Don't Try This at Home

More Savvy Tips

Many people assume that their automatic garage door will immediately go into reverse if it comes into contact with someone or something. Unfortunately, many doors manufactured before 1993 do not have the infrared safety eyes now required in new systems. Any contact with the lights in the improved safety sensors tells the door to reverse. Mark Griffin, owner of Automatic Garage Door, a Diamond Certified company, does not recommend testing your old garage door yourself.

Some homeowners put a box or can under the door and think it's safe because it might hit the items and then go back up without crushing them. What is not readily apparent is that it takes nearly 40 pounds of pressure to trigger reverse, making it especially unsafe for pets, children and seniors who might get hit by a closing door. Even if it eventually reverses, they can still be seriously injured. A new system, complete with safety eyes, costs less than $500, a small investment for your peace of mind.