable drums,
and the center bearing bracket that holds
the torsion spring shaft.
Garage Door Opener
Defined: A garage door opener is a separate
product from a garage door. Openers are
electric motorized devices that open and
close garage doors.
Warning: Most garage door openers include
an internal reversing mechanism that causes
the door to reverse when it hits an obstruction.
However, garage door openers with inadequate
or poorly maintained reversing mechanisms
have caused injury and even death to children
who are caught underneath motor-operated
The sensitivity of these internal reversing
mechanisms can fall out of proper adjustment
so that the door will not reverse when it
hits an obstruction. You should check your
reversing mechanism monthly by setting a
two-by-four or a full roll of paper towels
on the floor in the path of a descending
door. If the door does not reverse after
contacting the obstruction, call a garage
door technician to examine and repair your
Lift Handles and Pull
Defined: A lift handle is a handle attached
to the door that allows you to manually
open or close a door. A pull rope performs
the same function and is usually attached
to the bottom bracket in the lower corner
of the door.
Warning: The lift handle and pull ropes
are intended for use with a door that is
opened and closed by hand. But when an opener
is attached to the door, the lift handle
and pull rope should be removed. Otherwise,
they can snag or hook on people or loose
clothing while the door is being opened
by the operator.
However, if you have a power outage and
need to manually close your motor-operated
door, don¡¯t close the door by
placing your fingers between the door sections!
If you have questions about the safety of
your door system, call your local garage
door dealer for a safety inspection.
and Sensing Edges
Defined: Photoelectric Eyes are sensors
that are mounted about 5-6 inches off the
floor on both sides of a garage door. These
sensors operate with a garage door opener
and send an invisible beam across the door
opening. If that beam is broken while a
motorized door is closing, the garage door
opener will cause the door to reverse direction
to the full, open position.
A Sensing Edge is attached to the bottom
edge of a garage door. When this sensor
contacts an obstruction during the closing
of the door, the opener will cause the door
to reverse direction to the full, open position.
Warning: A federal law requires that all
residential garage door openers sold in
the United States since 1993 must include
an additional protection against entrapment,
such as photoelectric eyes or a sensing
edge. The law also requires that, if these
sensors become inoperative, the opener will
not function. Thus, these sensors are not
dangerous, but your garage door opener can
be dangerous if it does not have these safety
Defined: Garage door openers are usually
operated by a wall-mounted push button,
a hand-held remote control, or a keyless
entry pad that requires you to enter a numerical
Warning: Small children have been seriously
injured by playing with the remote controls
of motor-operated garage doors. Running
under a closing door can be a deadly game.
Consequently, do not let children play with
or use the push button or any remote controls
for your door. Keep all such controls out
of the reach of children.
Defined: A section joint is the area between
garage door sections.
Warning: People have been injured by attempting
to close a door by placing their fingers
in an open section joint and pulling down
on the door, thus pinching their fingertips.
Some garage doors, like our new Prisma,
is now being equipped with finger-protected
section joints that won¡¯t allow
you to place your fingers in the joint.
As a safety precaution, never attempt to
place your fingers in the section joint.