Inspecting Garage Door Openers for Safety
The garage door is generally the largest moving object on a home. A garage door can exert very strong forces and should reverse if there is an emergency. Improperly operating automatic reversing mechanisms on garage door openers have been linked to many injuries and even deaths. Making sure the safety reverse is operating properly is an important part of your home inspection.
Modern openers have two safety reverse features on the door, which will automatically reverse the door if it encounters an obstacle upon closing. In 1982, a voluntary industry standard was created that requires an automatic reversing mechanism be part of the garage door opener. Under U.S. federal law (UL 325), garage door openers manufactured for the U.S since 1993 must also include a secondary safety reversing system, such as photoelectric eyes mounted no higher than six inches above the ground, or an electric safety edge mounted on the bottom of the door, which reverses upon contact.
Before you check the safety reverses, run the door up and down noting movement and any unusual noises, and check the tracks for any damage. Also check for loose/missing hardware on the door and tracks. Make sure you document any damaged tracks and loose/missing hardware and recommend repair by a qualified garage door professional. Identify the type of door present and the condition of the overhead door noting any damage/deterioration on the door.
Testing the safety reverse of the garage-door opener
With the door fully open, place a 2×4 flat on