How To Lock a Garage Door During Power Outage

A man shining a flashlight on a garage door during a power outage. Know how to lock a garage door during a power outage.

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Keeping your garage secure is an essential part of home safety. A locked garage door provides an extra barrier against intruders and thieves. However, power outages can disable electric garage door openers, leaving your garage vulnerable. Knowing how to lock a garage door without power is a valuable skill for maintaining security.

This article will discuss locking a garage door during a power outage to maintain security.

How To Lock a Garage Door During Power Outage

A woman locking a garage door during low-light conditions.

Ensuring the safety of both you and your property is essential when dealing with a power outage and attempting to secure your garage door. Before you begin, gather the necessary tools and prioritize safety. In this context, it’s vital to consider the risks of partially open garage doors. These situations can be deceptive – while it might seem like a small opening wouldn’t matter, it can actually compromise security and potentially cause mechanical issues with the door.

It’s crucial to prioritize safety during this process, especially if navigating the garage in low-light conditions. To avoid accidents, equip yourself with ample light sources, such as powerful flashlights or battery-operated lanterns, ensure a well-illuminated environment, ensure a clear path, and make certain there are no tools or items scattered on the garage floor.

How to Lock Garage Door Manually from Inside

You may need to lock your garage door from the inside during a power outage when the electric garage door opener is not functioning. This will secure the door until the electricity comes back on. Here’s the detailed steps on how to lock the garage door manually from the inside:

Look for Manual Overrides

Check for an emergency release rope or lever on the automatic opener to disconnect it. This will allow you to operate the door manually. If you cannot find the manual release, check your owner’s manual for instructions.

Pull Down the Garage Door

A man manually closing the garage door.

Lift the door just enough to disengage the opener, then pull it down by hand into the closed position. Use the handles or bottom edge to lift and lower the door – do not put your fingers in the rollers. The door may be heavy, so get help if needed.

Keep the Garage Door Closed and in Place

Engage any manual locks, latches, or sliding bolts on the door track to prevent the door from being lifted up. These locks are typically found on the left and right sides. Make sure they are fully engaged.

Use Clamps or Padlocks

For extra security, place clamps or a padlock on the outside of the door to keep it shut until power is restored. You can use Vise-Grip clamps, travel clamps, or a padlock with a hasp latch.

Check Security When Power Returns

When electricity comes back on, inspect the garage door security and test the opener before disengaging any manual locks. Make sure your home is secure before relying on the automated system again.

How to Lock Your Garage Door Manually from the Outside

A man closing the garage door manually from the outside.

Locking your garage door manually from the outside is essential to secure your home during a power outage when the electric garage door opener is not functioning. Follow this method:

Gather Necessary Tools:

Before starting, gather the tools you may need, such as a ladder, flashlights, padlock with hasp, and any other necessary items. If it’s dark, use a light to navigate safely.

Identify and Engage Built-in Lock (if present):

If your garage door has a built-in manual lock, often found on older doors, locate it and engage the lock fully. This may involve turning a handle or sliding a bolt along the door track.

Add Hasp and Padlock (if no built-in lock):

In the absence of a built-in lock, add a hasp and padlock on the outside. Align the hasp vertically over the seam between the two doors and close the padlock through the hasp’s eyehole. You may also install a slide lock and add an external Heavy-Duty Garage door lock.

Slide Lock: 

A slide lock is like a straightforward tool you put inside your garage door. It’s a metal bar or bolt that you can slide into place, creating a solid barrier. This keeps your door from opening, giving you extra protection, especially when the power is out, or the automatic opener isn’t working.

External Heavy-Duty Garage Door Lock:

an external heavy-duty garage door lock is a tough lock that goes outside your garage door. It often has keys or a unique code to open. This lock is strong and stops people from breaking in easily. Putting it on the outside makes it harder for anyone trying to get in. These locks are challenging and not easy to mess with, making your garage more secure.

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Is It Possible to Open and Close the Garage Door Without Power?

The answer is Yes. It is possible to open and close your garage door manually without power if needed. The door can be lifted or lowered by hand using an emergency release cord once the opener is disengaged. This does require physical effort, so get assistance if the door is too heavy. With some muscle and proper precautions, the garage door can still be operated during an outage.

Now that we’ve covered how to lock and manually operate the garage, let’s discuss some additional tips how to reattach your garage door once the power is restored.

How do you reattach your garage door once the power is restored?

Regain control and secure your garage by effortlessly reattaching the door following these steps once power is restored.

Re-Engaging Your Garage Door Opener After a Power Outage

The manual release cord of a garage door.

Once electricity has been restored to your home, you can re-engage your garage door’s automatic opener by following these steps:

Step 1: Locate the Manual emergency Release Cord/Lever:

Find the manual release cord or lever in your garage. This is usually a red cord with a handle or a lever located near the opener mechanism on the ceiling of the garage.

Step 2: Pull the Cord/Lever Toward the Door Opening:

Gently pull the manual release cord or release lever towards the opening of the garage door. This action disengages the door from the automatic opener’s drive mechanism, allowing you to operate the door manually.

Step 3: Lift the Door Manually:

Lift the garage door manually by about one foot. As you do this, you may hear a clicking noise. This signifies that the automatic opener’s trolley has been re-locked into place.

Step 4: Press the Button on the Garage Door Opener:

Press the button on your garage door opener. This will activate the opener, and it should start lifting the door automatically.

Step 5: Check for Proper Functionality:

Once the door is fully open and the opener has engaged, test the functionality by closing and opening the door using the automatic opener 2-3 times. Ensure that the door moves smoothly without any issues.

Step 6: Caution about Damaged Doors or Springs:

Do not attempt to reconnect damaged doors or springs yourself. If you notice any bent or broken parts or if the door doesn’t function properly, it’s crucial to contact a professional garage door repair service for assistance. Attempting to repair damaged components without the necessary expertise can lead to injury or property damage.

Final Thoughts

Power outages can be a security concern for garage doors that rely on electric openers. When the power goes out, most garage doors are unable to lock or open automatically, leaving them vulnerable to intrusion. Thankfully, you can take a few simple steps to secure your garage door until electricity is restored manually.

Ready to upgrade your garage with a new modern opener system? Contact our experts today for a free consultation and estimate.

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Daniel Walter

Daniel Walter is a garage door expert with 15+ years hands-on experience and a degree in mechanical engineering. He's on a mission to empower homeowners with all the knowledge they need to tackle any garage-related issue with ease. When he's not sharing his expertise, you can find him scaling mountains and basking in the beauty of the great outdoors.

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