This year, the Consumer Federation of California teamed up with Senator Bill Dodd (D-Napa) on a proposal to ensure that residents can safely evacuate their homes in the event of an emergency or natural disaster.
Media reports from the 2017 Northern California wildfires estimated at least five residents lost their lives because they could not drive out of their garages. When the fires left thousands without power, evacuation challenges were heightened for the elderly and disabled who could not manually lift their garage doors to evacuate. Media reports told the heartbreaking tales of residents like Santa Rosa’s Carmen McReynolds, 82, who was found “dead inside her Mercedes parked inside the garage of her Fountaingrove home,” or LeRoy and Donna Halbur, both 80, who “died at their hillside home in Larkfield, LeRoy in the driveway and Donna in the car parked in the garage.”
“Garage doors have created an unexpected obstacle for residents under evacuation,” said Richard Holober, Executive Director of CFC. “SB 969 is a common sense safety measure that we hope can help avoid preventable injuries or deaths like the ones we read about last year.”
READ THE FULL STORY: The Mercury News | California lawmakers pass wildfire-related garage door safety bill