Remember Your Garage Door Emergency Release

Real Estate Broker/Owner CalBRE# 01433049


I attended a wonderful backyard dinner party in Santa Rosa last night, the first since the Tubbs Fire* devastated entire neighborhoods almost three weeks ago. I jokingly referred to the gathering of close friends as the "Evacuation Party" because everyone who attended was either evacuated during the fire, or opened their doors to evacuees. Needless to say, there was a lot to talk about.

One of my friends, who also happens to be a client, was devastated about one woman's reported death. The remains of the deceased were evidently found in her car in the garage. The consensus is that the home had already lost power, and the woman was unable to open her automatic garage door.

"Please ..." my friend pleaded with me. "Please ... whenever you sell a house from now on, teach the buyer how to work the garage door emergency release". I have never thought to show a buyer this possibly life saving "trick" before. I am now adding this as an item on my buyer checklist, right below "Get keys and codes to house, mailbox, gate, garage & alarm".

I'm sure that MOST folks know about the emergency release pull cord on their garage door, but would that little bit of knowledge come to mind quickly in case of an emergency? Maybe it would if we thought about it often enough. Remember your garage door emergency release.


* October 9 2017, Sonoma County Tubbs Fire: 36,807 acres burned. 6,600 structures including 5,193 homes destroyed. Twenty three souls perished.





Posted by


Cynthia Larsen (707-332-2560) is an independent real estate referral broker in Sonoma County, California as well as a Certified Probate Real Estate Specialist.

CA Broker License #01433049

Comments (3)

Jim Cheney
Saint Francis Property Santa Rosa, CA - Santa Rosa, CA
Rincon Valley Realtor 707.494.1055

Hi Cynthia Larsen , great to see you blogging on AR again.  Yes, I heard that story too.  Very sad.  Perhaps she could not reach the pull cord AND open the door.  Very sad story.

Oct 30, 2017 09:12 AM
Cynthia Larsen

Very true, Jim. I think I need to make sure my buyers can manage to open their garage door when the power goes out.

Oct 30, 2017 02:48 PM
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Broker
Elizabeth Anne Weintraub, Broker - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Hi Cynthia, yes, most people don't know how to pull that red thing in the garage. Just like they don't know where the electrical box or how to shut off the main water.

Oct 30, 2017 01:40 PM
Cynthia Larsen

Sounds like I need to put a couple of more items on my buyer checklist. Knowing how to turn the gas off is important as well.

Oct 30, 2017 02:51 PM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
Retired New Hampshire Home Stager

Wow how sad. I can't imagine the horror for that poor woman and her family.

A great reminder that could save lives!

Nov 21, 2017 07:40 AM