Have you ever been concerned about the security of your garage door? Maybe you’ve wondered if your garage door can be manually locked preventing unwanted entry.
The good news is many garage doors are equipped with a manual locking option with the slide lock, which is also known as the track lock.
Slide locks work by sliding a metal bar through the garage door track and prevent the door from rolling up the track. These manual locks can generally be locked from the inside of the garage door only, though some versions offer key entry with an external locking handle.
Slide locks are a simple and effective option for locking a garage door, preventing an intruder from prying under or lifting the garage door, however these types of locks have a big problem, particularly when slide locks are used on a door with an automatic door opener.
When used in conjunction with an electric door opener, slide locks MUST BE DISENGAGED prior to using the electric opener. The user risks severe damage to the door, tracking and opening mechanism if the electric door opener is engaged with slide locks in the locked position.
If a door opener is engaged with slide locks in the locked position, the opener pulls against the door with all its force and in many cases damages at least a panel or two, and could damage the opener itself. In the most extreme examples, the door or individual door panels could be pulled completely out of its track posing a very unsafe condition for any people or property nearby.
Properly installed high quality garage door openers have a force limiting setting which would prevent this type of costly damage, but far too many homes have garage door openers that were not completely set up to take advantage of this force limiting setting.
Whether your garage door has the force setting set properly or not, its best to avoid using the automatic opener with slide locks.
In summary, slide locks are an effective locking mechanism for garage doors, but users must remember to disengage the slide locks before using any kind of automatic or electric garage door opener to avoid costly damage.