Helpful Articles` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `

Here are some helpful safety tips. This list is not intended to be a comprehensive list of every safety precaution. Always consult your manufacturer’s installation or instruction manual for safety information about your model.


  1. Do It Yourself? Installing a garage door opener is generally easier and safer than installing a garage door. But improper installation can create a hazardous situation. DASMA recommends that a trained door system technician install your opener. If you do it yourself, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

  2. Not in Sight? Not Safe! When closing your automatic garage door with a push button or a remote control transmitter, you should always watch the door until it completely closes. Reason: Make sure no person or animal gets caught under a closing door. Take a few seconds to be safe.

  3. Do You Have a Reinforcement Bracket? Some do-it-yourselfers neglect to install an opener reinforcement bracket to the top section of the door. Failure to do so can damage your door. Do-it-yourselfers should check the installation manual for specific instructions.

  4. Get a More Powerful Opener? If your door feels heavy or requires two hands to open it, the door is probably out of balance and needs adjustment. A variety of problems can cause this, and if you try to fix it yourself, you could get hurt. Call a local trained door systems technician to diagnose the problem and offer a solution. The answer is not a more powerful garage door opener. Openers are designed to open doors that are properly balanced.

  5. Sensitivity Training. Garage door openers are designed to reverse direction when a descending garage door meets an obstruction. If your door does not reverse readily after contacting an obstruction, the opener’s sensitivity adjustment may be set improperly. This can create a dangerous situation. See your owner’s manual for how to adjust your opener’s sensitivity. DASMA recommends that a trained door systems technician perform this work.

  6. Safety Reverse. Since 1993, all openers manufactured for the U.S. must include a second safety reversing feature such as photoelectric eyes. These are installed near the floor. Once the invisible beam is broken, the door reverses automatically. If your opener lacks a similar safety reversing feature, it’s time to get a new opener.

  7. The Six-Inch Rule. The photo eyes mentioned above should not be installed higher than six inches above the garage floor. If the eyes are installed higher, a person or pet could get under the beam and not be detected by the photo eyes.

  8. The Five-Foot Rule. The wall push button for your garage door opener should be mounted at least five feet above the floor, out of the reach of children. Running under a closing door can be a deadly game. Teach your children never to play with opening and closing the door.

  9. Do You Know Where Your Remote Controls Are? For the reasons just mentioned, keep the remote controls for your openers where children cannot play with them. Warn children of the dangers of playing with the garage door. For security reasons, be sure to keep your remote controls locked up. If you park a car outside your garage, be sure to lock your car so that potential burglars cannot access your remote control and gain easy access to your garage.

  10. Rolling Codes. Some thieves are able to "record" your transmitter’s signal. Later, after you’re gone, they replay that signal and open your door. However, if your transmitter (the remote control) has rolling code technology, the code changes after every use. This renders the thieves' controls useless. Contact your garage door opener manufacturer or your local garage door dealer for more information.


  1. Stand Clear! Motorized sliding and swinging gates can be dangerous. When a motorized gate is opening or closing, stay clear of the motion of the gate. Entrapment can cause injury or death.

  2. Look for the Listing Mark. For safety, make sure that the vehicular gate opener being installed on your property bears the "mark" of a nationally recognized testing laboratory such as "UL" or "ETL." These marks identify that the product has been tested and complies with the UL 325 Standard for Safety.

  3. Don’t Reach Through. Never reach through a motorized gate to operate the gate opener controls. Reaching through a gate to operate a control device is extremely dangerous. The UL Safety Standard for gate openers prohibits controls from being positioned within reach of the gate or gate opener.

  4. 10-Foot Rule. Gate controls must be installed and positioned so that a person using the control cannot touch the gate or gate opener. As a rule of thumb, controls should be installed a minimum of 10 feet away from the gate. If your gate opener system allows a person to "reach through" the gate to operate the control, immediately shut off power to the gate system and contact a professional gate system company to move or disconnect the control.

  5. Warn Children. Do not allow children to play on automated gates. This could be a deadly game. Take time to teach children about the importance of safety in the vicinity of an automated gate.

  6. Inherent Reverse. Since March 2000, gate openers that are listed by a nationally recognized testing laboratory and are intended for use by the public (1) must include an inherent reversing feature and (2) must be installed with a secondary entrapment device such as photoelectric eyes or reversing edges. Older automatic gates generally do not have these built-in sensitivity systems that can detect objects that may be caught in the gate. If your gate opener lacks this type of system that can detect obstructions in BOTH the opening and closing cycles, it’s time to replace your gate opener.

  7. Do It Yourself? Installing a vehicular gate opener system is not a project for a do-it-yourselfer. Reason: gates are heavy, and these systems generate high levels of force that can create hazards if the system is not properly installed. Gate openers cannot be simply "plugged in." They require detailed installation procedures, installation of secondary entrapment prevention devices, and installation of vehicular detection devices. They must also be installed in compliance with the UL 325 Safety Standard, and the gate itself needs to comply with ASTM F2200. If you need an automated vehicular gate system installed, contact a professional gate systems installation company.

  8. Maintenance. Like all electro-mechanical devices, your automated gate system requires periodic maintenance and testing. Follow the recommended maintenance and testing schedule in your gate opener owner’s manual. Ask your professional automated gate system installer about a service contract to keep your gate system running safely and smoothly.

  9. Know Your System. Ask your professional gate system company to demonstrate the safety systems associated with your gate opener. Make sure you know how to safely test these systems. It’s also important to know how to manually operate your gate opener in the event of a power outage or system failure.

  10. Pinch Points! According to ASTM F2200, all exposed rollers in sliding gates must have covers or guards to protect pinch points. These covers prevent hands or feet from getting caught between the gate and the roller. If your sliding gate does not have roller covers or guards, contact a trained vehicular gate opener technician to have appropriate guards installed on your gate system.


  1. Replace Old Springs. Your overhead garage door’s springs are arguably the most important and most dangerous part of your door. Springs wear out. When they break, injury can result. If you have an older garage door, have your springs inspected by a professional technician and replaced if needed. If your door has two springs, replace both, even if one is not broken. This will not only prevent any damage caused by the breaking of the second spring, but also keep your door working efficiently.

  2. Check Your Cables. Visually inspect the cables that attach the spring system to the bottom brackets on both sides of the overhead door. If these cables are frayed or worn, they are in danger of breaking, which can cause injury. Due to the dangers associated with high spring tension, these cables should be replaced only by a trained technician.

  3. Squeaky Springs? Springs can squeak and be noisy. This is caused by normal use and does not necessarily indicate a problem. Before calling a professional service technician, use a spray-on lubricant (recommended especially for overhead garage doors). If the noise persists, call a professional overhead garage door installer for service.

  4. A Do-It-Yourselfer, Eh? Installing a garage door can be very dangerous and is not recommended for a novice. DASMA recommends that trained door systems technicians install garage doors. If you attempt the installation by yourself, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions carefully.

  5. Safety Cables. If your overhead garage door has extension springs, you need a safety cable that runs through the spring and secures to the wall or ceiling at each end. When your garage door is down, extension springs are under tension. If the spring breaks, it may cause injury. A safety cable can keep that broken spring contained. If you have extension springs but do not have a safety cable, call your local dealer for a safety inspection.

  6. Struggling Door? If your door does not go up and down smoothly, you may have an unsafe condition. Even older door systems should operate smoothly. If the awkward operation continues when the garage door is manually operated, you may have a spring system that is out of balance. This can cause premature wear and tear on other important door components. Spring systems are dangerous and should be repaired only by trained professionals.

  7. Watch Your Fingers! Every year, many unsuspecting homeowners injure their fingers by placing them between the door sections to pull down on the door. According to DASMA Standard 116, if your door lacks pinch-resistant joints, you should have lift handles or suitable gripping points on the inside and outside of the door. Even if your door has an opener, the door must occasionally be operated manually. Never place your fingers between the door sections. If you manually open or close the door, use the handles or the safe gripping points!

  8. Tamper Resistant Brackets. Since the bottom brackets on a garage door are connected to the door’s springs, these brackets are under extreme tension. They should be adjusted or loosened only by a trained door systems technician. Many manufacturers now include tamper resistant hardware that prevents loosening of the brackets by a novice.

  9. Use the Old Track? When buying a replacement overhead garage door, some homeowners are tempted to save a few dollars by putting the new door on the old track. However, your old track may not fit with your new door, depending on the thickness of your sections, the weight of the door, the headroom required, the location of the garage door opener, and other considerations. The track and sections work together as a system. For maximum performance and long life, you should use the track that is designed for your specific door.

  10. Regular Service. Your overhead garage door is probably the largest moving part in your home and is typically used every day. Over time, parts can wear out and break, creating potential safety problems. Although you should provide monthly safety checks and maintenance to your overhead garage door system, an annual visit from a trained door systems technician can keep your door operating safely and smoothly for a long time.

  11. Man the Manual. Keep the owner's manuals for your door and opener hanging near the door for easy reference. Every model of door and opener has specific safety instructions unique to that model. Where is your manual?

Content Courtesy of: DASMA Door and Access Systems Manufacturers Association

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