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Safety First: Preventing Garage Door Break-Ins


preventing garage door breakins


Home security is often a top priority for homeowners. Family safety and property protection fall into this category, and homeowners have many options when it comes to improving the security of their own property. There is however, some areas of the home that homeowners may simply overlook as possible security threats. The garage represents one of these areas. Garages pose a unique threat to home security because they are particularly helpful entry points that burglars take advantage of during break-ins. While it may not seem as essential to guard your garage as heavily as, say, the front door and windows, the garage requires some attention to turn it into a vital form of protection from criminals. Learn how to put safety first by preventing garage door break-ins.

The Garage Door

The garage door is, obviously, the most vulnerable point in your garage security setup. While contemporary construction and manufacturing techniques usually replace old-style manual garage doors with automatic garage doors with remote open options, these newer choices don’t provide nearly the security that the average homeowner might expect.

Remote Threat

While garage door opener technology has come a long way since its original design, your coding may not keep your home as secure as you might think. Garage door openers were initially designed with coding that basically had the same code for every single unit sold. This one-stop coding became unsafe, and manufacturers upgraded systems so that savvy homeowners could update their codes manually. Unfortunately, few homeowners take advantage of this option. Modern garage door openers feature codes that randomly regenerate every few weeks or so, which minimizes the opportunity for interception. Back in the day, it was possible for thieves to drive down neighborhood streets clicking a remote opener until a preprogrammed code matched up and a door opened. Thankfully, that threat is much lower today thanks to random code generators.

Consider Your Code

However, the possibility of your code being intercepted increases with the age of your opener, so it’s a good idea to check yours out to see if it is up to standards. Additionally, keeping your remote in your vehicle increases the likelihood of a remote breach, so consider purchasing a keychain remote and using it rather than a visor clip remote. Changing this one small detail could be a large enough hurdle to deter a potential break in.

Safety Release

Automatic garage door openers contain a safety release feature that allows homeowners to override the electronic opener in the event of a power failure or similar event. The release is, unfortunately, accessible from the outside thanks a bent coat hanger and some clever maneuvering.

Tripping It

Crooks can manipulate a coat hanger through the weather stripping at the top of your garage door and to the point of access for the release mechanism. The mechanism is fairly sensitive and easily tripped with a hook fashioned onto the end of the coat hanger. Once the burglar trips the mechanism, manually opening the garage door is a breeze.

Get Protection

To protect from a tripped release, purchase or fashion a small cover to go over the release spot and deter outside interference. If you plan to be away from home for a period of time, you can use a zip tie to keep the release portion connected to the main shaft and make tripping the release impossible. You absolutely do not want to use the zip tie if anyone stays in the home, as this method could cause a dangerous situation in the event of an emergency. That’s because a zip tie might make releasing the garage door opener impossible.

Lock it Up

However you look at it, the best way to protect your garage is to equip your garage door(s) with strong, modern locks that keep burglars out and your home secure. Deadbolt locks denote a good option that installers put inside your garage door for locking up when you’re at home. Deadbolts are reasonably priced, easily installed and safe in emergency situations.

General Precautions

General safety precautions, too, are important to remember when securing your garage. Keep your main doors that lead into and out of the garage locked at all times, especially if your garage is not connected to the main part of your home. This is because you may not hear movement until it’s too late to action against burglars.

If your garage-to-home door doesn’t have a deadbolt, you should definitely consider installing one to improve your home safety and provide peace of mind. Additionally, consider installing new locks on all of your doors if the locks are old, outdated or difficult to operate. Keeping your family safe is about more than keeping the bad guys out, but also about making sure that your home security measures don’t interfere with day-to-day living.

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