It’s official. Come this July, all newly installed garage door openers in El Dorado Hills, Sacramento — in fact throughout the state of California — will require battery backup.
But the truth is it doesn’t matter if your garage door opener is installed this year or 20 years ago — battery backup is still a good idea. In fact, it might even save your family’s life.
The New Reality of Climate Change
Wildfires are what spurred the bill to become law — a new climate change reality in California that aren’t going away anytime soon. If Malibu can be devastated by a fire, so can El Dorado Hills. And when the evacuation order comes, you need to be able to open that garage door — even if there’s a power outage, as there typically is in a wildfire.
The bill was launched by a California register whose neighbors had difficulty evacuating during a wildfire because of garage doors that had lost power.
The Sacramento Bee reports:
“At least five died during the Northern California 2017 wildfires because they were unable to get their garage door to open after they lost electrical power, according to the supporting language of Senate Bill 969, which California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Friday in an effort to prevent any more such deaths from happening.
Under the new law, automatic garage doors sold in California after July 1, 2019, must include a backup battery that can provide power in the event of a power outage. The bill also provides for a civil penalty of $1,000 for ‘every offending garage door opener,’ according to a legislative analysis of the bill.”
Avoid Tragedy — Be Safe
The language of the bill documents numerous tragedies from people who couldn’t escape. An analysis “recounted stories of neighbors stopping to help raise garage doors, elderly people who didn’t have the strength to manually open their garage door and a mother who struggled to get her disabled son into a car because their custom van was in the garage they couldn’t open.”
As garage door professionals, we’d like to reiterate the importance of battery backup is not just about following the law. It’s about your family’s safety. Even outside of a wildfire scenario, power outages can be common. It’s nice and convenient to be able to access your door no matter what — even if your late to work and it’s raining cats and dogs in the middle of February.