California law requires battery backups for new garage door openers

Posted at 9:28 PM, Aug 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-26 01:51:36-04
California law requires battery backups for new garage door openers

Under a recent California law, SB969, new garage door openers must have back up battery units so the door remains functional during power outages.

For consumers, this now means having to pay a couple hundred dollars more.

Atascadero resident Nikki Biddison said she found out about the extra cost when she went to replace her existing garage door.

"Through the process of getting quotes for a new garage door... the companies informed me that if I didn't have an existing motor or opener that had a battery back up that I would be required to get a new motor or the garage door couldn't be hooked up," said Biddison.

The law took effect in July and also requires extra batteries for any newly replaced garage door motors.

These units can cost consumers more than four hundred dollars and replacement batteries can run close to one hundred dollars.

California lawmakers said the measure was enacted for safety after five people were killed in their garages during the 2017 California wildfires.

"That's the basis of why the law was passed... because the power was out and people didn't maintain their garage doors and so therefore when they tried to open it by hand... they had a hard time opening it by hand," said J. Hamon, owner of Hamon Overhead Door.

Installers however want to warn consumers this isn't a one time fix.

"A battery back up is not a fail safe, it is not something that is going to work all the time if you don't maintain it," said Partner at American Garage Door and Openers April Sargeant. "You have to keep the maintenance up on both you garage door and any kind of battery back up unit or opener that you have in your home."

Installers recommend consumers check their batteries as they typically will last between two and five years depending on how often they are used.

Installation companies found to be out of compliance with the Senate Bill can expect to pay a $1,000 fine and be subject to other penalties as well.