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Opening Your Garage Door In An Emergency
When the Power is Out!!

When the power goes out, I can't get into my garage because the garage door opener is dead, too.  My garage is free-standing and I don't have another way to get in!  Is there some device I can install to allow me to open my garage door when the power is out?

Emergency garage door opener releaseYou are not alone.  Many homes have limited access to their garage, especially if the garage is detached and/or doesn't have a regular door installed.  Many people use the garage as their primary access to the home, too.  When the electricity goes out or the garage door opener decides to fail, the garage door is as secure as a bank vault!

Use key to remove center of lock and pull to release garage door opener trolley.There is a garage door accessory called an "emergency release kit".

It can be used on virtually any garage door opener.   The lock mechanism is installed into a hole on the garage door.  The cable is unrolled and attached to the emergency release lever on the garage door opener's trolley.

Garage door emergency release cable is usually attached to the garage door opener's trolley release rope.When the key is turned, the body of the lock can be pulled through the door, bringing the cable with it.  A sharp pull of the cable will release the trolley from the opener's drive chain or belt, allowing you to lift the door manually.

As you can see in the graphic to the left, the end of the emergency release cable can be attached to the emergency release rope for easier installation.  In fact, the most difficult part of the installation is drilling a hole through the door!

If the emergency release cable hangs too low...

If the cable hangs annoyingly low when not in use, make a loop in it and then twist-tie it loosely to the garage door opener's arm (the heavy, usually two-piece bent steel bar that connects the opener mechanism to the garage door).  Don't use anything more sturdy than twist-ties so the emergency cable will release easily when it is pulled from outside.

Last but not least... TEST YOUR INSTALLATION to be sure it works!

This is especially important if you have tied the cable up with a twist tie as described in the last step!  Enjoy!!

BTW, The two uppermost graphics are courtesy our buddies at Genie, a leading manufacturer of garage door openers.  The lower graphic courtesy NH trying his best not to fall off the stepstool! Eeek!

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Jerry Alonzy, the founder of Naturalhandyman.com

Written by Jerry Alonzy

Jerry Alonzy, a.k.a. the Natural Handyman, has been an active handyman for over 30 years with experience in most areas of home repair and renovation.

As a do-it-yourself author and web developer since 1995, he has been featured in USA Today, the Today Show and on radio shows, magazines, newspapers and websites. His material appears widely on the web, but primarily on his website... The Natural Handyman. You can also find him on Google+.