Local News Station Aired Unsafe Garage Door Advice

A local news station in San Antonio, Tx aired a story on its May 7th 10pm news program pertaining to the garage door being an easy entryway into a house. The reporter’s suggested solution was to use a zip-tie and cut off the emergency release rope and handle. Similar news stories have appeared in other cities in the United States.

An International Door Association member in San Antonio crafted a written reply and posted it on his company’s Facebook account. In addition, he sent an email to the reporter explaining his position in detail. In the San Antonio Dealer’s response, he stated,

“…the solution presented is a very dangerous one because the emergency release on the garage door opener is designed to help save lives in case a child or pet is accidentally pinned underneath the garage door or also in case of emergency exit out of the garage”

The use of a zip-tie or removal of the emergency release rope as a solution is contrary to federal safety standards, and could result in serious injury to a child or adult.

The IDA recently produced a checklist that addresses garage door safety and security, “Safe & Secure Tips for Garage Door Owners”.

Safe & Secure Tips for Garage Door Owners

If you are the owner of a garage door, it is very important that you consider the following tips regarding maintaining a safe and secure door and operator:

  1. It is important to properly perform routine maintenance on your garage door system. To learn more about what to do and what not to do, check out the IDA website: www.garagedoorcare.com
  2. Garage doors with operators feature an emergency release device that can be readily identified – just look for the red cord with a red handle. This device is required by law for the purpose of quick disengagement of the operator. It should never be modified, including the addition of a zip-tie for the purpose of security.
  3. Removing the red handle is not recommended and strongly discouraged. The handle is required by UL 325 and federal law. It is there for emergencies such as a child being entrapped under the door.
  4. If you wish, frosting your garage door windows (if applicable) will obscure visibility into your garage.
  5. By adding a motion-sensing exterior light outside your garage, unwanted guests are less likely to attempt entry into your garage at night.
  6. Leaving the remote control to your garage door operator in your automobile can be an invitation to a thief or undesirable person to enter your house; just like leaving the key to your house in plain view.
  7. At least annually, contact a professional door dealer to inspect your garage door system. A periodic inspection and maintenance visit by a pro can save you headaches and dollars in the future.
  8. Check the surroundings of the roller tracks. Move items that may come in contact with a moving door such as a shovel, broom or lawn edger.
  9. Have your garage door monitored by a security system just as you would any other door or window in your home, and/or install a garage door monitoring system to help you remember to close your garage door.
  10. A very basic and simple tip: remembering to keep your garage door closed can help you protect your home and property. If you must have your garage door open, lock the pass door between the home and the garage.

It is not only wrong to encourage people to use a zip-tie or remove the emergency rope and handle, it is also contrary to the federally-mandated UL 325 safety standard.

If your garage door opener does not have a red emergency release pull cord, you need to install one today. This cord is what separates your garage door from the automatic opener in case of an emergency. If there was a fire in your home and you were running around in panic mode, the last thing you need to think about is how to open the garage door if the power is out. This is your last line of defense for a safe exit from the home if a fire pushes you toward the garage.

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