BH Garage Door BH Garage Door
Call for estimate 312.535.7545

5901 N Cicero Ave Unit 209 Chicago, IL 60646

How to Manually Open a Roller Garage Door?

How to Manually Open a Roller Garage Door?

It is vital to know how to manually open a roller garage door in an emergency. Otherwise, you, your family, and your vehicle could be trapped inside the garage without a way to escape. Thankfully, emergencies are uncommon and the most common reason to manually open a roller garage door is due to a power outage. If this happens, the electric door operator will no longer work, and your garage door will remain closed.

If this has happened to you, fear not! Read on for a quick and easy solution.


Electric garage doors, whether a roller design or otherwise, all come with an emergency release mechanism. This handy system is designed to allow a homeowner to safely open the garage door when the power supply has been cut for any reason. Since modern garage doors can be heavy, it’s important to open them safely, or you run the risk of sustaining an injury.

Now let’s look at the steps you need to take to manually open a roller garage door from the inside.


Before you try opening a roller garage door manually, make sure it isn’t locked. A locked door won’t open no matter how hard you try, and your frustration levels will likely boil over if you don’t unlock the door.


The next step is to disconnect the automatic door opener from the mains power supply. This should be a simple job – just remove the power cord from the opener. If you are not sure how to do this, consult the manual for your roller garage door. Note: this step can be skipped if the reason you are manually opening the garage door is because of a power cut.


Look for the RED emergency release cord. Depending on the model of your roller garage door, this could be dangling on either side of the garage door (on the inside). Because it is red, you should have no problem finding it.

The emergency release cord connects the door to the door trolley and, when pulled, releases it so it can be opened.


Now that you have pulled the cord and released the roller door from the trolley mechanism, it can be lifted manually. Lift the door from the bottom and do it carefully and slowly to avoid any injuries. Once the door is fully open, let go, but do make sure the door stays in place first.

Once you are happy the roller door is safely up and isn’t moving from the open position, you can move your car out of the garage (and anything else you need access to).


Leaving a garage door open is a security risk. In addition, if the weather is bad, rain and wind might cause damage to the garage’s contents or even your home if there is an access door inside the garage. To manually close a roller garage door, pull it down and engage the lock, or pull the emergency red cord once again.

Make sure the door is in the right position when you close it manually, as it needs to align with the trolley or door belt if you want it to work electronically when the power is restored.


It is possible to manually open a roller garage door from the outside, which is useful if you arrive home from work to find there has been a power outage and you can’t park your car in the garage.


Look for a lock on the exterior of the garage door, which opens to reveal an emergency release cord. If your door has one, you will have a key to open the lock. If in doubt, check the manual to see where it’s located.


Unlock the emergency cord access panel and pull the cord. This releases the opening mechanism and triggers the manual opening mode.


Unlock the door and pull it up so it is fully open. Make sure the door is fixed in place in the open position before you try and drive your car into the garage. Once inside, you can pull the door back down and lock it once again.


Under normal circumstances, a roller garage door can easily be opened manually if there is a power outage, or the power unit/battery backup fails. However, if you try using the emergency release cord and it doesn’t work, or there is some kind of blockage preventing the door from opening manually, call in a professional to move the door. Trying to force the door open could potentially be dangerous if there are other issues with the door.

If you need assistance with your roller garage door, give us a call today.