05 May, 2012

Prevent accidents with properly functioning garage door safety eyes

In 1993 the government began to require that garage door manufacturers include safety eyes and reversing mechanisms on every garage door they make and install. Since the industry is notoriously under regulated, this legislation was a huge step forward in reducing the number of home accidents associated with garage doors.

Safety eyes are installed in pairs near the bottom of the door track. You see them as small lights. On one side, the light is yellow; on the opposite side, the light is green. The yellow light is the transmitter which directs an infrared beam across the expanse of the door. The green light acts as the receiver indicating that the infrared beam has reached its target.

When there is no obstruction, both lights shine steadily, and the door opens and closes safely. When the two lights can not make a connection, something is interfering with the transmission and reception of the infrared beam. If there is an object in the door’s path, the reversing mechanism will come into play, reversing the direction of the door before it can crush the object in its path. If the eyes are not in alignment, the garage door may not function.

Your government, your door manufacturer, and your installer have worked together to protect you and your family. Now it is your job to assure that the protection keeps working. These eyes are pretty durable. All you really need to do is to make sure the lights are connecting as intended.

Your first assignment is to clean the track and the safety eyes regularly. You won’t need to get out the garden hose or the brillo pads, a light dusting will do. Even in the tidiest garage, leaves blow in and spiders spin webs. Something as tiny as a spider web can prevent the light from connecting between the two safety eyes. Just keep the foreign objects out of the way.

Your garage is a busy place where it is possible for the safety eyes to become misaligned. Some of them will blink when this happens; others will turn red. In either case, you can make the adjustment yourself. No repairman needed.

Simply loosen the wing nut you will find on the side edge, and move the eye up, down, left, or right until both the green and yellow light emit a steady glow.Tighten the wing nut again, and your safety eyes will continue to protect you for weeks.

If you are having trouble with your door and would like some help, call One Clear Choice Garage Doors at 303-565-6409.

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