6 Safety Features To Look For in a Garage Door and Tips

Garage Door Safety Tips

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“Security is not the absence of danger, but the presence of measures to deal with it.” – Unknown.

When protecting our homes, we often focus on securing the doors and windows, but what about the garage door? The garage door deserves special attention as one of the largest and most frequently used entry points. It provides shelter for our vehicles and grants access to our homes. Therefore, it’s crucial to prioritize safety when choosing a garage door.

Modern garage doors are equipped with advanced safety features designed to prevent accidents and enhance the overall security of your home. This blog post will explore the essential safety features you should look for when selecting a garage door.

What are the Safety Features to Look For in a Garage Door?

Like a superhero with a secret identity, your garage door may be more than meets the eye. Underneath its plain exterior are high-tech safety features designed to protect you, your family, and your belongings.

1. Auto-Reverse Mechanism

The auto-reverse feature is like a superhero in the world of garage doors. This feature uses sensors about six inches off the ground on either side of the door. If an object, or worse, a person or pet, comes in the door’s path while it’s closing, the door will stop and reverse, thus preventing accidents. Look for garage doors with this feature for safety and peace of mind.

2. Manual Controls

Even the best of modern technology can occasionally let us down. In the event of a power outage or if your door’s automatic mechanism malfunctions, a manual control allows you to open and close the door manually. This crucial safety feature prevents you from being trapped in your garage during an emergency.

3. Safety Sensors

Safety sensors, also known as photo eyes, work in tandem with the auto-reverse mechanism. They project an invisible beam across the garage door opening; the door will not close if it is broken. This feature is essential for homes with small children or pets who may dart under the door without notice.

4. Tamper-Resistant Brackets

400;”>Garage doors often have brackets that connect the door to its tracks. These brackets are tempting targets for burglars as they can be tampered with to lift the door manually. Tamper-resistant brackets are designed to resist such attempts, offering an extra layer of security.

5. Battery Backup System

In a power outage, a battery backup system can save the day. This feature allows your garage door to open and close several times, even with no power. This can prove invaluable during emergencies when you need to evacuate your home quickly.

6. Tamper-Resistant Brackets: 

These brackets, typically located at the bottom of the door, are designed to prevent the unauthorized disengaging of the door from its tracks. This is particularly handy for foiling would-be thieves who might think of using this method to gain entry.

Do All Garage Doors Have Safety Sensors?

Safety sensors are the norm in garage doors these days. In fact, since 1993, it’s been a federal requirement in the United States for all newly installed garage doors to include these handy little devices. They’re usually positioned near the ground on both sides of the door. They emit an infrared beam, and if anything interrupts this beam while the door is closing, the door instantly stops and reverses. 

This helps avoid accidents and injuries, making our garages a safer place. So, whether it’s a tricycle left behind or a pet dashing across, these sensors have covered it. So, yes, if your garage door is a post-1993 model, it should have safety sensors. If not, it might be time for an upgrade.

How Can I Make My Garage Door More Secure?

  • Invest in a High-Quality Garage Door: Choosing a sturdy and well-built garage door is the first step towards improving security. Opt for a door constructed from robust materials like steel or solid wood. These materials offer enhanced durability and resistance against forced entry attempts. Additionally, consider selecting a door with minimal or no windows, as windows can be easily shattered to gain access to the garage.
  • Reinforce Weak Points: Inspect your garage door for any weaknesses or vulnerabilities. Reinforce areas such as hinges, locks, and frames with heavy-duty hardware. Replace any damaged or worn-out components promptly. Moreover, reinforce the entry door between the garage and home with a solid core door, heavy-duty deadbolt locks, and a peephole.
  • Upgrade to a Secure Garage Door Opener: Older garage door openers can be susceptible to hacking or code grabbing, allowing unauthorized access. Upgrade to a modern opener that utilizes rolling code technology. Rolling code systems generate a new code each time the door is operated, making it nearly impossible for intruders to intercept and duplicate the code.
  • Install Security Cameras: Installing security cameras in and around your garage provides a visual deterrent to potential intruders. Opt for high-resolution cameras with night vision capabilities to ensure visibility even in low-light conditions. Connect the cameras to a reliable digital video recorder (DVR) or a cloud-based storage system for easy access and review of recorded footage.
  • Motion-Activated Lighting: Illuminate the area around your garage with motion-activated lighting. Bright lights will deter intruders and increase visibility during nighttime. Choose energy-efficient LED lights and position them strategically to cover all angles around the garage door and its surroundings.
  • Use a Timer for Garage Door Lighting: When you are away from home for an extended period, create the illusion of occupancy by using a timer for your garage door lights. Set them to turn on and off at different times to give the impression that someone is present, deterring potential burglars.
  • Secure Garage Door Emergency Release: The emergency release mechanism on a garage door can be exploited by intruders to gain easy access. Prevent this by securing the release mechanism with a zip tie or a garage door lock. This will allow the door to function normally from the inside but prevent it from being opened outside.
  • Maintain Regular Maintenance: Regularly maintain your garage door to ensure it operates smoothly and remains secure. Inspect the door’s springs, cables, and tracks for signs of wear or damage. Lubricate moving parts to reduce friction and prevent premature wear. Keeping your garage door in good condition improves security and extends its lifespan.

How Secure Are Automatic Garage Doors?

Automatic garage doors can offer high security when properly installed and maintained. However, their security depends on several factors.

Firstly, the quality of the garage door itself is crucial. Opting for a sturdy door constructed from durable materials such as steel or solid wood is important to deter potential intruders. Additionally, ensure the door has a reliable locking mechanism that securely engages when closed.

The type of automatic opener system used also plays a significant role in security. Modern garage door openers often employ rolling code technology, which generates a new code each time the door is operated. This feature makes it extremely difficult for hackers to intercept and duplicate the code, enhancing the door’s security.

Regular maintenance is essential to keep automatic garage doors secure. Inspecting and maintaining the various components, such as the springs, cables, tracks, and opener mechanism, ensures everything is in proper working order. This reduces the risk of mechanical failure or vulnerabilities that intruders could exploit.

What Are the Benefits of Having Pinch-Resistant Garage Door Panels?

Traditional garage doors can pose a safety risk, especially to children and pets, due to the potential for fingers or other objects to get caught in the door’s panels. Many manufacturers have introduced pinch-resistant garage door panels to address this concern, offering homeowners enhanced safety and peace of mind. 

  • Enhanced Safety: Pinch-resistant panels are designed with safety in mind, utilizing innovative construction techniques and materials to minimize the risk of accidents. These panels feature specially engineered joints and designs that significantly reduce the chances of fingers, hands, or objects becoming trapped or pinched during the door’s operation. Pinch-resistant panels provide a safer environment for children and adults around the garage door by eliminating this hazard.
  • Injury Prevention: Traditional garage doors with exposed hinges and gaps between panels can result in serious injuries if fingers or hands get caught in the door’s mechanisms. Pinch-resistant panels help prevent such injuries by incorporating features that prevent direct contact between moving parts, minimizing the risk of entrapment or crushing injuries. This is especially important for households with young children or curious pets who may unknowingly place themselves in harm’s way.
  • Peace of Mind: Knowing that your garage door is equipped with pinch-resistant panels brings peace of mind to homeowners. Parents can rest assured that their children can safely play near the garage without worrying about accidental injuries. The risk of potential accidents is significantly reduced, allowing families to enjoy their homes without concern.
  • Durability and Longevity: Pinch-resistant panels are typically constructed using durable materials such as reinforced steel or aluminum, ensuring longevity and resistance to wear and tear. These panels can withstand the rigors of everyday use, maintaining their structural integrity and safety features over time. By investing in pinch-resistant panels, homeowners can enjoy a garage door that offers enhanced safety and remains aesthetically pleasing and functional for years.
  • Increased Home Value: Upgrading pinch-resistant garage door panels can add value to your home. Potential buyers appreciate the added safety features, and a garage door with pinch-resistant panels is a desirable asset during resale. It showcases your commitment to maintaining a secure and modern home, potentially attracting more buyers and commanding a higher selling price.

Are All Garage Doors Equipped With Safety Features?

While not all garage doors may have advanced features, any garage door installed after 1993 should at least have safety sensors as per federal law.

Can I Add More Security Features to My Existing Garage Door?

You can add more security features to your garage door to enhance its security level. While it may not be possible to transform an older door into a state-of-the-art security system completely, there are several measures you can take to improve its security. 

Here are some options to consider:

  • Install Additional Locks: Adding extra locks can reinforce your garage door’s security. Options include deadbolt locks, padlocks, or slide bolts that can be installed inside the door to provide an additional layer of protection.
  • Upgrade the Opener: If your garage door opener is outdated, consider upgrading to a newer model with advanced security features. Look for openers with rolling code technology, which generates a new code each time the door is operated, making it difficult for potential intruders to intercept and duplicate the code.
  • Add Security Cameras: Installing security cameras in and around your garage can act as a deterrent and provide surveillance footage in case of any suspicious activity. Choose cameras with high resolution and night vision capabilities for optimal performance.
  • Motion Sensor Lights: Install motion sensor lights around the garage area. The sudden illumination will deter intruders and increase visibility, making it less attractive for them to attempt a break-in.
  • Reinforce Weak Points: Inspect your garage door for any weak points, such as hinges, frames, or windows. Strengthen these areas with reinforced hardware or add security films to windows to make them more breakage-resistant.
  • Secure the Emergency Release: Secure the emergency release mechanism on the garage door with a zip tie or a garage door lock. This prevents intruders from accessing the release from the outside while still allowing it to function normally from the inside.

What Is a Pinch-Resistant Panel?

Pinch-resistant panels are designed to prevent fingers from getting trapped in the door while it’s closing. They’re a great safety feature, particularly in households with children.


While your garage door may seem like a simple piece of machinery, it’s clear that it houses an arsenal of safety and security features that help protect you and your belongings.

So next time you hit that remote and watch your garage door smoothly slide open, remember – you’re not just looking at a door but a veritable fortress of safety.

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Written by Timothy Amin

Timothy is a seasoned expert when it comes to garage doors. With over 15 years of experience in the industry, John has installed, repaired, and maintained countless garage doors of various types and styles.