Automatic garage doors still offer the greatest benefits and peace of mind when compared with other garage doors. You can operate them remotely from the comfort of your car, which is great for your personal safety and security, especially when returning home alone at night. Besides, it saves you the trouble of getting off your car to open a manual garage and having to return to park the car.
Yet, there have been recent media reports advocating the use of zip-ties to prevent garage break-ins. At the heart of these reports is the possibility that the emergency release mechanism fitted with these automatic doors could be used by intruders to gain entry into a garage.
The emergency release latch is a safety feature installed to manually disengage the automatic door from the garage door operator should someone or an object becomes entrapped under it when the door is moving downwards. If there was no such feature to reverse the door and prevent downward pressure on the object caught under the door, disastrous consequences would be the result of the unfortunate accident.
In addition, the manual release mechanism can help provide access in and out of the garage if the door operator is not working properly or when there is a power outage. This feature becomes very valuable when there is a fire outbreak that disrupts the electrical system in the house and a quick get-away from the inferno is critical.
The zip-tie practically disables this safety feature by locking the release mechanism and prevents it from being manually activated in the event of an emergency entrapment. This constitutes a great danger to homeowners and other occupants of the house. The security of the house and its appurtenances is germane but the safety of human life is critically important. Adding a zip-tie to block the release mechanism of the door operator in an attempt to prevent break-ins will inadvertently expose the house occupiers to grave danger.
A more pragmatic approach to solving this problem will be to take necessary action to reinforce the security around the house. Additional security features such as automatic locks are now available for specific door models or openers. Multiple layers of security involving deployment of additional physical and electronic equipment to secure the house will go a long way to prevent break-ins and thwart the efforts of intruders.
Specific measures such as the installation of security alarm systems on the premises should be considered. In addition, proactive measures should include ensuring that the connecting door between the garage and the house is always locked and any windows looking into the garage are locked at all times. Valuable items such as bicycles may attract the attention of burglars and may increase the vulnerability of a garage. They should be stored away from the prying eyes of potential burglars.
The emergency release should be operable on all residential garage door operators, homeowners are strongly advised not to use zip-ties on their automatic garage doors.