The California Senate voted, and Governor Brown signed into law, a bill to require newly purchased and newly installed garage door openers to have a battery back up.
This means that in the event of a power failure, the garage door opener will operate on the battery backup instead. This will ensure that the door can be opened automatically without the need for manual opening, which can be difficult, especially for those without the physical ability.
The law was born out of the recent fires in California. Deaths were reported where people were unable to evacuate their homes because their cars were stuck inside their garages. They were unable to open their garage doors manually, as the power had gone out and their openers no longer functioned.
This law goes into effect in July 2019. It does NOT require all homeowners to install new garage door openers with a battery backup, but does require that any newly sold or installed openers have a battery backup.
You can read the full story here.
How to open a garage door manually
Just in case your opener does NOT have a battery back up and you aren’t in a position to replace it just yet, below are the steps to opening your garage door manually.
- Ensure the power source is off. Even if your power is down, you should still unplug the opener from it’s power source.
- Make sure your garage door is shut all the way.
- Next, pull the emergency (red) cord. This disconnects the opener from the garage door itself.
- Then, lift the garage door up with your arms, until the door is opened up all the way. This should be easy (light) if your springs are good, and your garage door is balanced. If not, call a garage door tech to remedy this! It shouldn’t be difficult to lift your door!
- When you are ready, close your door the same way you opened it. Be careful and do this gently.
- If you are keeping your door disconnected from power, you want to lock the garage door. Do this by sliding the lock bar until it’s locked securely.
- If you want to reengage the opener, do NOT manually lock it. Simply reconnect the power source to the opener, and use your automatic garage door remotes as usual.