Garage Door Security
In most homes, when it comes to security, garage doors are the forgotten relative. When folks install security systems for their homes, they forget about the garage door. When they worry about keeping their home’s windows and doors locked, they forget about the garage door. But this is more than a faux pas––this is a security mistake. Garage doors present a real target for thieves. They can enter a home within seconds through the garage door and are then protected from sight once inside the garage.
According to the FBI, across the U.S, as well as here in Flint, MI, a home is broken into every 14 seconds, with the garage door as an entry point being in the top four ways to enter a home. Our locksmiths at Preferred Safe & Lock recommend the following tips to prevent your home from being one of these targets.
Garage Door Security Tips
• Do not leave your garage door opener in your car. In fact, exchange that bulky box for a sleek key-fob version. Leaving the clicker in your car is an open invitation for a burglar to break into your car and utilize the opener to easily gain entry to your garage. If you refuse to give up your little box, then lock it inside your glove compartment or, better yet, take it in the house with you each time.
• Reinforce both your garage service door and the door from the garage to the house. These can be a point of weakness. Be sure both doors are made of solid wood or reinforced steel, have strong hinges, and are as secure as your front door. Deadbolts are a must. In addition, many people consider an interior door lock reinforcer for their doors as well. These do help, because many burglars just kick doors in to gain entry. Be sure yours pass the kick test.
• Cover your garage windows, both in your garage and the ones in your door. Giving burglars a clear view on what you have stored there, as well as how they can get in, is never a good idea. Invest in some curtains, blinds, shades, or frosted film to cover the glass.
• Secure the garage door’s emergency release. All automatic garage doors have a required-by-law safety release mechanism that’s controlled by a grab handle. If the garage door malfunctions or if someone is trapped underneath the door, this release can be pulled and the door can be moved manually. Burglars have figured out that with a mere coat hanger, they can reach in between the garage door and its top seal and grab the release. This six-second process allows them free access to your garage without breaking a sweat. By securing this safety release with a zip tie, you’ve thwarted any possible burglary attempts using this method, without completely disabling the release. A firm tug from inside the garage will snap the zip tie, allowing the door to be opened manually as designed. Check out the online videos to view how to install a zip tie.
• Close your garage door. As simple as this sounds, many folks simply forget to close the garage door. Obviously this is no-brainer for a burglar. These folks have done all the hard work for any intended burglar. If this behavior is a habit of yours, an easy fix is to install a timer. You can program the timer for the amount of time of your choosing, and it’ll close the door for you after it’s been open the specified amount of time. No more forgetting.
• Lock the door with a padlock when you’re out of town. If you go out of town for any amount of time, it’s a good practice to actually padlock the inside of your garage door while you’re gone. This preventive measure preempts any burglar from getting in through the garage door, no matter how hard he or she tries.
• Install motion detector lights. Outdoor motion detector lights are one of the top items all law-enforcement professionals cite as a burglar deterrent. Installing them so they shine on all doors, including the garage door, goes a long way in scaring intended burglars away. They’d rather work in the dark than in a spotlight where they can easily be seen.
• Install an alarm. Even if you already have an alarm system for the rest of your home, installing one exclusively on your garage door is a sound practice. This can alert you if anyone unintended attempts to open your door. A step further is installing cameras, which many folks do to give them peace of mind. However, if an alarm system for your home or garage just isn’t in the budget at the moment, you can still post alarm-system signage in your yard, windows, and doors. Many times just the signs and stickers are enough to tempt burglars to take their show down the road where there are no alarm-system signs.
Don’t leave your garage door out of the plans when protecting your home. It’s an easy entry for many burglars. By following the above tips, you’ll force any would-be burglars to look for an easy mark somewhere else. Call Preferred Safe & Lock at 586-757-7742 and speak with one of our professional locksmiths about how we can help you secure your garage door today.