ELMHURST, Ill., Nov. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Garages continue to serve as a major hub of activity in the modern household, often becoming the primary entry point into the home and a storage center for everything from soccer balls to snow blowers. But, with one out of every 15 garage door openers lacking the latest safety features, there is a hidden threat in millions of households across America. To avoid injuries from the largest and heaviest moving object in the home, LiftMaster – the number one manufacturer of professionally installed garage door openers in the world – is announcing its national "Don't Chance It. Check It.™" Garage Safety Initiative.
Once considered a luxury item, automatic garage door openers are now installed in 35 million households across the country, with more than 70 percent of homeowners relying on their garage door as the main access point to the home. As more and more garage door openers made their way into American homes over the last several decades, laws were enacted to ensure the safety of those using them. However, prior to 1993, protection systems, such as infrared sensors or "photo-eyes" that stop a garage door before making contact with an object or person – were not mandatory.
Instead, garage door openers were equipped with force-sensing safety systems that only reverse the door after it makes contact with an object. These older models can be safe and reliable if installed, tested and maintained properly. But unless they're retrofitted with photo-eyes, the vast majority of these older units still are not up to today's standard in safety.
"Millions of garages lack the latest safety features, like photo-eyes or may not be operating properly," said Bob Markwart, President, LiftMaster, Americas. "We believe it is our industry's responsibility to do our best to ensure everyone is educated on what makes a garage truly safe. LiftMaster's 'Don't Chance It. Check It.' initiative helps families ensure everything is in working order with the largest moving object in the home by providing three easy-to-follow safety tests that use everyday household items and only two minutes of time."
The program, currently rolling out to a national audience, is designed to help homeowners and families understand how to check their door and make sure they have the safest garage door opener system in place. Follow these three easy steps to ensure safe functionality of any automatic garage door openers installed after 1993 or retrofitted with safety eyes:
- Check the sides of the garage door for properly installed photo-eyes (black sensors), mounted no higher than six inches off the floor.
- Block the photo-eye with an object over six inches tall and press the close button on the garage door opener. The door should not close.
- Lay an object that is at least 1.5 inches in height flat on the ground in the door's path and press the close button. Household objects this size might be a bar of soap, stack of index cards, or a hardcover book. The door should reverse off this object. If it makes contact and does not reverse, the door is not operating correctly.
After recording the results, homeowners are encouraged to contact a LiftMaster Certified Safety Check Dealer to seek guidance on how to keep this high traffic area safe and secure. For further assistance or to learn how to upgrade a garage door opener, homeowners can visit LiftMaster.com/GarageSafety or call 855-GRG-SAFE to locate a dealer from LiftMaster's network of more than 4,000 professional installers.
LiftMaster is the number one brand of professionally installed residential garage door openers and commercial door operators, as well as a major manufacturer of residential, industrial and commercial gate operators, telephone entry systems and related access control products. Driven by the access and security needs of the residential, commercial and industrial marketplace, the expansive lines of LiftMaster products are designed to fit any lifestyle or application, providing customers with the latest technology and innovations in safety, security and convenience. For inquiries on LiftMaster products please visit www.LiftMaster.com.
 Industry professional estimate based on sales and dealer insights across the country.
Video with caption: "Did you know that an estimated one out of every 15 garage door openers lack the latest safety features? To avoid injuries from the largest and heaviest moving object in the home, LiftMaster – the number one manufacturer of professionally installed garage door openers -- wants you to follow these three easy steps to ensure your garage is safe during the national launch of the LiftMaster Don't Chance It. Check It.™ Safety Initiative. http://www.liftmaster.com/garagesafety/." Video available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z31AB1iIygo&feature=youtu.be
Image with caption: "Take Preventive Measures to Keep Your Garage and Family Safe. LiftMaster Launches Don't Chance It. Check It.™ Safety Initiative Encouraging Families to Take Three Simple Steps to Check the Overall Safety of their Garage Doors." Image available at: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20131105/MM10491