Whether it’s from a crazy winter ice storm or the turbulent winds of tornado season, you’re bound to lose power to your home at some point. Don’t let an outage leave you and your family stranded. Here’s how to use your garage door in an emergency.

Start with the Door Closed

If at all possible, start this process with the garage door closed. It is not ideal or even safe to attempt to disengage the door from the motor if it is in an open position. An open door may fall closed once you’ve released it from the motor. For this reason, do not attempt to disengage an open door from the motor unless it is absolutely necessary. If you do need to close the door without power in an emergency situation, be sure that everything is away from the door’s path, and try to securely prop the door with something strong, like a 2×4.

Pull the Emergency Release Cord

Once you’re ready, find the release cord on the motor. Typically, the release cord is red and hangs from the bottom of your garage door operator. Once you’ve located the release cord, pull the cord to disengage the door from the rest of the system. This will allow you to open and close the door without the electric-powered motor. Any time you are manually operating the garage door system, be sure that there is nothing in the path of the door. If possible, have another adult in the garage to spot you in case something unexpected occurs. Manually operating the garage door shouldn’t be a dangerous task, but remember that you are working with a heavy piece of equipment. Practice the same safety measures you would if you were operating the door with a motor.

Lift the Door Open

If your garage door springs are intact, you should be able to freely move the garage door open and closed. Broken springs will not support the weight of the garage door, so you may need another adult to help hold the door open with you. Regardless, it’s wise to stay clear of the garage door’s path unless you must exit. Prop the door open with a sturdy object as a safety precaution.

Exit Your Garage Safely

Once your door is in the open position, safely direct your household members out of the garage. Move any vehicles you’ll be needing out of the garage. When you have all safely exited, return your garage door to the closed position by pulling it down and guiding it along the tracks. Be sure that you have another way into the home in case you are unable to reopen the garage door from the outside.

Reengage the Motor

When the power returns, remember to reengage your garage door opener. Start with the door closed, and push the release lever back into the trolley. Newer systems can also be reset by simply pressing the garage door opener. With either method, you’ll hear a loud click once the system is re-engaged.

For all of your garage door needs, contact WD Door in Iowa. Our garage door experts can help you keep your garage door system up and running. From minor repairs to total replacement, the team at WD Door has you covered. Request your quote now!