Your pet doesn't understand the dangers of garage doors, which is why you must take special precautions to ensure that your garage door can't harm your pet. Most garage doors have safety mechanisms in place to ensure the safety of pets and people; however, it's your responsibility to ensure that those safety mechanisms are functioning properly.
Testing the safety mechanisms on a monthly or quarterly basis will help you catch malfunctions before they can do harm. These tips will help you test your garage door periodically, so you can seek garage door repair if one of the safety mechanisms breaks.
Photo Eye Test
If your pet darts into the path of your closing garage door, the photo eye on either side of the door should signal the door to reverse its course. The photo eye should be located near the bottom of the door on either side of the opening.
To test this feature, stand next to the open door and push the button to begin closing the door. While the door is closing, wave a broomstick or other long object in the doorway, on a level with the photo eye. The door should stop closing and reverse course to open. If this doesn't happen, wipe down each photo eye with a clean, dry rag and try the test again. If the test still doesn't work, the photo eye could be broken. Have a garage door repair person take a look at your door.
If your pet sits down or lays down in the path of the open garage door, the reversing mechanism should prevent you from closing the door on your pet. When the door encounters your pet, it should stop moving and reverse course.
To test this, lay a brick or a 2x4 in the path of your garage door, then attempt to close the door. The door should reverse course when it reaches the object you laid in the path of the door. If it does not reverse course, your door's sensors could be broken and should be fixed immediately.
If your garage door opener was installed before January 1, 1993, it may not have safety features like automatic reverse and photo eye. If this is the case, it may be time to get a new garage door opener. Garage doors are very heavy and can easily crush an animal. These safety features are for the good of your pet and your family. Contact a company like Girard's Garage Door Services to make sure garage door is in good shape, whether that means repairs or a complete replacement.