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Garage Doors, Are they Evil?

What you need to know might save your life

· garage doors,home selling,home buying

Garage Doors Can Kill, Maim and Imprison

When the power goes out, garage door openers don't work. Although there is a way to open a garage door manually when the power is out, those who are not physically capable to use the manual option won't be able to escape in case of an emergency. During the California wildfires in recent years, people died tragically because they couldn't get their cars out of their garages -- one, the power was out and two, they weren't able to manually open their garage doors and escape to safety.

California's new law went in to effect July 1, 2019 and requires all new garage door openers sold in California to include a battery backup when the power goes out. It sounds like home owners won't be required to update existing garage door openers when selling a home, but if they do replace openers they are required to replace them with ones that have a battery backup. Do-it-yourself home sellers might want to ignore the temptation to buy that outdated model on craigslist because it is such a great deal. That great deal could turn in to hundreds of dollars in fines.

".. no person, corporation, or entity shall manufacture for sale in this state, sell, offer for sale at retail or wholesale, or install in this state a residential automatic garage door opener that does not have a battery backup function that is designed to operate when activated because of an electrical outage." SB 969

Home buyers when buying a resale home that has an obsolete garage door opener might want to request the seller for safety reasons to install a new garage door opener with battery backup. If the seller refuses it's up to the home buyer decide if it's a deal breaker. Although garage door openers are not that expensive, there is an additional cost for installation that should be performed by a professional, which would drive up the cost for a new opener.

If a home seller wants to make their home as appealing as possible with prospective home buyers, they could replace their old garage door opener with a new one. Home sellers should keep in mind one of the most valuable renovations is a new garage door.


New home builders will have to comply with the new law so this safety feature shouldn't be an issue for home buyers.

Garage Door Safety

Garage door openers, their proper installation and maintenance are a must to prevent injuries and death. My garage door almost killed me when the torsion spring broke. A sobering close call, I learned garage door maintenance by a professional is too important to defer until it breaks. Unless you know what you are doing, hire a professional -- it's less expensive than a trip to ER and less tragic than a loss of life.

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