Automatic garage doors – we use them at least twice a day, probably at the busiest time of your daily routine when you’re leaving for work or school and when you can’t wait to get home at night. You might think that just opening and closing your garage door would never be a problem. But if not designed, installed, maintained, and used properly, they could present a potential risk, especially for your little ones. Before today’s industry standards existed, potential danger occurred when children, animals and even adults walked beneath the closing doors and became trapped and injured.

Why It Matters

Garage door operators for residential use are equipped with an inherent reversal system, causing the door to reverse if it hits an object during closing. On January 1, 1993, it became mandatory for these garage door operators to also have photo eye sensors or edge sensors or equivalent devices, changing the way our automatic garage doors work and keep us safe. Today, we also are even more connected through apps on our phones which can open and close our garage doors with ease.

The UL 325 Standard

UL product testing helps ensure the required safety features are included in automatic garage door operators before they are installed on your door. The UL 325 Standard 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 reduce to likelihood of entrapment and injury hazards.

How UL Can Help

The UL Standard requires that operators must have at least two entrapment protection mechanisms; an inherent reversal system and most commonly either an electric eye or edge sensor. These features help reduce 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 if all other safety features fail or in the event of a power outage. And, with the added convenience of being able to close your garage door via your phone or mobile device, new visual (flashing light) and audible (buzzer/speaker) indications are required to alert anyone nearby that the door is about to close.

Safety standards are written documents that outline the process in which a product is tested to help mitigate risk, injury or danger. In its role as a standard-developing organization, UL leverages its extensive safety research, scientific expertise and uncompromising focus on quality to develop a wide variety of standards that measure and validate performance, environmental health and sustainability.