Standards Matter

Automatic Garage Door Standards: Helping to Keep Families Safe

June 17, 2021

Why it matters

Automatic garage doors are used at least twice a day in many households, often at the busiest times. With modern industry standards, garage doors are designed to operate safely. But before today’s industry standards, garage doors presented a serious danger when children, animals and even adults walked beneath the closing doors and became trapped and injured.

What we're doing

Garage door operators for residential use are equipped with an inherent reversal system, causing the door to reverse if it hits an object while closing. In 1993, it became mandatory for these garage door operators to also have photo eye sensors, edge sensors or equivalent devices, changing the way automatic garage doors operate. Today, mobile phone apps can even open and close garage doors with ease.

Our standards help ensure the required safety features are included in automatic garage door operators before they are installed. UL 325, the Standard for Door, Drapery, Gate, Louver, and Window Operators and Systems, is industry-supported, referenced by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission federal law for automatic residential garage door openers, and has guided meaningful garage door operator product safety advances over the years, helping to mitigate entrapment and injury hazards.

The Standard requires that operators must have at least two entrapment protection mechanisms—an inherent reversal system and either an electric eye or edge sensor. These features help mitigate the risk of injury to children, pets and adults. Additionally, for the most common types of garage door operators, the UL 325 Standard mandates that they are installed with a manual safety release handle to disconnect the operator from the door in the event of a power outage or if all other safety features fail. With mobile apps that can now close garage doors from anywhere via phone or similar device, the Standard has also been updated to require visual (flashing light) and audible (buzzer/speaker) indications to alert anyone nearby that the door is about to close.

How you can help

Our Standards are developed through a consensus-based process, which integrates scientific and testing expertise with input from our Standards Technical Panel (STP) members and stakeholders. STP members represent a variety of interests, including industry, academia, government, retail and manufacturing. If you are involved in the design, construction, sale, installation or repair of garage doors, and you would like to help improve safety in your industry, please submit a proposal or apply to join an STP.