International Door & Operator Industry

JAN-FEB 2019

Garage door industry magazine for garage door dealers, garage door manufacturers, garage door distributors, garage door installers, loading docks, garage door operators and openers, gates, and tools for the door industry.

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ASSOCIATIONNEWS 48 International Door & Operator Industry™ By Chuck Colton Former IDA Dealer VP and California Dealer On Trac Garage Door Company- California California Bill 969 is Law All dealers in California will be experiencing changes in the way they go to market, as new legislation - Bill 969 – goes into effect on July 1, 2019. This bill requires all new residential electrical garage door operators in California to include a battery backup system, a measure intended to improve residents' safety due to power outages. The bill was first introduced on Feb. 1 of this year by California Senator Bill Dodd, D-Napa, chairman of the Senate Committee on Governmental Organization. IDA was contacted by Senator Dodd's office for input on this sensitive issue and as a former IDA board member and vice president of a California company, volunteered as an industry expert to help draft and develop the bill. The conception for this bill began with concern over the October 2017 wildfires in northern California, where garage doors proved to be a deadly obstacle for at least five of the 44 victims. Others were stymied by garage doors that would not open due to power failure caused by powerful winds. Dodd said of the bill, "This devastating fire season exposed a number of vulnerabilities and underscored the need to take swift action to prevent people from becoming future disaster victims. We can't stand idly by, and ensuring we have battery backups for garage doors is a small step that can literally save lives." According to a release by Dodd's office, backup batteries are relatively inexpensive and already available for many existing garage door opener models. "Many modern garage doors also come with built-in battery backups, but Senate Bill 969 would require all those sold, or installed, in the state of California to include one." As many are aware, the northern California Butte Fire has destroyed over 10,000 structures and at least 56 lives have been lost. The Woosley Fire in southern California has destroyed 400 structures and killed three people. To date, these two fires are only 35 percent and 50 percent contained, respectively. As a business owner and community member living in California, I believe this is a good bill that has passed. Beginning in March 2019, many garage door opener manufacturers will stop shipping new openers without backup battery capabilities to California dealers. Dealers will have until July 1 to sell or deplete their current inventory and to begin installing openers with battery backup systems included. New construction homes must also meet the bill's specifications on any project moving forward. The silver lining to all this: dealers in California will be presented with opportunities to sell and install new garage door operators with Bill 969 in place. With over 13 million households in California, the potential to sell and install a new opener is huge. And taking into account that these batteries have a finite life span, it opens the door (no pun intended) to future service and repair opportunities. I highly recommend everyone in California to use this new bill to inform customers, to make them aware of the reasoning and safety concerns behind it.

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