Today we’re going to put out some important information about the inherent dangers of automatic garage door openers and how easily they can be bypassed. We hope that everyone takes this information to heart and spends just a few seconds to protect themselves and their property.
So what is the inherent danger? All automatic garage door openers legally require a safety release mechanism that is controlled by a grab handle. This is put into place so that if your automatic garage door opener is malfunctioning or traps someone beneath the door you can manually release and move it.
How Thieves Enter
This safety release mechanism can be tripped from outside your garage door with nothing more than a coat hanger. By disengaging the safety release on your door, a thief can simply lift the door and gain access to your home.
While hopefully most of you lock the door from your garage to your house, most aren’t built solid or have a deadbolt. Even still, once a thief has access to your garage they have plenty of time to lower your garage door and bypass the lock without being seen. This can be done with picks, or using the tools that most of us have in the garage against us.
As you can see in the video below, it’s very easy to defeat an automatic garage door opener and break into a garage, especially when you have garage door windows that enable the thief to see exactly what they’re doing. Even without windows the task is fairly easy and can be done just on feel and the fact that thieves know the mid-point of your garage is where the release cord is located.
Methods to Protect Yourself
A few simple methods that can be used to protect yourself against this type of break-in take no more than a few minutes and are something hopefully everyone reading this will do tonight if you’ve not done so already.
The method we recommend is using a zip-tie (or two), to lock the disengaging arm on the automatic opener. While this will prevent the bypass technique employed by thieves, the safety pull handle can still be yanked hard to break the zip ties in an emergency.
You’ll also notice the other method is to completely wire the arm closed, but you loose the safety feature of the door and in our opinion it’s much better to have this option available in an emergency situation.
Please share this article with your friends and family to warn them of the danger in leaving their garage door unprotected!
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