Everything You Need to Know About California’s Battery Backup Laws

As summer wildfires ravaged California throughout 2018, many homes lost power resulting in electronically powered garage doors being unable to be opened. Many people became trapped in their homes because their electrical garage doors did not work. Typically, when a garage door opener cannot operate electronically, you can pull the hanging red cord of the device to separate the garage door from its electronic mechanism. However, just because the door detaches from this electronic mechanism does not mean its any easier to open. The weight of the door can make it impossible to move, especially if it has windows or it’s a double door. In particular, elderly citizens, children, and the disabled will find it impossible to lift a massive garage door on their own. The residents who struggled to open their garage doors manually were trapped with no battery backup system for their opener’s electronic operation. By the end of the summer, there were over 140 deaths caused by fires with at least five of those people being found dead in their garages after being unable to open their garage doors. 


In August 2018, the Senate voted unanimously to pass Bill 969 and Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill into law a month later. Its provisions went into effect the next year in July 2019. The law requires all California residents undergoing a garage door or garage door opener replacement to have a battery backup system that can operate in case of a power outage. Those manufacturing, selling, or installing a garage door opener without the required battery backup can incur a fine of $1,000 per violation. The law also imposes a $500 fine for any “installed and operational” garage door opener that lacks the required battery backup.


These systems do more than just comply with regulations. Backup battery capabilities are an essential safety precaution all homeowners across the country can benefit from having. A battery backup is a new patch for your computer’s operating system that makes your garage opener safer during a power outage. It typically supplies extra power for only 24 hours and will lose its charge if used continually. It’s important to test your battery backup system so you’ll know how it functions when you need to use it. You can test your battery backup by unplugging your electronic garage door opener and operating the garage door with the battery backup system instead. You will also need to change your backup system’s batteries every couple of years, even if you have not used the garage door opener on battery power.


Backup Batteries give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing you’ll never become trapped in your home because of a garage door that won’t budge when the power shuts off. At Haney Door Service, we want to help you get the battery backup garage door opener that best fits your home and will keep you protected for years to come. Contact us today to get a free estimate on a battery backup for your garage.