When it comes to break-ins, the garage door is one of the most vulnerable parts of a home. This is common knowledge to criminals; however, most homeowners aren’t aware of this fact. Here are some tips to help you secure your garage from a break-in.
Know your neighbors â€“ Nothing deters crime better than nosy neighbors. If you go away for the weekend, will your neighbors wonder about your garage door being open or the truck in your driveway? Do they even know you well enough to realize that you’re not home? If not, you need to get to know your neighbors better now so they will know to ask questions in the future!
Keep your garage door closed â€“ This probably seems like an obvious security measure, but many families leave the garage door open a lot, even when they go off for the day. Breaking into a garage isn’t difficult, but thieves like it even better if the door is just left open!
Paint your garage door â€“ If your garage door has window panes, it’s time to paint over them. There are a number of problems with having clear window panes in the garage door. Thieves can:
See all the items stored in the garage such as lawn equipment, tools, bicycles and sports equipment.
Look for a car in the garage (or not) to check if the house is empty.
Set eyes on the garage door opener release mechanism to easily break into the garage.
Remove the remote â€“ If your home has an automatic garage door opener, your remote control is probably a small black box that clips to the visor of your car. Sure, this makes it easy for you to get in and out of the garage, but it also makes it easy for a thief to steal the remote out of your car when it’s sitting in the driveway (probably unlocked) on a Saturday afternoon. After that it’s easy for the criminal to come back in a few days when you are at work and just pop open the garage door.
Get a key fob remote â€“ Most of the automatic garage door manufacturers produce a number of accessories for their products. One that’s both very convenient and also safer for your family is the key fob remote control. Instead of keeping the garage door opener remote control in your car 24/7, you can keep it safely on your key ring where no one is the wiser.
This is especially important for homeowners that only park the cars in the garage some of the time â€“ yet leave remotes in the cars all of the time. Key fob remotes are also an easy way to get the kids to close the garage door behind them when they take out their bikes.
Zip-tie the emergency release mechanism â€“ Thieves are now utilizing the emergency release mechanism of automatic garage door openers to break into homes. The emergency release mechanism is a required safety feature on all openers in the United States. It’s there so homeowners can disengage the door from the opener when the electricity is off and then get the door up. Using a coat hanger inserted at the top of a garage door, a skilled thief can hook the emergency release mechanism or the long cord and handle, and get the door open in seconds. To prevent this, homeowners should use a zip tie to hold the mechanism closed. In case of emergency, pulling the cord will break the zip tie and separate the door from the opener. However, a coat hanger wouldn’t be strong enough to defeat the zip tie!
Lock the interior door â€“ All homes have a lockable door between the house and the garage. Unfortunately, a large percentage of American families never lock the door between the house and the garage. Therefore, if thieves make it into the garage they can just waltz right into your home and take whatever they want. No one will probably even notice since the thieves will be completely concealed inside the garage with the door down.
Install a deadbolt on the interior door â€“ Don’t make it easy for thieves, add a deadbolt to the door between the house and the garage. The expense is minor and it more than doubles the security provided by a door knob lock alone. Plus, if you or one of your children happen to be home alone when thieves break into the garage, you’ll want more than a simple handle lock between criminals and your family members.
Put in a new peep hole â€“ Install a wide-angle peephole in the door leading from the house to the garage. If you think you hear a noise in the garage there’s no need to risk your family’s security, you can just look through the peep hole.
Lock up when you go â€“ If you’re going away on vacation, lock the garage up tight. First, unplug the automatic garage door opener from the outlet in the ceiling. This isn’t an anti-theft device, however it will keep you from ruining the garage door opener if you forget and try to use it. Second, lock the garage door from the inside using the manual garage door mechanism. If that isn’t an option, hook a pair of strong steel carabiners or c-clamps in the track of the garage door (a few feet off the floor) to block the wheels from rolling up the track. Contact us for more information.