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How to Safely Open Your Garage Door if the Power Goes Out

in Garage Maintenance by Tony M

In Elk Grove and throughout California, any garage doors installed this summer are required to have battery backup. The law that took effect in June was inspired by a Congressman whose community was affected by a power failure during an evacuation in a devastating wildfire last summer. Families couldn’t work their garage doors because of the power failure. Some people died as a result.

Even if you have an older door that isn’t required to have battery backup, it’s still a good idea. Outside of an extreme emergency like a wildfire evacuation, it’s a question of convenience. If the power goes out, you still need access to your garage door. Suppose you’re returning home in the middle of a thunderstorm, or your ready to leave for work or vacation? Your garage door is central to your convenience.

But what if the power goes out and you don’t have battery backup? Here’s what to do.

How to Trip the Garage Door Trigger

Keep in mind — if your garage door is open and you release the bypass switch, it will come crashing down. And if anything — or anyone — is under the door when it’s released, it will get crushed or the person seriously injured. Photo eyes are worthless without power and don’t affect the force of gravity.

If the door is open when the power is out, prop it open with 2x4s or some other strong brace. Release the garage door trigger and let the door rest on the brace. Disconnect the opener and raise and lower the door just as you would without an automatic garage door opener.

If the garage door is already closed, simply release it from the garage door opener and operate the door manually.

Consider a Backup Battery

If you don’t already have a backup battery, we’d strongly recommend adding one. We provide professional garage door services to the Elk Grove area and would be happy to assist you.

Why Battery Backup Should Be On Every Overhead Garage Door

Does the overhead door on your garage have a battery backup power supply? Don’t wait for the power to go out to find out! In response to the intense wildfires in California, all garage door openers now installed are required to have battery backup. The law is designed to help in the event of evacuations during major weather events like wildfires. Regardless, a battery backup is still a good idea just for convenience sake. Power does go out, whether from a major storm, a bad transformer or a drunk driver taking out a power pole. With battery backup, you can always use your door — get to work on time, open the door at the end of a long hard day. Though it’s technically only required on newly installed openers, battery backup is still good to have. Contact your local garage door professional to look into an upgrade.