ARE GARAGE DOORS SECURE WITH AN ELECTRIC OPERATOR?
Have you ever wondered how a garage door locks when an electric opener has been fitted?
There are so many different ways that a garage door can lock by using an electric operator thats fitted to your door. However how this works will completely depend on the door and of course the electric operator…
A Standard Installation
With an electric operator remote control basic installation, to a standard one piece up and over retractable garage door, it is common to remove the internal locking cables and rods, (normally they will be slam latch type) you door will not close automatically when it is being locked internally as this will prevent the automatic opening cycle from taking place.
In order to remove the locking system, the garage door will need to be kept closed by the operator towing arm by the top. This is a strong steel bar that is connected to the top of the door panel and therefore relies predominantly on its strength. With all up and over garage doors you will find that there is a certain amount of panel flex so that when the door handle or the bottom of the door is pulled with pressure there will be movement. There is usually more movement in older doors due to the chassis and frame construction. The movement will give off the impression to a potential burglar who would be trying to open the garage door using the handle and that with some force would be able to open the door successfully. However when I say successfully, this would take a lot of noise and damage to the door which could put the burglar off from attempting in the first place.
If you have a high quality electric operator then this basic installation will be more than fine to use. Many automatic operators have functions that insure the door is held down firmly at all times and some have built in locking hinges at the boom. If you have any concerns regarding your garage security you can give us a call at Doormatic any time.
No Handle Options
If you would like to order a new garage door without handles drilled in then you can do so! No handle options are usually applied to up and over doors, sectional doors and roller garage doors with automation. Other types of doors will use different locking systems. If there is no handle fitted there will not be a manual locking system fitted and therefore it will solely depend heavily on the electric operator for locking. However every electric operator will have its own different levels of resistance that is influenced heavily on its rail construction and as with most things you will always get what you pay for with either a basic cheap operator with a less sturdy towing arm and operator rail system so more movement when the door is held shut. If you are planning to go upmarket for example the Hormann Supramatic has a patented steel lock hinge built into the towing arm so that is strongly holds the motor and the hinge lock to be extra solid when the door is closed.
With any garage door that is hand-less and is electrically operated it is absolutely imperative that you have an alternative way of access to the garage door in case of an electric cut. An electric cut would then prevent you from being able to access your door electronically. Usually you will have a simple pull cord system to use.
De Latch Kit Accessory
The most effective security for up and over garage doors is to have a de latch kit fitted. This is a simple mechanical device that is attached to the operator towing arm and the internal locking handle by using a spring tension system that allows movement that pulls on the locking cables and rods for a normal manual locking system when the operator is activated.
Basically, this means you will have three point locking when the device is used and it will be mechanically operated every time with locking enabled when closed. Some garage doors allow you have an internal locking ONLY with no handle. However, you will need to ask us first to ensure it is possible before committing to it. Please remember that a de latch system is NOT available on a sectional door with an operator and it is not possible due to the its mechanisms are much more solid than up and over doors.
There are a few different independent systems out there for side hinged doors however these can be temperamental due to the fact that side hinged door panels all have quite a lot of flex and getting the hinge to locate in a hole in the floor each time will be very difficult in certain weather conditions. Side hinged doors require great reliance on the towing kit steel rods to hold the door panels up when closed.
Every steel and aluminium roller garage door will be held down when closed and secured by the motor drive unit (this is either internal or external with different nylon or metal attachments that keep the roller curtain in place- this will vary depending on the manufacturer) some garage door companies sell ones that can be broken easily by a quick sharp pull up at the bottom. Once this section breaks it is a bit like dominos because the others will all go quickly which will make the door curtain lift up. However, the Seceuroglide is an exception to this because its motor will hold the curtain right down by using a strong extruded aluminium section whilst the curtain is addition held down using a steel rod along the top of the curtain with an extruded channel that is located underneath a solid nylon section to ensure the door is unable to be moved or budged by even just a couple of millimetres!
We are here to help!
If you would like any more information regarding garage door operators please do not hesitate to call us now! You can also read our guide on how to make your garage secure for more info.