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Garage Door Sensors
A Vital Key to Garage Door Opener Safety

"Carefully read the manufacturer's installation instructions to be certain you are installing
the garage door safety sensors according to their engineering specifications."

Garage Door Sensors
Liftmaster, Chamberlain, Craftsman Garage Door Safety Sensors
Buy at Amazon.com

Properly installed garage door sensors help prevent injuries. Period. Thousands of people are injured by their garage doors every year. Most often, the injury is caused by a garage door that falls on a person, and many times that person is a child.

Garage Door Safety Sensors are Vital

Why are garage door safety sensors so important? Because they help prevent injuries and save lives. Although they don’t replace common sense garage door opener safety habits, they do help prevent the unexpected.

Is there a bicycle lying down behind your vehicle and under the garage door? A skateboard or scooter? If you can’t see where the garage door closes behind your vehicle, there might also be a little person outside your view. That’s when properly installed sensors do their job.

Chamberlain Garage Door Sensors
Liftmaster/Chamberlain Garage Door Opener Safety Beam Kit
Buy at Amazon.com

How do Garage Door Sensors work?

Garage door safety sensors generally come in pairs with one sensor placed on each side of the garage opening near the bottom of the garage door track. One module emits an electronic light beam or signal and the other module receives the signal. When the signal is uninterrupted, the garage door opens and close normally.

If the signal IS interrupted by an object or person (like a child), the garage door opener will stop closing, reverse direction, and move to the fully open position. This will keep the door from closing on, potentially crushing or pinning whatever is in the way, whether an object or a person.

My neighbor’s cat was crushed and killed by a closing garage door because the garage door sensors were not installed close enough to the floor.

Properly Installed Garage Door Sensors

Universal Garage Door Sensors
Universal Garage Door Opener Sensors
Buy at Amazon.com

By law, all modern garage door openers come with some form of garage door safety sensor. Carefully following the instructions in your garage door opener manual is critical to ensuring the sensors on your system work properly.

Many experts recommend hiring a garage door repair and installation professional to install your opener. This will help ensure that all of the safety features are working properly, including the safety sensors.

If you are a do-it-yourselfer and you handle all of your own garage door repair tasks, you may decide to install your own garage door opener. If so, keep these things in mind:

MOST IMPORTANT: Carefully read the manufacturer’s instructions in the garage door opener manual to be certain you are installing the garage door sensors according to their engineering specifications. Generally, here are some important guidelines:

  • Install the two sensing modules across from each other and attach them securely to the garage door track. One sensor goes on each track, across from each other near the floor, so they can "see" each other. The light beam from one sensor must connect with the other sensor.

  • Genie Garage Door Sensors
    Genie Safety Beam Photo Eye Sensors Kit
    Buy at Amazon.com
  • Connect the wires from each of the two garage door safety sensors to the garage door opener. There are generally two screws on the motor; one for each wire.

  • Test the garage door opener sensors multiple times to be sure they are working properly. Place an object beneath the path of the garage door so it interrupts the light beam and be sure the garage door will not close.

    While the garage door is closing, "break" the light beam with an object to be sure the garage door stops and reverses. NOTE: When conducting this test with the garage door moving, use a long board or broom to reach into the path of the safety sensor light beam so you can stay clear of the moving garage door. DO NOT stand under the garage door while it is closing.x

Garage door sensors are a very important safety feature on your garage door opener. If your opener does not have garage door safety sensors, or they are not working, you should repair them, replace them or get a new garage door opener.

If you choose to buy new sensors or a new garage door opener yourself, please be careful to read and follow all of the manufacturer’s instructions. If you don’t want to tackle this project on your own, hire a garage door repair and installation contractor to do the job for you.

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