A garage door is the largest moving object in the home. These doors are often operated by electric door
openers. Proper installation, operation, maintenance, and testing of the garage door and automatic opener
are necessary to provide safe, trouble-free operation.
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.
Replace Old Springs. Your 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.
Check Your Cables. Visually inspect the cables that attach the spring system to the bottom brackets on
both sides of the 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
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 garage doors). If the noise persists, call a professional garage door installer for
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.
Safety Cables. If your 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 high 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
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 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.
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
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.
Use the Old Track? When buying a replacement 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.
Regular Service. Your 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 garage door system, an annual visit from a
trained door systems technician can keep your door operating safely and smoothly for a long time.
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
FOR GARAGE DOORS
FOR GARAGE DOOR OPENERS
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
TESTING AND MAINTAINING THE GARAGE DOOR OPENER
Consult the owner’s manual for additional recommended maintenance for your model of door opener. If you don’t
have the owner's manual, look for the opener model number on the back of the power unit and request a manual
from the manufacturer.
Make sure your opener has a reversing feature. If a reversing feature is not present, the opener should be replaced.
Garage door openers manufactured after January 1, 1993, are required by federal law to have advanced safety
features that comply with the latest UL (Underwriters Laboratories) 325 standards. Contact your manufacturer or
installer for additional information.
1. Test the reversing feature every month. First, test the balance of the door. If the door is properly balanced, then
2. With the door fully open, place a 1-1/2" thick piece of wood (a 2" X 4" laid flat) on the floor in the center of the
3. Push the transmitter or wall button to close the door. The door must reverse when it strikes the obstruction.
(Note that the bottom part of "one-piece doors" must be rigid so that the door will not close, but will reverse when it
contacts the obstruction.)
4. If the door does not reverse, have it repaired or replaced. Have a qualified technician adjust, repair, or replace
the opener or door.
Force Setting Test
Test the force setting of your garage door opener by holding the bottom of the door as it closes. If the door does
not reverse readily, the force setting may be excessive and need adjusting. See your owner’s manual for details on
how to make the adjustment.
Additional Safety Devices
Many garage door openers can be equipped with additional safety devices, such as photo eyes or edge sensors,
to protect against entrapment. Keep in mind that adding more safety devices will not make an old opener meet the
current UL standards. Make sure the additional safety devices are properly installed and adjusted (see owner's
TESTING AND MAINTAINING THE GARAGE DOOR
Perform routine maintenance steps once a month. Review your owner’s manual for the garage door. If you
don’t have a manual, look for the model number on the back of the door, or check the lock handle, hinges,
or other hardware for the manufacturer's name and request a manual from the manufacturer.
Look at the garage door springs, cables, rollers, pulleys, and other door hardware for signs of wear. If you
suspect problems, have a qualified person make repairs.
Garage door springs, cables, brackets, and other hardware attached to the springs are under very high
tension and, if handled improperly, can cause serious injury. Only a qualified professional or a mechanically
experienced person should adjust them, but only by carefully following the manufacturer's instructions. The
torsion springs (the springs above the door) should only be adjusted by a professional. Do not attempt to
repair or adjust torsion springs yourself.
A restraining cable or other device should be installed on the extension spring (the spring along the side of
the door) to help contain the spring if it breaks.
Never remove, adjust, or loosen the screws on the bottom brackets of the door. These brackets are
connected to the spring by the lift cable and are under extreme tension.
Regularly lubricate the moving parts of the door. However, do not lubricate plastic idler bearings. Consult the
door owner's manual for the manufacturer's recommendation.
Periodically test the balance of your door. Start with the door closed. If you have a garage door opener, use
the release mechanism so you can operate the door by hand when doing this test.
You should be able to lift the door smoothly and with little resistance. It should stay open around three or
four feet above the floor. If it does not, it is out of adjustment. Have it adjusted by a qualified service person.
The Garage Door Experts
Serving Menifee, Murrieta, Temecula and Riverside County
DC Garage Doors