Man-Made Device Responsible For Disabling Key Fobs In Ohio Neighborhood

By Bill Galluccio

May 6, 2019

Residents of North Olmsted, Ohio were stumped after their garage door openers and key fobs stopped working a few weeks ago. At first, many residents thought it was just their devices acting up. As a growing number of people began reporting the issue on social media, local officials launched an investigation into what was causing the problem.

“It was not until the concerns were shared on social media that it was clear to all that this problem was part of a larger issue,” North Olmsted Councilman Chris Glassburn said.

A team from First Energy was dispatched to the neighborhood, hoping to pinpoint the cause of the mysterious problem. They went door-to-door using specialized equipment to scan for a potential source of the interference. Eventually, they managed to find out what was causing the problem.

It turns out that one of the homeowners had created a custom-made security device designed to alert him if somebody was upstairs while he was working in the basement. That device used the same frequency that many key fobs and garage door openers use. As a result of the interference, those devices stopped working when the homeowner turned on his home-made security system.

“After extensive efforts from residents, government agencies, utility companies, and volunteers, the source of the interference has been identified and disabled,” Glassburn said.

Officials say the homeowner, who was not identified, did not realize his device was causing the interference and promptly shut it down. He promised not to make a similar device in the future.

Photo: Getty Images

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