3 Ways to Prevent Your Garage Door from Opening on Its Own

6 October 2016
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Articles

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Have you watched a horror movie in which the doors in the house open and close by themselves? Rogue or phantom garage-door operation isn't exactly a horror scenario, but it could become one if you keep valuable and irreplaceable items in your garage. Fortunately, you can stop this potential horror-film plot in its tracks by taking these preventative steps to safeguard your garage door.

Take the Remote Out of Your Pocket

Just as "butt dialing" could lead to your smartphone dialing a number when it's not supposed to, having the garage-door opener remote in your pocket could eventually lead to your door opening or closing when you least expect it to. It's easy to set off your garage-door remote when you have it in your pocket, whether you directly sit on it or rifle through your pockets looking for something else.

The same can be said about tossing your garage-door remote in a drawer that's filled to the brim with other items. As convenient as it is to keep your remote in a junk drawer, it's usually best to store the remote in a junk-free location to avoid accidental button presses.

Invest in a Surge Protector

Electrical surges can do a number on just about any type of unprotected electrical equipment. A surge caused by a nearby lightning strike can damage electronic components within the garage-door opener, making its operation erratic and unpredictable until it eventually fails altogether. A short caused by exposed or faulty wiring can also cause electrical faults in a garage-door opener. These shorts can also cause wires to spark or overheat, creating a serious fire hazard.

It's important to inspect all of the wiring on your garage-door opener as a preventive measure against shorts and other common wiring issues. If you happen to see any wires that have had their protective insulation rubbed away or stripped unnecessarily, you or your contractor should replace these wires as soon as possible. Also make sure that all of the garage-door opener's wiring is properly secured to the wiring terminals within the device.

You should also invest in a surge protector to prevent electrical surges from damaging your garage-door equipment. Surge protectors are designed to limit the amount of excess current delivered to an electrical device by redirecting the excess to ground. While the vast majority of surge protectors come in the form of power-outlet strips, you can also protect your home by having a whole-house surge protective device (SPD) installed at your electric service box.

Use a Garage Door with Modern Rolling Code Technology

With countless millions of garage doors in use across the country, there's a good chance that you and your neighbor could share the same model, let alone brand, of garage-door opener. If you and your neighbor use the same brand and even model of garage-door opener, there's always a possibility that your neighbor's remote could accidentally open your garage door and vice versa.

Situations like these are common among those who use older garage-door openers, especially units that rely on dip switches to set combinations for the remote. These combinations are often limited by the number of dip switches available and make it possible for to homeowners to share the same code by accident.

Rolling code technology helps sidestep this issue by cycling through millions of unique color combinations. This feature helps decrease the chances of someone else's garage-door opener remote opening your garage door. If you're currently using an older garage-door opener, it's a good idea to upgrade to a more modern unit that uses rolling code technology.

Why not try this out? Start implementing these ideas so that your home can be more safe.