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How to Secure Your Garage Door In an Emergency

A man securing a single car garage door by holding it up. He is manually operating the door during an emergency scenario, reflecting the importance of knowing how to engage and secure the garage door without the use of a remote opener. The focus on manual operation emphasizes preparedness for power outages and emergency situations.

When You Can’t Use Your Garage Door Opener Remote, What Do You Do?

Most people are accustomed to opening and closing their garage doors with the press of a button on a garage door opener remote or smartphone app. It’s basically effortless.

But in the event of a power outage or emergency situation, you may need to manually operate your garage door. Keep reading to learn how to secure your garage door in an emergency; discover tips on locking, unlocking, and opening your garage door; and find out how you can avoid the inconvenience of power outages altogether.

The Importance of Securing Your Garage Door In an Emergency

An unsecured garage door can act as an entry point for potential intruders or become a liability in the face of environmental hazards. For instance, in the event of extreme weather conditions, an unsecured garage door might easily succumb to the forces of strong winds or flying debris, leading to property damage or even personal injury. A secure door also acts as a barrier to protect your vehicles, tools and other valuables.

Understanding how to secure your garage door manually becomes invaluable when you cannot rely on the convenience of a garage door opener remote or keypad due to a power outage. It empowers homeowners to take proactive steps in ensuring their property remains safe, regardless of the circumstances.

Locking Your Garage Door Without Power

In situations where a power outage renders your garage door opener remote inoperative, you’ll need to manually lock your door. Fortunately, most garage doors are equipped with a built-in manual lock mechanism, typically located at the center or side of the door, both in and out.

To engage the manual lock, you may need to slide a bolt or turn a key, depending on the type of locking mechanism your garage door has.

Check on the type of mechanism your door has before an emergency arises so that you’re more prepared. You can even practice manually locking it. Inspect your lock as part of your routine garage door maintenance, cleaning and lubricating it for smooth operation as needed.

If your door lacks a manual lock, or if it’s malfunctioning, contact a garage door repairman for help.

Manually Unlocking Your Garage Door

When the time comes to revert your garage door back to its automated function after a power restoration, the process of manually unlocking it is straightforward.

Begin by locating the manual lock mechanism that you engaged during the power outage. This could be a slide bolt, a flip latch, or a keyed lock, depending on your garage door’s design. Carefully disengage this mechanism, which might involve sliding a bolt back into its open position, flipping the latch, or turning the key in the lock.

Once the manual lock is disengaged, re-engage the garage door with the opener mechanism. This typically involves pulling the emergency release cord towards the garage door opener unit or down and back, depending on your system’s configuration. This action reattaches the door to the opener’s trolley, enabling automated operation once again. Ensure this connection is secure to prevent any malfunction when using your garage door opener remote.

Opening Your Garage Door In a Power Outage

During a power outage, accessing your garage can still be accomplished by manually opening your garage door. This process involves using the emergency release cord, typically characterized by its red handle, which you’ll find hanging from the garage door’s track mechanism. By pulling on this cord firmly, you effectively detach the door from the powered opener system. This action allows for manual operation of the garage door. Check that your garage door is unlocked before attempting to lift the door.

Once the emergency release cord is engaged, position yourself at the center of the garage door. With a steady grip on both sides, lift the door steadily upwards. Keep in mind that garage doors can be quite heavy, and depending on the door’s size and material, you might need assistance to lift it safely. Always ensure that you maintain a good posture to avoid strain or injury.

After successfully opening the garage door, leave it in a manual mode until your power comes back on.

Garage Door Maintenance Helps You Prepare for Emergencies

Ensure that your garage door’s emergency features are in top-notch condition. Regular maintenance is the key to keeping these functions reliable when you need them the most.

Start by applying a silicone-based lubricant designed especially for garage doors to all moving parts, including rollers and hinges, to reduce friction and prevent wear. Inspect your entire system for loose hardware and tighten them. Check the door balance; if you manually open it halfway and it stays in place, it is balanced. If it doesn’t stay in place, you’ll need to rebalance it or adjust your tension springs.

The emergency release cord, a critical component for manual operation during power outages, should be checked to ensure it is easily accessible and functions properly.

If you come across any issues during these maintenance checks that you’re not comfortable addressing yourself, call a professional garage door repairman in Kansas City. They can provide the expertise needed to fix complex issues, ensuring your garage door’s emergency functions are always ready for action. By dedicating time to these maintenance activities, you’ll reinforce your home’s readiness for emergencies, safeguarding your property and loved ones.


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