The advent of do-it-yourself home security tools has made homeowners more comfortable with the safety of their environment. However, many are lulled into a false sense of security and neglect the simplest methods of keeping their houses protected from a break-in.
The garage door is the largest opening into many homes yet is oft forgotten when it comes to security. Take stock in these ten simple steps to ensure your garage is secure and prevent break-ins.
1. Shut the Door!
We start with our simplest step. Keep the door shut. Homeowners are notorious for leaving the garage door open at night or after departing for the day. Leaving your garage door open is the fastest way to invite a break-in. It also offers an opportunity for someone to “case” your garage for valuables.
2. Use Simple Tools
Fortunately for those of us who are forgetful at times, there are handy tools that can prevent things like neglecting to do tip number one. There are many timers on the market that can close your door after a certain timeframe.
A timer can be set to close the door five minutes after it has been opened. This will help prevent the, “Did I shut the door,” moments of fear. Automatic timers can be deactivated for convenience if you need the door left open for an extended period.
3. Cover the Windows
Not every garage has windows but those that do are full of natural, healthy light. Unfortunately, windows allow any passersby to look directly into your garage and see what is happening inside.
Covering the windows can prevent this vulnerability. Blinds or curtains are an option. For those who prefer to avoid these, frosting the windows is a great idea. There are sprays available at any hardware store that are simple to use. Alternatively, window film can be used to allow light in while distorting the view from the outside.
4. Lock Internal and External Doors
The most vulnerable entries to your home are the ones left unlocked. Homeowners often place their greatest concerns about security on the front door, but every point of entry should be well-protected.
Always lock doors leading to the garage and from the garage into the home. Do not leave an internal door unlocked simply because you feel the garage is tightly sealed. Consider using a smart lock or deadbolt, even on the door leading into the home from the garage.
5. Protect Your Garage Door Opener
If you look inside many vehicles parked in front of a home, you will see their garage door opener clipped to their sun visor or in some other obvious spot. This is as silly as leaving your housekeys sitting in front of your door.
Homeowners will often ignore tip number four and leave the door leading from their garage to the house unlocked. Combine this with an easily accessible garage door opener and it will be easy for an intruder to get inside the home.
If you have a traditional garage door opener, avoid the temptation to clip It to the sun visor. Keep it in the glove box or center console storage. The safest openers are small enough to attach to your keys, making it possible to take the garage door opener with you.
6. Invest in Good Lighting Technology
Lighting the outside of your garage and home is key to preventing break-ins. Thieves hate being seen, for obvious reasons, and will target dark entryways when possible. Motion technology makes it possible to have great security lighting without having your yard look like an airport landing area.
7. Install a Garage Door Locking Mechanism
Adding a lock to the inside of your garage door can add extra security. While it could be a hassle to use if you are coming and going frequently, an internal lock is a great idea for time away from home or once the day is done.
8. Mind the Emergency Release Handle
There is a slim possibility that an expert home invader could get to your garage door’s emergency release without opening the door. The combination of prying the door open at the top and using a long object to pull the release could lead to easy access. Find a way to block your release handle from the front of the garage.
9. Take Advantage of Home Security Systems
With the plethora of options available on the market ranging from advanced to do-it-yourself, there is no reason to avoid installing a home security system. Many homes have already taken this step but have neglected the garage door.
If you are missing a security system, take some time to research options that are comfortable for you. If you have one but did not secure the garage, contact your provider to inquire about garage door security options.
A monitored security system is always ideal. These systems go beyond simply alerting you after a break-in has occurred. They can notify local police, even if you are out of town. While this level of security often requires a monthly fee, it may be worth it for the added sense of safety.
10. Consult a Professional
The previous nine tips have been simple ways to improve the safety and security of your home. If you are overwhelmed by your options or feel like you need answers to more detailed questions, contact a professional garage door company. They can help you make decisions that are best for you and your specific needs.
Take the Time to Stay Safe
It is time to stop ignoring the security of your garage door. Take some time and look around your garage for vulnerabilities.
Many of these tips are quite simple, like improved lighting and keeping the door closed. Doing the easy things can greatly improve the security of your garage and home.