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Originally Posted On: https://austincarkeys.com/securing-the-garage-door-keeping-thieves-from-your-home/
Did you know there are almost 8 million property crimes committed every year? Unfortunately, many of these crimes go unnoticed in the middle of the night. How is that possible?
Simple; the burglars gain access silently through the garage door. Garages are a weak point for many homes since most people don’t think about securing them.
Once inside these thieves have perfect access to your car, tools, and whatever other valuable you keep locked up.
Don’t wait until after your home has been broken into to do something about it. Instead, follow the advice in this article and secure your garage door today. Let’s get started!
Keep Your Garage Door Closed
This tip may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people unwittingly leave their garage door open when they sleep. Just because you don’t keep anything valuable in your garage doesn’t mean you should keep it open.
Doing so gives thieves an easy way to break into the door to your house. You also shouldn’t get complacent just because you’re spending more time at home. Because everyone is staying home so much lately, residential burglaries have decreased dramatically in recent months.
The same isn’t true for auto burglaries. In some areas, garage break-ins are up by as much as 71%. Unfortunately, many people simply forget to close their doors at the end of a busy day.
Or, their kids leave it open by mistake. What do you do if you fall into this category? We recommend an automated timer. These devices can be installed next to your garage door opener button.
They automatically close your door after a set period of time. That way you never have to remember to close your door when you leave for work or come home.
Don’t Leave Your Garage Door Opener in Your Car
According to the Los Angeles Times, an unsecured door opener is one of the most popular ways that thieves gain access to garages. These remote devices clip to the sun visor in your car. While they are convenient, they’re also a weak point.
We recommend taking the clicker inside with you after you come home every day. If you’re forgetful, then consider getting a garage door opener keychain. These smaller devices are sold online or at most types of home stores.
That way you never have to remember to bring inside since it will be attached to your car keys. Also, remember that if you lose your clicker, then it can end up in the wrong hands. So, if you misplace it, then replace it with a new one as soon as possible.
Install a Solid Core Garage Door
When making new homes many contractors will use hollow core garage doors. Often these builders will use these types of doors to cut corners and save some money. While these types of products are affordable, they’re also more vulnerable to break-ins.
Instead, we recommend installing a solid core door. These types of models are more secure by design. They’re also quieter and easier to open and close. If you aren’t sure how to set-up a garage door, then make sure you contact an expert that offers installation services.
If You Go on Vacation Secure the Overhead Door
Leaving for vacation is a prime time for thieves to break into your home. When no one’s home, the garage is a great entry point. Because of this we highly recommend securing it before you leave.
The first thing you can do is unplug your electric garage door opener. We also recommend putting a padlock on the overhead door latch. If you can’t find the overhead latch, then simply put a bolt through one of the holes in the track at the bottom of the door.
Both of these methods will prevent a thief from gaining access through the overhead door. However, we discourage people from using zip ties to secure their doors. While these methods are effective, they violate federal regulations.
Make Sure Your Service Door is Locked and Secured
If your garage has a service door, then you should always make sure it’s locked before going to bed. Unfortunately, oftentimes these doors have subpar locks installed on them.
An old or simple lock system may discourage a lazy thief, but they won’t stop a brute force attack. If you’re worried about this, then we suggest securing the door with a quality deadbolt lock. We recommend one that meets ANSI Grade 1.
However, a Grade 2 will likely meet your average security needs. Make sure that the hinges on these deadbolts are secured with screws that are larger than ¾ inch. Otherwise, they will be easy to kick open.
If you aren’t confident installing a new lock on your own, then make sure to call your local locksmith for help.
Set Up Floodlights and Security Cameras
Almost all thieves prefer darkness when breaking into a garage or house. These poor lighting conditions can help them remain hidden from potential witnesses. You can combat this by installing a floodlight directly above the exterior of your garage.
This will illuminate anyone who tries to gain access to your garage. We highly recommend investing in a motion-activated model. The surprise of a bright spotlight is often enough to deter even the most experienced thief.
If you want to go all out, then you can improve your security even further with security cameras. Often the presence of these devices will convince a burglar that your home isn’t worth breaking into.
However, if your garage still is burglarized, then a security camera can help local law enforcement find the thief. It will also provide video evidence for court if they’re found and convicted.
Secure Your Garage Windows
Garage windows — either on the door or around the garage — are a major weak point in many homes. For one thing, they provide an easy method of surveillance for the thief.
An experienced burglar can use the windows to see if you have anything valuable in plain sight. They also provide an easy way to gain access. All a thief needs to do is break the windows to gain access to your valuables.
So what can you do to protect yourself? First, you should cover up your garage windows with paper or a similar translucent film. This will let light in, but make it impossible to see into your garage. We also recommend barring your windows with homemade bars.
That way, even if a thief breaks the windows they still won’t be able to get past the bars. You can buy some ready-made bars in stores, but it will be cheaper to make a DIY solution out of steel pipes. For more home security tips, make sure to check out our in-depth guide.
Keep Your Garage Keypad Private
External garage keypads are another weak point that you should be aware of. Make sure you also keep the password to these keypads private. If you need to provide the code to a house sitter, then make sure they can be trusted before providing them with the code.
People who you may not know well may share the code or use it to break in themselves. If you have kids, then remind them to share the code with friends or strangers. If you suspect that the code has been compromised, then reset it as soon as possible.
Hide Your Valuables or Keep Them Secure Inside
If you don’t cover your windows, then we highly recommend keeping any valuables out of sight. That way any thieves casing the garage won’t see them during their surveillance process.
It will also make it riskier for them because they’ll have to spend more time searching for anything of value. However, ideally, even if they break into the garage they won’t be able to steal anything.
You can do this by keeping anything worth stealing inside your home instead of the garage.
Garages are an undeniable weak point, so we don’t recommend storing anything that you don’t mind losing. Instead keep expensive instruments, power equipment, or anything else of value safely inside.
Do You Need Help Securing Your Garage Door? Contact Austin Car Key Pros
We hope this article taught you some valuable ways you can protect your garage door from thieves. Unfortunately, not everyone has the know-how to install new, secure garage door and hardware.
That’s where Austin Car Key Pros come into the picture. We’re a local Austin company that can work with you to protect your home. Whether you want a standard garage door or a customized one for more security, we can help.
If your garage has been broken into already, then don’t panic. We offer to speed emergency repair services to help get your garage secure as soon as possible.
Whatever your problem is, we can help. Please contact us today to get the peace of mind that you deserve.