The garage door on your home needs to work when you tell it to, be that by a wall switch or remote. If you can't get out or can't get in, or if the door won't close at all, you've got a safety issue on your hands. It's understandable if you want to check the opening mechanism and see if anything has caused the door to jam, but take a look at the remote first. That little gadget can mess with your garage door in more ways than one.
Bad Batteries and Contacts
If the remote simply isn't working, but the wall switch for the opener is, the first step is one you'd take with any battery-operated item. You must change the batteries and look at the battery terminals. Batteries don't necessarily fade and cause the door to act weird; sometimes they can just run out of power and the door won't open. Corroded terminals can prevent the battery's power from reaching the circuitry.
One other issue that your remote can cause is a garage door that suddenly opens by itself. Unfortunately, that puts you at risk of having the door close by itself, too. Assuming nothing in your pocket or purse is accidentally pressing on the remote, that could be a sign of a bad contact. If there's corrosion, clean it; if no corrosion, you may have to replace the remote.
Old Remotes, Receivers, and Radio Frequencies
Older remotes for very old garage door openers worked on a fixed frequency that was often also used by military bases. However, your door doesn't have to be that old for this to be a problem; in 2013 it was reported that nearby residents were having trouble with garage door openers because of a nearby base using a new radiofrequency. If this is happening to you, ask your garage door repair company to change the frequency range of the receiver and remote.
Bad Receivers and Jolted Innards
Regardless of your proximity to a military base, the remote can start to act strange if you've dropped it or if the circuitry or receiver goes bad. This can happen with age, too, or with heavy use. Just remember that the button you use to open and close the door is a mechanical item that can break. You can replace receivers or just the remote if the receiver itself is still OK.
If you still can't get the door to work with the remote, call a repair company. Do not mess with the circuitry yourself; a repair company will be more familiar with the problems that can occur with a garage door and thus get to the heart of the matter quickly. For more information, contact a company like Optimal Garage Doors.