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Closeup of the inner workings of a manual-open garage door
Being able to open your garage door in emergency circumstances is very important. Here are our tips on how to open your garage door manually.

How to open a garage door manually

Grid overloads on hot days, wild storms, and even bushfires can cause power outages at any time. For the most part, losing power at home is just inconvenient and annoying. However, it can also cause your garage door opener to fail so it's important to know how to open it manually and continue on with your family's emergency response plan.

Be prepared and in control

While no one knows exactly when a blackout will occur, you can be prepared and in control.

It's important to have a plan in place to manually open your garage door in the event of a power failure so you can get the family in and out of the garage quickly and safely, particularly in an emergency or during extreme weather.

In a power outage, all Chamberlain garage door openers can be opened using the red manual release cord.

Roller garage door openers are usually attached to one side of the garage door, near the garage opening. The red manual release cord is attached to this motor.

Motors for sectional are installed in the middle of the garage ceiling. The red manual release cord is usually hanging down from the steel rail that connects the motor to the door.

Every homeowner with a garage door opener should include the following steps in their emergency and power outage response plan:

  • All members of the family should be familiar with the red manual release cord's location and how to operate it.
  • Regular checks should be undertaken to ensure the  emergency cord is in good working order – it shouldn't be frayed and should still have the plastic handle at the end of the cord. 

How to operate a manual release cord

  • Pull the red cord down firmly once to manually release the door's locking mechanism, The opener will make a clicking noise. 
  • Walk over to the door to push it up manually. Do not try to pull the door using the manual release cord; it will snap under the load. 
  • Take care when operating the manual release when the door is open, as the door may fall rapidly due to weak or broken springs. 
  • When power returns or it is safe to do so, re-engage the opener by pulling the red release cord down firmly.

Check your garage door opener

Now that you know how to operate your garage door manually, check yours today.

If you find you need to update your current garage door opener head into your local Bunnings and talk to one of our expert team members to find the best solution for you.

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Health & Safety

Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.

When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.