You may be conscientious about keeping your home safe: you deadbolt your doors at night, have a security system installed, and keep your windows locked. However, if your garage is not secure, thieves can still break in and steal valuables like your car or power tools. From there, they may gain access to your home itself.
Don’t forget about your garage when you secure your home-take these steps to keep your family and your belongings safe.
Close the Door
The simplest solution is often the most overlooked. In order for your garage door to deter thieves, it has to be shut. Get in the habit of closing the garage door immediately after using it, and leave it closed as often as possible.
If you are worried that you might forget, you can install timers. These devices close the garage door when it has been left open for too long. If you need to keep the door open, like when you work on your car, you can disable the timer. Otherwise, it can remember to close the door when you do not.
These timers often come in a security system package: if you already have one for your home, it might be a good idea to extend the system to your garage. Some of these systems are also compatible with smartphones. That way, not only can you immediately tell whether or not your door is closed, but you can also get a notification when someone opens it while no one should be home.
Secure the Service Door
The exterior side door for your garage is called the service door. Many homeowners forget that this door exists if they don’t use it often. Treat it as you do your other exterior doors: it needs a solid deadbolt and a strong strike plate.
While you’re at it, make sure the door that connects the garage to your home is locked as well. That way, even if the service door fails, there will be another barrier to your house itself.
Cover Your Windows
You probably already close your blinds or curtains at night for your own home, and you don’t leave valuables alone in plain sight in your car. When thieves can’t see big-ticket items, they don’t know whether it’s worth the trouble to break in.
Many homeowners forget this conventional wisdom when it comes to their garages. If your garage has windows, cover them. If you want, you can use sheer materials to let light in, but make sure they will not allow burglars to peer through.
A well-lit home is not as easy a target. Thieves do not want to be spotted or identified. Any kind of lighting around your garage will help, but the best kind is motion-activated. That way, you will save power and if the lighting comes on, it will attract your attention.
As a bonus, many kinds of lighting can be beautiful. Look into recessed lights or wall lamps to add a touch of class to your home’s exterior.
Keep Hold of Your Clicker
You would probably think twice about leaving your keys in plain sight inside your car. So why leave your garage door opener on your car’s sun visor? If someone gets into your car, they now have a way into your home-and the registration information in the glove box will tell them your address.
Keep your garage door opener on your key ring. That way, the opener is less likely to be taken or used by someone with bad intentions. If you cannot carry the opener with you, make it less obvious: hide it in your glove compartment or another covered place.
Many homeowners are aware of a way to break in called “fishing.” It’s where a burglar uses an unwound coat hanger to reach in through the gap at the top of the door, grab the emergency release lever’s string, and pull it out to them. Then they can pull the lever and open the door manually. It’s a difficult process given that they have to blindly feel around with the hanger to find the string, but it can be done.
If fishing worries you, you have two options. The easiest is to zip-tie the lever to the shuttle above it. Choose a thin-enough zip tie that it can be easily broken by someone pulling from directly below the lever. It will protect you against those pulling from outside-from that angle, they will not be able to get enough leverage to break the tie.
Your other option is to attach a shield to the opener’s arm behind the lever. All you need is cheap plywood, and you can attach it with simple brad nails. The idea is that a coat hanger will not be able to reach around the side of the shield to find the lever’s string.
Reach Out to a Professional
Security is not to be taken lightly. If you’re not sure about how to keep your garage safe, call a professional. AAA Garage Door Inc. can help you keep your home intact and unharmed by making sure your garage door is burglar proof.