Garage doors are a part of our everyday life and come standard with nearly all American homes. With the push of a button the door opens and you can park our vehicle or use your garage for storage. It’s equally as convenient for burglars and is a common entry point. Here are five tips to protect you property and yourself from thieves.
1. Close Your Garage
According to metropolitan police, garage doors are the entry point for thieves nearly 50 percent of the time. The alarm system may be activated in your house, but that doesn’t protect the garage. The most common reasons for the break-ins are the garage door is left up or it has become dilapidated. These crimes often happen while the residents are home and think no one can get in their garage. It doesn’t matter how safe you feel or if you think you live on the nice side of town. The first place a thief is going to go is the nice neighborhoods in town to score the expensive loot.
2. Make it Difficult
The most common type of garage door remote is the visor clip. It is best to not leave them in your car. The burglar will not only break into your car if all he has to do is push a button to be in your house. You should even remove these devices when you’re away from home. Police have sited cases in which the thief breaks into the car, finds your address on your registration and then steals your garage door opener. What’s he do next? Drives to your home and steals your belongings from your house. Instead it is better to get a garage door opener for you key ring. These may cost a little extra, but they’re always with you and that’s extra security.
Another problem is the garage doors with a keypad mounted on the outside. The purpose is to enter a four-digit code and get in the garage without an opener. Change the code from the default to something not obvious. Do not use your address, birthday, phone number or etc. This code could be made up at random or it can be something very obscure, but make it difficult. You should change this code every now and then. The rubber numbers on the keypad get worn off. It is easier to crack the code when only four of the numbers are rubbed away.
3. Limit Exposure
If your garage has windows you should keep them covered. If there is no vehicle in the garage it is a give away no one is home. Keeping your door closed will also help limit the exposure. When a criminal can see into your garage it is an open invitation to at least profile what is in your garage. If they see T.V. or computer boxes, you’re giving them insight as to what is in your house. You must protect yourself and your belongings, and the view into your garage is a window into your life.
4. The Door Between Your Garage and Your House
Many people don’t lock the door between your house and garage. Imagine having to come home and use a key to get in your house. Now imagine coming home to a ransacked house with all of your stuff gone. Was the key really such an imposition? Didn’t think so. Even with an alarm system experienced robbers can be in and out of your house before the police arrive and it’s much easier if they go through the garage.
Another common problem with this door is it is flimsy and easy to break into. It’s common for home builders to go the cheapest and easiest route, but your really need something solid for this door too. If this door is easy to kick in or the frame is loose you’re only making it easier for the enemy to invade your home. You feel safe in your home, but you need to make it a fortress. Think about how you would break into your home and then reinforce those weak points.
Get a peephole for the door. When you hear something moving around in your garage, it’s not the best idea to open your door. Without a peephole or a window to look through, your only option is to open the door.
5. Exiting Your Garage Properly
As a man in Cary, Missouri found out opening your garage and then getting into your car is a mistake. He had a couple of burglars waiting on him. They forced him to let them into his home and the duct taped him to the bed while they robbed him.
The proper way to exit you garage is to protect you, passengers and your home. Go into the garage and get into your car. With your doors locked open the garage door and back out. Stay parked in your driveway until you’ve watched your garage door go all the way down. In the event there is someone waiting for you, you’re safe in the car and can get away faster.
Obviously the best way to protect yourself and your home is to exercise common sense and safety. Crime rates are rising and break-ins are at an all time high.
A few more tips include:
- Leave a light on.
- Do not dispose of TV or appliance boxes on the curb.
- Lock and secure all windows and doors.
- Activate your alarm system.
- Keep all gates and fences secured and locked.