30 December 2012
Power garage doors - when the power's out

When superstorm Sandy landed on the Northeast a few weeks ago, many people learned that they weren't as well prepared as they had thought. Some had stockpiled food, fuel, candles and batteries; some had even bought crank radios or gasoline-powered generators to help them if power was interrupted.

But there was one problem that few people had even considered. What do you do about your garage door if your electrical service is knocked out? Not everyone knows how to open an automatic door in that situation - or how to lock the door afterward. And let's face it, during emergencies you need that door to be functional and secure.

During Sandy, we had many calls about disconnecting or reconnecting operators because the power was out. Remember, when you disconnect the operator from the door so you can use it in that situation, the door can only be secured with a manual lock. Often homeowners don't have a secondary lock for the door, or don't know how to use it if they do have one. The secondary lock may be disabled so that it can't be accidentally engaged and damage the opener.

The best advice is to review your owner's manual to learn what to do when the power's down. Keep that manual handy near the garage door so you can find it easily in an emergency.

If you don't have the manual or can't find it, call us today at 610-398-2430 - we may be able to get one for you or help you search online for a copy. We can also let you know about the right procedures to follow for your specific garage door make and model. We can even tell you about a Liftmaster operator that includes battery backup. That's an emergency feature, though; if the power's out for a long time, the backup will eventually run down and you'll still need to know the correct manual procedures. We're glad to share the information you need.