As you choose a new automatic garage door, you'll learn a bit about safety. Garage doors are heavy, and when you add automation to the mix, they can be dangerous in certain situations. If a door closes automatically on a person or object, then it can cause a lot of harm.
While automatic garage doors should come with a protection system that minimises damage, this may not be enough for you and your family. Adding safety sensors to the door gives you extra peace of mind. Why should you use sensors as well as the door's built-in safety system?
How Entrapment Protection Works
Automatic garage doors should have a built-in entrapment feature. These features protect people, animals and objects from damage if the door is closing when they are in its path. So, for example, if your car is halfway out of your garage and someone accidentally closes the door, then your car is in the door's path and is at risk of being damaged. However, the door's entrapment system should kick in as soon as the door touches the car.
When the door comes into contact with an object, it should stop closing immediately and open itself up again. While this reduces damage, it doesn't prevent it completely. The door has to touch something before the system reverses. Even this initial contact could cause some damage to your car. It can also hurt a child or pet.
How Safety Sensors Work
Safety sensors don't replace entrapment systems; they enhance them. These sensors sit inside your garage on either side of the door. They are connected by a beam of laser light. If the beam is broken by a person, animal or object when the door is closing, then the sensors tell the door to stop. It then opens again completely. This is a useful feature if you have young kids at home who may run into the garage at the wrong times.
If you're closing the garage door and one of your kids decides to follow you in, then as soon as they trip the beam, the door retracts. There is less likelihood that the door will touch your child at all, so you'll reduce the risk of accidents. When you're choosing your automatic door, talk to your supplier about the door's safety features. If the door doesn't come with sensors, then you can have them added. Your garage door company can do this for you when they install the door.