Misfiring holiday light remote control opens garage door
A Surrey woman says she's concerned for safety in her neighbourhood after finding out the wireless device she uses to turn on her Christmas lights also opens her garage door.
Karen Granholm bought the $15 Noma device from Canadian tire to remotely control her outdoor Christmas lights from inside of her home.
She said it does a great job of turning the holiday lights on and off but was horrified to discover it also did something else.
"So I hit the remote and down goes my garage door and I stood there thinking … this is interesting," she told CTV's Steele on Your Side.
The homeowner admits the situation is amusing, but says it's also disconcerting as well because she could have gone to bed without noticing her garage was wide open.
"The garage door would have been open all night or unless one of my neighbours phoned and advised me," she said.
Fortunately, the device doesn't seem to work on any other garage doors in the neighbouhood.
"I guess I'm just the lucky one," Granholm said.
Canadian Tire told Steele on Your Side that it's had no other consumer complaints about the Noma wireless remote but admits: "The frequency may also interfere with TV or radio signals, in which case the antenna would be adjusted, or other methods can be employed to resolve this problem."
Canadian Tire told Granholm the remote was set to 315 megahertz -- the same frequency as many older garages.
Steele on Your Side took the remote to a wireless expert at BCIT, who said it's a definite safety concern.
"Security is paramount of course when designing these appliances. A remote control opening garage door opener is something that she would not know and next thing you know in the morning all of her stuff is gone and she won't know what happened," Bob Gill said.
Granholm said the incident has been an eye-opener and she's still concerned about the safety of the devices.
A representative from Canadian Tire visited Granholm's home and acknowledged that the Noma device did interfere with her garage door opener, which is an older model which relies on a multi code system of more than 4,000 preset digital codes.
In an email to CTV News, Sandeep Dhaliwal said they replaced the remote control with an alternate device that doesn't open the door.
"We have worked with Karen to resolve this issue by offering her alternative products that will allow her to turn on/off her outdoor lights."
Customers are encouraged to contact Canadian Tire if they have any problems or concerns with the product.
Watch CTV News for a full report from Lynda Steele on this holiday hazard…