DID YOU KNOW? All of our technicians are employees of Overhead Door. We never use subcontractors!

DID YOU KNOW? All of our technicians are employees of Overhead Door. We never use subcontractors!

Mid-Atlantic Door Group Inc. Distributors of Overhead Door Corp.

Getting to Know Your Garage Door Safety Features

Garages are one of the most versatile spaces in our homes. We use them for everything from parking to storage. In fact, we use them so often that we usually don’t think about the potential danger that garage doors pose. Thankfully, they come equipped with various safety features that help protect us from injury. Here are the key safety features that you should know about.

Bethesda, MD Garage Door Installation by Overhead Door

Motion Detection

Garage door openers can be equipped with two different types of motion detection. The first is for convenience. While not all garage door openers include this feature, some do offer motion activated lighting. This can be helpful when walking into your garage. Every time, the opener will detect movement and provide the necessary lighting. This can also help enhance home security by deterring uninvited guests from coming onto your property.

While motion detected lighting is a convenience, the safety beams are mandatory since 1993. This type of motion detection is often referred to as electric eyes or safety eyes. These sensors act as the eyes of the garage door, allowing for the operation of even more important safety features, including auto-reverse. While many garage door openers have different designs, these safety sensors are to be mounted no higher than six inches off the ground on each side of the door. You can read more about how garage door safety beams work here.


Residential garage doors come in a wide range of weights depending on the materials and style. The auto-reverse safety feature is essential to preventing injuries and even saving lives. Remember the motion detection feature? Auto-reverse uses that component to detect objects or people in the path of the door as it closes. Once it detects something in its path, auto-reverse causes the door to stop closing and immediately reverse its trajectory back to the open position.

In addition to auto-reverse, your garage door is also equipped with force settings. They also use sensors that allow the door to essentially feel anything that moves against it. If there is something in the way, the force settings stop the door from closing. You can test these features to make sure that they are operating properly by placing a 2×4 board or other object in the path of the garage door.

Manual Control

Garage doors are usually operated by the convenience of an electric opener. There are scenarios, including power outrages, that can render your opener inoperable. In that case, you’ll need to open your garage door manually by hand. To do so, you’ll have to override the electric system to disconnect the door from the motor.

An emergency cord is located above your head on the door trolley. When the opener is not operable, the emergency cord allows you to manually move the garage door. You simply pull the cord to disengage the door from the motor. For the safest operation, make sure that the door is closed before pulling the cord. Once power is restored, you’ll then need to reconnect the trolley to the opener carriage to resume electric operation. Click here to check out more detailed instructions on how to open your garage door manually.


It is always important to assure the proper balance of your garage door. Did you know the spring actually lifts the door – not the electric opener? The spring helps the door open and close in a smooth and safe way. It also helps minimize the stress of the operation from being too much of a burden on any particular component, like the opener, cables, or springs. When you get annual maintenance for your garage door, professionals will conduct a balance test to make sure that the door is in an ideal position.

About The Author | Justin White

Justin White is the VP of Marketing for Mid-Atlantic Door Group, Inc. The company opened in 1973 and now consists of (3) official Overhead Door™ Distributors and (8) warehouse locations throughout Maryland, DC, Virginia and Pennsylvania. Justin was born into the door industry, ultimately following in his father's footsteps and joining the family owned business in 2011. After spending time in the field with fellow mechanics, Justin found his niche in marketing, along with a specialty in residential garage door sales, installation, and service.

Garage Door Services

Since 1973, Mid-Atlantic Door Group, Inc. has been providing Washington DC, Suburban MD, Frederick MD, Southern MD, Northern VA, Fredericksburg VA, Richmond VA, Harrisburg PA, Hanover-York PA, and the surrounding areas with the most reliable and trusted garage door services. These services include new door sales, professional installation, and 24/7 garage door repair services on all makes and models.

We are the region's only Authorized Overhead Door™ Distributors. All of our products enjoy the garage door industry's best warranty.

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