Homeowners Beware! Your Garage Door May Not Be Safe!

A Fresno man is finding out the hard way that older garage door openers have security issues.

Thomas Markinson bought a new garage door opener for his home. He was happy with it until he found out his new opener was also opening his neighbor's garage door, too. The issue is newer openers that use what's called "rolling code" technology. The openers automatically switch the codes needed to open them every few days, and those codes are transmitted to the hand-held units that owners press. It's a good security measure, but older garage door openers aren't secure and, if a new opener latches on to their codes, they can open.

The company that sold Markinson the opener, Central Valley Overhead Door, has been to the neighbor's home and has offered to help him with a discounted opener, but so far he has not accepted that offer.

Several brands of new garage door openers use the technology, and their openers can now open older garage doors all over the country.

Security experts say if your garage door opener is several years old, it's a good idea to immediately have it checked out to see if it's vulnerable and, if it is, replace it immediately. Good, new, garage door openers can be purchased at many places for well under $200. Professional installation is an extra charge.