When most people think about improving the security of their home, they often consider the main doors and windows first. Most people assume that since a garage door is typically large and sturdy, that it won’t be an easy access point for thieves. It is often an afterthought, and sneaky thieves often recognize this weakness and take full advantage of it. Access to your garage gives them access to your car, valuables and even the rest of your home. Even safe neighborhoods are vulnerable to thefts in this manner, so it’s important to secure your garage door thoroughly, even when you’re at home. There are few ways to do this depending on the type of garage door that you have. A few simple, quick fixes are usually all you need to do to deter and prevent easy access for criminals and thieves.
Protect the Home Entryway
If your garage and your home are connected through a door, the first thing you should do is make sure that the door has a secure deadbolt on it. It may seem like a pain to have to use a key every time you come home, but it’s definitely worth the installation time and cost. By preventing access to your home from the garage, you’ll be much safer and have far less worries. In addition to adding a deadbolt lock to the home entry door, never leave a set of keys in the garage to access your home. If a thief gains access to the garage, they might seek out and find your spare house keys and gain entry to your house.
Guard the Remote Control and Change the Code
If you have an electric garage door, you’ll need to secure the remote control or change the entry code on a regular basis. Keep the remote control locked in your car, and never leave the car unlocked when unattended. Thieves tend to stake out cars and look for garage remote controls, so keep it in an area where it isn’t visible from the outside of the car. If you ever lose the remote, change the code immediately to prevent access as a precaution. This is a good way to deter thieves and prevent theft or break-ins.
There are few minor fixes that can really help deter thieves and make your home undesirable for a robbery. Frosting, tinting or covering any windows so thieves can’t see if you have any valuables worth taking is a good start. Another thing that you can do is install a motion sensor light that turns on when someone is near the vicinity of the garage door. Most thieves don’t want to stand out, so a bright light may deter them or alert you or a neighbor to their presence. Window bars on garage windows are another way to secure your garage from any break-ins. Installing a security camera, or even a realistic-looking fake camera directly above the garage door is also a good deterrent, especially in combination with the other techniques.
What to Do When You’re Away for Long Periods of Time
If you plan on taking a vacation or you’ll be away from home for an extended period of time, you can install a padlock on the garage door latch inside. For electric garage doors, unplug the power to the garage door access panel. This will disable the garage door and help prevent thefts. This also might seem like a no-brainer, but always close the garage door when you leave. Some people forget to do this, and it’s like inviting a thief into your home. There are timers that you can install on the garage door that automatically close the door after a certain period of time. If you’re one of those people that occasionally forget to close the door, this might be worth looking into.
Spy on Potential Thieves
It’s never a good idea to simply open the door to the garage if you hear a strange noise. One way to prevent this need is to install a wide-angle peep hole in the entry door between your house and garage. It’s better to be safe than sorry, and it would give you time to contact the authorities if there is, in fact, someone in your garage who shouldn’t be there.
Secure the Emergency Release
The emergency release lever is commonly used by thieves to open garage doors quickly. It’s not meant to be accessed from the outside, but it does happen. You can secure this access point by installing a guard designed for this purpose over the lever. There are few methods for securing the lever and cord with zip-ties as well. When you need to use the emergency release cord, just cut or break the zip tie. This is a quick, inexpensive fix, but it isn’t fool-proof and it’s recommended to install a guard designed for security purposes.
Multiple Forms of Protection are the Best
As you can see, there are a lot of easy, inexpensive ways to deter break-ins and thefts through the garage door. You should utilize everything you have to protect your garage and home from break-ins. However, remember that no matter how many deterrents you install, some thieves are relentless and may bypass all of your security. If you ever notice strange sounds or commotion, or see someone outside scoping out your garage, house or car, it’s always best to call the police. Don’t attempt to scare them away on your own. You never know if they are carrying a weapon, so always call for help even if you’re unsure of the situation.