The next time you drive through your neighborhood, take a moment to slow down and look and see how many of your neighbors leave their garage doors open. It is fairly common for people to leave their garage doors open all day long while they are away at work or out running errands.
Crime and home break-ins may not be thought to be a problem in your community. However, when home robberies do occur, chances are, the robbers cased your neighborhood to identify homes where the garage doors were left open. Those houses are normally the ones broken into.
How People Can Break Into Your Garage
Aside from simply walking into the home through the garage because the garage door was left open, other ways people can break into your home have to do with a lack of proper garage door security. A short time ago, videos circulated online showing how easy it is for thieves to slip a wire coat hanger through the top of the garage door and pull down on the door’s emergency release.
Another way thieves can break into the home is when you leave your garage door remote control in plain view inside your vehicle. All a robber has to do is follow you around to find out where you live, and then, once they know the house is empty, break into your car and steal the garage door opener.
Yet another way someone could break into your home is if your garage door is not well-maintained. If it is damaged, where part of the panels have large gaps in between, or there are cracks or openings, it can make it easier for a robber to get into the home.
If there are other issues, like the automatic opener stopped working, so you leave the door unlocked when you pull it down and head off to work, the thief could simply walk up and pull on the door to see if it opens. If it does, then they break into the home.
How to Prevent Break-ins Through Your Garage
Preventing break-ins through your garage and garage door begins by performing a risk assessment. Take the time to answer the following questions:
- Do I have a bad habit of leaving the garage door open or forgetting to close it?
- Do I leave my garage door opener in plain sight inside my vehicle?
- Do I have an automatic garage door and the emergency release is not secured?
- Are there windows in my garage door or garage?
- Is my garage door in need of repair or replacement?
- Is my garage door more than five or ten years old?
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you will want to make several improvements and changes in your habits. Otherwise, you could come home from work one day and find all of your electronics and valuables are gone. Improving the security of your garage and garage door should include doing the following:
- Always keep the garage door closed. It can be easy to drive off assuming your garage door is closing because you pressed the button. However, it if is windy or rainy out and something blew in front of the bottom door sensors, this might have stopped it. Make it a habit to back out of the garage and wait for the door to fully close before driving off.
- Add a garage door open detection device. There are different devices you can have installed that will send an alert to your smartphone through an app whenever the garage door is opened or was left open. Using the app, you can remotely close the door.
- Always keep your garage door opener out of sight. Get rid of that big bulky opener and upgrade to a smaller one you can keep on your key ring. Better yet, upgrade to smart technologies and use an app on your smartphone as your automatic door opener instead.
- Cover up windows to make it hard to see inside the garage . You don’t have to get rid of any windows you have in your garage—just make sure they are secure. You can use different reflective films or blinds to cover them.
You may also want to add window security bars on the exterior for added protection. For glass windows in your garage door, you can have the panel removed and replaced with a solid one, or swap out clear glass for frosted glass.
- Have regular maintenance performed on your garage door. Annual maintenance from a qualified garage door technician can identify potential problems and security risks to keep your home more secure.
- Upgrade to a better-quality garage door. Select a thicker door and one that has hurricane protection features if you decide to have a new garage door installed.
- Secure the automatic garage door emergency release mechanism. There is a simple and easy way to do this using a plastic zip tie. Pass the zip tie through the metal opening in the release mechanism and fasten it tightly. If you pull down gently on the emergency release, the door should not become disengaged.
This will prevent thieves from using the coat hanger hack to break into your garage. A coat hanger is not strong enough to break the zip tie. In the event you need to release the door, if you pull down with sufficient force, it will snap the plastic zip tie.
- Always lock the door in between the garage and your home. Another bad habit many people have is to leave to door in between the garage and the home unlocked. Get into the habit of always locking it when you leave the home.
- Add a deadbolt to the door in between the garage and your home. If the door in between your garage and home does not have a deadbolt, have one installed. This will make the door more secure from break-ins.
- Install a security system with video cameras. You can install a home security system with video cameras outside the garage door and the other doors to your home. You should also consider having window sensors and glass-break sensors installed. Both of these sensors will set off the alarm if a window is opened or broken.
- Install lighting around the garage and home that have motion sensors. Make sure the area around the garage and home is well-lit during the evening and nighttime hours. Doing so will make it more difficult for robbers to break into your garage and your home.
- Lock your garage door if you will be away from home for an extended period of time. It might seem like a pain to engage the locking mechanism on the door, but doing so makes it harder for someone to break into the home through the garage.
By completing a security risk assessment for your garage door, garage, and home, you can take steps to make your home more secure while reducing the risks of a potential break-in.
To schedule garage door repair and maintenance, new grage door installation, adding new security features to your garage door, or assistance in performing a security assessment on your garage door, please feel free to contact A1A Overhead Doors Company at (904) 404-2818 today! We provide quality garage door services in Jacksonville and the surrounding areas in Florida.
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