If you want to invest in a new automatic garage door, then you have countless options available to you. While many people are concerned with the general look and function of the door, your main concern may be safety if you have children and pets. If safety is your concern, then you will want to choose the features of the door you buy and have installed. Keep reading to learn about a few things you should look for.


Safety Eye

Almost all garage doors come fitted with automatic eye safety devices. One eye on the right side of the door will transmit an infrared beam to another eye on the left side of the door. If the beam is broken, then the door will stop moving downward and will reverse. Make sure the door you purchase has these eyes, and also see if the eyes come affixed to their own brackets so they are left undisturbed by the movement of the garage door. If possible, see if the lights come with LEDs on the side as well that will alert you to whether or not the infrared beam is being transmitted and received. Usually, a green light will indicate that the beam is working correctly and a red light will indicate an issue.


Another standard feature of most garage doors is a pressure sensor. This sensor will note whether or not it feels an object underneath the door as it closes. If the door feels resistance, it will open immediately. The pressure sensor is similar to the safety eye, but it will open the door when an object is smaller or lying underneath the infrared beam. This is a good feature if you have a small dog or cat or if your child falls underneath the door.

When the garage door is initially installed, ask the specialist to test the sensor for you to make sure that it is relatively sensitive. Adjustments can be made easily that can reverse the door when slight pressure is detected. However, the sensor should not be so sensitive that the door jerks open when it hits the concrete floor. A good way to assist with the setting is to place a tennis ball or a stuffed animal under the door to ensure that it opens when hitting these soft objects. Also, a door bottom that is considered "pinch proof" will help to make sure that your child's fingers do not get injured if they are placed underneath the lip of the closing door.


One sensor that is not necessarily standard, but important in terms of safety is a CO2 sensor. These sensors are placed on the door or the motor unit of the opener to detect the amount of carbon dioxide gas that builds up near the sensor. This gas, along with carbon monoxide, is a dangerous one that will build quickly in a small space when you turn your car on.

Leaving your car on for too long can cause hazardous levels to build in your garage, and the safety sensor will open the door to release the CO2 and CO when the gases are detected at high levels. Make sure that your garage door has this sensor. This can keep both you and your children safe from car exhaust incidents that can be potentially fatal.

Self-Diagnosing Systems

While the various sensors attached to your garage door system can go a long way in keeping you and your family safe from accidents and incidents, they will not protect you fully. Garage door malfunctions can be just as hazardous. Both compression and torsion springs can snap with great pressure, and the door itself can come off the tracks if it is extremely unbalanced. Tracks can break too, and the bearings can wear down. While squeaks and sticking doors may indicate a problem, you may not be warned of a serious issue before a break occurs.

A self-diagnosing computer system attached to the main electrical system of the device can alert you though. This system will check for irregularities and cause an LED light to blink when there is an issue. The number of blinks will indicate the problem, and you will be able to look in your manual to find out what the issue is. Contact an installation expert or local garage repair specialist through resources like http://www.shankdoor.com for assistance when this happens.