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People Trapped In Garages During Wine Country Wildfires Inspire Bill

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Automatic garage doors may soon need to be equipped with backup batteries in case of a power failure.
Senate Bill 969 was introduced by California Senator Bill Dodd after the October wildfires in Wine Country. He could not open his wooden garage door because the power was already out in his Napa neighborhood.
The remains of at least five people were found where garages once stood.
“We absolutely cannot allow something like this, that is so easily corrected, to happen again,” said Senator Dodd, D-Napa. “My bill requiring garage doors to have backup batteries will ensure no one is left vulnerable in the event of a future power failure during such a calamity.”
WATCH: Police Video From California Fires Shows Harrowing Escapes
Most garages come equipped with overrides, including a string to pull allowing you to manually open the garage door, or a special key.
 SB 969 would force manufacturers to equip the garage doors with a battery backup. The backups are currently for sale with many models of existing garage doors.
The bill passed the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee on April 3, the Senate Judiciary Committee on April 17, and the Senate Appropriations Committee on April 30. It was placed on suspense file after that hearing.
 

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