As you become a homeowner, there is a period in time where the euphoria of purchasing your first home slowly fades, and the realization of “now I need to take care of all this stuff” comes washing over.
Some of it big, oftentimes small; but even the small stuff gets you thinking as you make your way around the house and start noticing a feature that is “off” or simply something you’ve never really given much thought to.
Which brings us to the garage.
For most before owning a home, the garage is typically looked at as a bonus. “The house is nice, but it also has a garage!” Now you can park indoors when it’s cold out, or now you simply have a ton more room to store all of your stuff until your lease runs out and you need to find a new place to live.
But when you’re a homeowner, you start to see things a little differently… “How am I going to get all of my stuff stored and organized in here so I can also fit my car?” But also, and importantly, how am I going to protect my stuff from garage theft?” And, “Hey, what is this red cord for?”
While we’ve covered countless topics that focus specifically on the home security aspect, like how to tell if a burglar is watching your house and how to keep a vacant house safe, today we are going to focus on that red cord.
Purpose of garage door emergency pull cord
The purpose of the emergency pull cord on your garage door is to allow you to operate the garage door manually. When the cord is pulled, the garage door is disengaged from the opener, and then free to move along the track on its own.
When would you have to pull the emergency cord?
As the name suggests, the pull cord is to be used in the event of an emergency—with the severity of related emergency varying from the something relatively minor like a simple power outage, to a situation a bit more dire like a power outage in combination with being in harm’s way either inside or outside of the garage and needing to get to the other side.
What should you do after the cord is pulled?
First, take caution in knowing the door operation is completely manual now, and that means it could fall shut or come crashing down on its own if you’re not careful. Next, once the cord is pulled, the emergency situation has passed, and everyone is out of harm’s way, the cord should be reattached to the level and door opener where it was prior.
And to that point, the cord should always be reachable and operable. It may seem like a no-brainer, but many choose to zip tie their garage door disengaging arm to prevent criminals from reaching in with a coat hanger and pulling the release.
In doing so, though, you’re making it harder for you or a family member to pull the cord when they need to. It’s like nailing a 2×4 to the inside or outside of your front door because you feel it makes it harder for someone to open that door, thus giving you added protection. But what about when you need to get out or in? It could trip you up, and thus there are much better ways.
Same goes for the garage. There is no need to remove the helpful capabilities an emergency cord provides, especially when you can buy a simple garage door anti-theft device.
To summarize, when you see that cord in your garage, make sure it’s attached and ready for use, and then just leave it alone. The goal is to never need it, but if you do, you’ll want it to be able to easily and capably do its intended job.