It’s been the single most requested home automation feature for years…. Can my security alarm smart phone app remotely control my garage door? Until 2013 we had to reluctantly tell customers no, it can’t. Now we’re ecstatic to tell everyone, YES WE CAN!
Controlling a garage door opener is easy… from an electronics stand point, it’s trivial. You simply connect a momentary switch to the screw-down terminals that the garage door button is wired into. This can be done by a home automation system using a normally open relay or an open collector output. The problem is that it’s unsafe and does not meet US federal or UL safety standards! In layman’s terms, people can get smashed by closing garage doors remotely.
UL 325 was revised in 2009 allowing unattended operation features. UL requirements for a residential garage door operator to be enabled for remote operation from a smart phone, tablet or other portable devices state that several key provisions be met:
1. The feature must be utilized only on an operator equipped with a secondary entrapment protection system such as a photoelectric sensor.
2. The feature must be activated only when the operator is installed on a sectional door.
3. The operator must be equipped with an audible and visual warning system indicating a pending motion for 5 seconds before the door starts moving.
Per UL 325, suretyCAM’s Alarm.com LiftMaster MyQ solution must be fail-safe. Any feature using the Unattended Operation (i.e., Timer to Close or Remote Closing) must, by UL requirements, end in fail safe mode. This means that the garage door operator will try TWICE to close the door using unattended operation. If something stops the door’s motion or reverses the door’s direction (i.e, door is blocked, photo eyes are blocked, etc.), the door will revert to the OPEN position.
The Code of Federal Regulations 16 CFR Part 1211 requires that residential garage door operators manufactured after January 1, 1993, meet the requirements for secondary entrapment protection such as infrared photoelectric sensors. A “simple” contact closure is able to work with ALL residential garage door operators, including operators manufactured before the “photo eye” requirements of 1993. Contact closure does not provide any restrictions.
suretyCAM’s Alarm.com Liftmaster MyQ system reduces the hazards associated with the closing garage door because they are restrictive, covering a defined population of operators in the field, while excluding older ones. All operators compatible with the RF codes used in Liftmaster’s Universal Retrofit are post-1993. Manufacturers who sell remotely actuated contact closure kits for Unattended Operation without proper pre-warning are missing two types of safety protections: not ensuring photo eyes are there before equipping remote actuation and not alerting properly before unattended door closing operation.
What does this all mean to you? Your suretyCAM security and home automation system can detect when you’ve accidentally left the garage door open, send a notification to your smart phone, and give you the power to safely and legally close the garage door and correct the problem remotely from anywhere in the world. It works whether you’re in China or at home in your own bed and just don’t feel like getting up. This is hands down the most requested feature we’ve had on typical home automation and security systems. You can also remotely check on the status of your garage door and even open it remotely for someone if you need to let them in.
I am often asked why we at suretyCAM chose to provide Alarm.com interactive security services instead of Honeywell TotalConnect or ADT Pulse. The exclusive partnership between Alarm.com and Liftmaster to provide this residential garage door automation solution is a perfect example of why we chose Alarm.com. Alarm.com with Liftmaster MyQ is the only home security and automation system that can remotely control you garage door while meeting UL Listing standards and federal safely regulations. suretyCAM is your preferred Columbus, OH Alarm.com provider.
Written by Ryan Boder and originally posted at: http://suretycam.com/control-your-garage-door-remotely/