The power is out and your automatic garage door opener won’t function. Now you’re wondering about the steps to manually open the garage door from the outside. We researched for you and consulted with different experts to give you the solution to this issue.
Homeowners can take advantage of two relatively common solutions to manually open their garage doors from the outside. The first is to use the emergency release system, which generally demands the following steps:
- Insert the key to the garage door emergency release kit and turn it.
- Pull the release cord that pops out and lift the garage door.
As for the other solution, use a metal wire to hook the emergency release kit that might be in the garage. The steps for this particular procedure are:
- Make one end of the metal wire into a circle or hoop.
- Insert the hooked end into one of the gaps in the garage door’s slats.
- Search for the emergency release cord with the wire.
- Once found, pull the cord with the wire and open the garage door.
Keep in mind that manually opening a garage door is a task that’s not devoid of some risks. Continue reading as we talk about the precautions to help open your garage door safely. We’ll also discuss the procedures to manually open this door in greater detail.
How To Open A Garage Door Safely?
Before attempting to manually open a garage door from the outside, make sure you practice these safety precautions:
Check Your Fingers
It can be quite easy for your fingers to get caught in the different parts of the garage door if you’re not paying attention. That risk becomes more hazardous after knowing that a garage door can weigh about 200 pounds.
Make sure you understand how the door opens so your fingers, hands, or other body parts won’t get caught in it.
It’s reasonably practical to hide your attempt from manually operating the garage door from watchful eyes. For example, use your body’s width to conceal your hands from pulling the emergency cord on your garage door.
Otherwise, thieves might catch on to what you’re trying to do and attempt the same process to get into your home.
The curiosity of some children might get the best of them and they may attempt to ride an opening garage door. Tell your kids to stay clear of the garage door’s opening range to prevent accidents. A
Also, don’t try riding the garage door as it opens even if it looks fun to do. Your little ones might copy you and they may encounter injuries in the process.
If you want to know how a garage door opens, read our post on that topic to find out.
How Do You Open A Garage Door Without An Opener From The Outside?
Most garage doors have alternate solutions in cases like power outages that render homeowners unable to automatically open these fixtures from the outside. Many garage door manufacturers provide two emergency opening options for their users, which are:
Check your garage door owner’s manual to locate its emergency release system. If it's nighttime when you're doing this procedure, you may need to use light from your vehicle, smartphone, or flashlight to find the release kit.
Once found, you can continue this task by following these steps:
- Unlock the release cord by inserting the manual garage door key and turning it.
- Pull the emergency release cord to disconnect the door from its opener.
- Lift the garage door from the outside.
At this point, you might also find it interesting to learn about the types of garage door openers. If so, you can read our post on that topic to gain additional insight into these door-opening systems.
Another solution is to use a metal wire to break into your garage. As mentioned previously, make sure that you hide your actions from the public to avoid potential break-ins from thieves.
With a metal wire in hand, follow these steps to break into your inoperable garage door from the outside:
- Hook one end of the metal wire for it to look like a circle or hoop.
- Search for a small gap along the garage door’s slats.
- Insert the wire’s hooked end into the gap.
- Maneuver the wire until it hooks the emergency release cord that might be inside the garage.
- Pull the cord and lift the garage door open.
Don't forget to close the garage door after you get inside. Take note that the power might still be out once you're in your home. Leaving the garage door open is like an open invitation for thieves and pests.
Call for Professional Help
If the two options mentioned above don't work, it might be the best time to call for expert assistance. Contact certified garage door opening technicians in your area. Make sure to tell the company that you're in an emergency so they can reach your home sooner than later.
You can also watch the video below for another solution to open your garage door from the outside without the opener:
How Do You Open A Window Latch From The Outside?
Some homeowners may also need to access their sliding garage windows from the outside before the door. If you find yourself in that situation, follow these steps to open the sliding glass panel from the outside:
- Carefully pry the glass pane open with a crowbar.
- If the latch is secure, use a hacksaw blade and slide into the gap near the latch.
- Push the latch with the hacksaw until you can open the window fully.
- If you can’t push the latch, you may need to break it with the saw.
How Can I Make My Garage More Secure?
Remember that you can never be too careful to use solutions that can help secure your home. Data sources from different credible sources show that about 9% of burglars use the garage door as their entry point to sneak into homes.
You can prevent these instances from happening by taking advantage of these methods:
Install a Home Security System
Modern home security systems provide property owners with different features to prevent unwanted break-ins. Although a full security system might be too expensive for some people with strict budgets, a CCTV or wireless camera installed in and/or around the garage’s vicinity should suffice.
An additional lock can also help in preventing unwanted access to this part of the house.
Replace the Garage Door
Some garage door materials may offer easy accessibility to homeowners because of their fairly lightweight construction. Certain examples include aluminum and fiberglass. But these materials might also be quite easy to pry and break into.
If you have the extra money, you may want to think about replacing your garage door with a model made with tougher material. Variants made with hardwood or steel can be great options to enhance your home's security.
Install a Garage Door Opener
Trustworthy garage door openers have rolling codes. These encrypted keys ensure no one but the individual with the master control or switch can enter the garage. Some models also allow users to set schedules to prevent access from anyone within those periods.
Maintain the Garage Door
A poorly maintained garage door is a security hazard. However, if your door uses thick hardwood, you might not need to take extra measures to maintain it.
Ensure that your garage door’s lifespan is sufficiently long and that it works as intended by following these solutions:
- Check for audible and visible issues. Cracks and unknown noises may indicate that the garage door needs immediate repairs.
- Test the door’s balance. An imbalanced garage door is a health hazard for it can fall and hurt people nearby.
- Tighten loose hardware. The movements and vibrations of the different garage door parts may cause some of the bolts, nuts, and screws to loosen over time.
- Replace faulty components. Don’t wait until the broken or malfunctioning parts create additional problems for the garage door and the people nearby.
- Clean the rollers and tracks. Dust and debris stuck in these parts can increase the risks of damage to the garage door’s mechanism.
Watch the video below to check out another fairly quick solution to enhance your garage door's security:
Manually opening a garage door from the outside often requires using its emergency release system. Sometimes users may need to break into their garages to access these backup apparatuses.
But ensure that you practice property preventive and safety measures while attempting these jobs to safeguard your home’s security.