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Different garage door opener types offer advantages for your home.

A Guide to Garage Door Opener Types

If you’re in the market for a new garage door opener, your options can be overwhelming. Even the most common options of chain drive and belt drive openers can be intimidating to compare and select. Each of these types of openers come with distinct differences, advantages, and disadvantages for your home.

Chain Drive

Chain drive garage door openers are the most common option used in homes. These reliable openers use a chain to move the garage door up and down. They are affordable and relatively easy to source replacement parts and maintenance due to their frequent use across the US. However, chain drives are the loudest types of garage door openers, making them a poor choice if your garage is situated near bedrooms or other areas of your home that could be disturbed by the noise. Ultimately, a chain drive is an effective and affordable option for customers that won’t be affected by the sound.

Belt Drive

Belt drive garage door openers operate similarly to chain drives. Their use of a belt greatly reduces noise produced by operation, making these an ideal choice for homes that require quiet use due to living space layout. It is important to note that belt drives can be more costly to purchase, install, and maintain due to their specialization. While more expensive, a belt driver opener’s premium performance and quiet operation make them a solid choice for your home.

Other Considerations

When you buy a garage door opener these days, there are often additional security features worth exploring. Many come with optional security equipment in the form of wifi-connected smartphone apps. These let you monitor your door’s open or closed status, operate it remotely, and more. Others have the capability of plugging into your home security system. Take the time to assess your home’s security and other needs and explore what options are available.

Need help with determining which garage door opener will work best for you? Contact us for a full garage door consultation today. From selection and consultation to installation, Garage Doors of Indianapolis will be there for you.

Light shining on masked burglar with hands up

6 Multi-Point Garage and Home Security Tips

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.

  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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!
A locking mechanism on a weather beaten door

Is Your Garage Secure?

In April 2015, police in Hanford, Calif., responded to reports of several burglaries, in which thieves had gained access to homes via the garage. The criminals had broken into cars, stolen garage door remote openers then looked at vehicle registrations in the glove box to determine the location of victims’ homes.

Those crimes are a reminder that homeowners should never leave a garage door opener in their car in plain sight. Ideally, remote openers should be small enough to carry with you on a key ring or in your pocket. Following are a few more tips that can help you improve garage security.

Use strong keypad codes

If you have a keypad entry system for your garage, make sure the code isn’t easy to guess. Your birth date, your child’s birth date or the date of your wedding should never be used as a password, because thieves can easily find that information in public records, or even on your Facebook profile.

Secure the emergency release mechanism

Several videos online demonstrate how easy it is for burglars to break into a garage with a wire coat hanger. They straighten the hanger, leaving the hook on the end, and slip it through the gap between the top of a garage door and the doorframe to pull down on the emergency release lever. Securing that lever with an inexpensive zip tie protects your home against this threat.

Fortify the service door

Once a thief is inside a garage, getting into a home is usually easy – especially if the thief has access to tools inside the garage. Fortify the door leading from your garage to your home by using at least one 3-inch screw in each hinge, securing it firmly to the framing. Add a heavy-duty strike plate and a lock re-enforcer that prevents the door from splitting.

Replace the garage door

A new steel garage door is unlikely to draw the attention of thieves, because they need to be able to break in quickly. An older door that looks rusted, dented or weakened in some other way would be a more likely target.

Use precaution when traveling

If you’re going to be away from home, don’t announce your travel plans publicly. Ask a trusted friend or family member to stop by your home periodically to collect mail and rotate which interior lights are turned on. And if your garage door has a slide-lock, make sure to engage that before you leave town.

Brown, Wooden Garage Door

Why You Need to Protect Your Family From Garage Door Accidents

Many of us take precautions to protect our families against hazards like food poisoning, falls, and fires. Unfortunately, accidents caused by garage doors are not always at the top of that list. Yet, 30,000 adults and children are injured in accidents involving garage doors every year, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Accidents include injuries and fatalities caused by falling doors, section joints, DIY projects, broken doors, entrapment, racing to beat the door, and riding the door.

Garage doors are typically the largest moving objects in a home. Like all machinery, proper installation, operation, maintenance, and testing are crucial to providing safe operation.

An improperly adjusted garage door or malfunctioning opener can cause a door to slam shut with tremendous force — enough to have deadly consequences.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the National Safety Counsel and the Industry Coalition for Automatic Garage Door Opener Safety have identified some routine but key, steps you can take to protect the health and safety of your family and keep your door operating properly.

  1. Reinforce the fact that garage door openers are not toys. As tempting as it may be to open and close automated doors, children should not be allowed to play with them. Take the time to discuss the dangers they can cause, including being trapped under the door. Also, stop the practice of “beating the door” to run out of the garage if you haven’t already done so. This practice has led to serious injuries or, in some cases, death.
  1. Take the time to understand how your door operates. Although you may never have to use it, locate the emergency release and practice how to use it. If someone gets trapped beneath the door, you can quickly engage the emergency release. Teach other residents of your home on how to use it as well.
  1. Perform routine maintenance and safety checks. Like other equipment and appliances in your home, your garage door system may malfunction. Regularly perform inspections and testing of the opener, door and other parts to make sure that it is functioning properly. Check the owner’s manual for a schedule of recommended maintenance for your specific model. If you can’t locate the manual, contact the manufacturer for a copy or directions on how to locate the information online.

For more tips on how to keep your family members safe from garage door accidents, read the complete guide at the International Door Association website.

Fitting Security Camera To House Wall

Make Your Home More Secure in 2 Days or Less

It’s not something we like to think about, but banks, businesses, and other commercial locations aren’t at the top of robbers’ list of places to break in. In the vast majority of cases, they’re stealing stuff from residential homes, according to the most recent data published by the FBI. Out of 2 million burglaries reported in 2010, nearly 74 percent were committed on residential properties.

You can take steps to make your home more secure against burglaries in less time than you may think. Here are several important measures you can implement within 2 days or less.

1. Make your security system visible. There’s a good chance you may have an alarm system on your home. Besides regularly activating it when you leave the home, consider installing surveillance cameras at different points of your property. Don’t try to hide them. Likewise, make sure your alarm company installs stickers in places where they are visible. Taking these measures could deter criminals from trying to break into your home, according to a study by the University of North Carolina. Out of 400 convicted felons surveyed, 83 percent said they would try to find out if a home had an alarm before trying to burglarize it. And 60 percent said they would try to find another target if there was evidence of an alarm.

If you already have an alarm system, it should only take a day or two to get some of those decals from your alarm company. Posting them on your home takes just a few minutes. And if you don’t have a security system, it’s time to get one. A professional can install a security system and those cameras in a day or two.

2. Secure your doors, garage doors and windows. Surprisingly, many burglary victims didn’t make sure their windows and doors were locked. Although 60.5 percent of burglaries were classified as forcible entry, 33.2 percent were unlawful entries — meaning that the burglars entered through unlocked doors, windows and garages. Also, if you regularly park your vehicle on the street, make sure you don’t leave your garage door remote in the vehicle. A burglar could break into the car as a way to get into the house. It only takes a minute to adopt these preventative security habits.

3. Regularly maintain garage doors. In some neighborhoods across the nation, police are reporting that burglaries of garages are spiking. In Spokane, Wash., for example, 180 burglaries of garages were reported in August of 2015 — compared to an average of 150. Have your garage inspected annually to ensure that it’s not vulnerable to break-ins.

An inspection should include checks on all of the parts, including springs, tracks and cables, to ensure they are properly operating and secure. Schedule an appointment with a garage door professional to conduct the inspection, and ask how secure your overall garage is against intrusions. An inspection and any potential maintenance only will take a couple of hours.

With some simple precautions, as well as a few changes around your home, you can help you discourage criminals from trying to burglarize your property. And it only takes a couple of days or less.

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