Making Your Garage Doors Safe For Pets

If you have small animals -- especially animals that tend to dart in and out of the garage -- you may be concerned that your garage doors aren't safe enough. There are many custom options designed to make garage doors safer for children, but you may need to do a little maintenance and modification if you want to make them safer for animals. 

Under the Door: Make Sure Your Sensors Work

There are sensors that are placed next to your door to make sure that it doesn't close on something. If a dog or cat darts out, you don't want them to get stuck under the closing door. Test the sensors by using a rolled up towel or a roll of paper towels; place it beneath the door and then close it. If the door's sensors are working, it should either entirely refuse to close or it should only descend as far as the roll of paper towels and lift up again. If it does not stop, then you may need to clean or service the sensors. 

Between the Door Panels: Add Protectors

Child protectors work between door panels to ensure that nothing can get trapped between the panels as the door opens and closes. This can be very dangerous, as the door often won't sense that something is trapped -- instead, the door will simply rise, potentially capturing limbs. Though these protectors are sold for those with children, they're also very helpful for those with pets. Cats in particular may try to climb doors and become trapped.

In the Door: Install a Pet Door

There are pet doors that are designed to open and close for pets, and they can be programmed to work with a microchip in your pet's collar so that they only work for your pet. If you have pets that go inside and out, you may want to install one of these doors in your garage door. Otherwise it's possible that your animal could get trapped behind your garage door, which can be dangerous when it's particularly hot.

Garage door manufacturers have many safety mechanisms that are designed to ensure that no one, pet or human, is injured by their doors. You can inquire with a garage door manufacturer, such as Aladdin Doors of Raleigh, regarding any safety modifications you might want -- and your installer can also give you a better idea regarding what is available and what the cost will be.