You’re not the only one benefitting from the information available online. Thieves and burglars are tapping into instructional information and videos that demonstrate just how easy it is to break into your home. But you can outsmart them with a multi-point security approach, the most effective way to protect your home today. It starts with the garage, the easiest–and largest–entry point.
Why is the garage so vulnerable? It’s easy to forget to close the door, the door may malfunction and rise when sensing an obstacle, and physical for reasons, the door itself can have weak points or be made with inferior material. We’ve outlined key things you can do to reinforce entry points, deter break-ins and secure your space.
- Hold your door to a standard. Is your garage door built to be secure? Make sure you have a solid wall of protection. Glass and steel are strong materials, whereas aluminum can be dented and otherwise compromised, and wood can splinter and weaken without regular sealing and maintenance. Your garage door should be held to a security standard, like LPS 1175 Issue 516 or Warrington’s STS 202 (BRI).
- Create a block. Some garage door experts recommend using zip ties to prevent burglars from breaking in with a coat hanger. Zip ties will work, but you may compromise your safety and ability to get insurance claim coverage by disabling the security release.
A security shield is a better way to block access–it doesn’t let the intruder break through the weather seal to begin with. The shield creates a block from outside the door, preventing contact with the emergency release. It works with modern overhead doors, so styles like the roller, canopy and side hinge will need an alternative option. A garage door specialist can likely make a recommendation.
- Surprise the intruder. It’s less likely that a thief can break in when they are caught in the act: light and sound are good deterrents that surprise and buy time. Alone, a garage door sensor might not discourage a persistent intruder. When combined with a home alarm, it creates urgency: the intruder might be startled and pressured, giving police, who could be called by neighbors or home security dispatch, time to respond.
Make sure to install garage door sensors in positions that spotlight the front door and any side or back entrance. Consider, too, a smart garage security system or adding garage coverage onto your home security plan.
- Reinforce (indoor) doors. The lock may be strong but the surrounding area is typically weak, especially on interior doors. The solution? Use a lock reinforcer, a metal plate that supports the doorknob, diffuses the force of impact and makes the door nearly impenetrable around the lock area. Look for reinforcement also for door jambs and hinges, other weak spots.
Finally, make sure to use a strong lock for the door leading into the house (and to the yard if you have one): deadbolt with an ANSI Grade 1 or 2 rating.
- Don’t give them access. This suggestion may seem simplistic, but most people attach the garage door opener to their car’s visor. Thieves are aware of this, so don’t give them the opportunity. Carry the garage door opener with you, either in your purse or a mini version on a keychain, and when you’ll be away for a stretch of time, disarm the remote and padlock the door.
You might also want to consider window bars on larger openings, since this is typically another access point burglars try.
- Keep desirables out of sight. Windows are great design elements, but they also can invite theft just by making your garage interior visible. It is possible to maintain a certain aesthetic while hiding possessions. Consider installing frosted glass or translucent film: both let in light but obscure the view.
These tips will get you started, but your best resource for garage door security is a specialist. We’d be happy to talk through various options to find the right fit for you. Contact us today!