January 5, 2015

Keeping Your Garage Secure

You use your garage to store your car, your tools, your equipment, and maybe other valuables you want to keep safe but separate from the rest of your house. However, garages can be the most vulnerable area of a home, as they often serve as a main entrance and exit and are more isolated than the rest of the house.

House Key

While most people live in safe neighborhoods, there always remains a risk that opportunistic burglars may target an unsecured garage. To help you make sure that your garage is protected from break-ins, here are some tips you can follow:

Make sure the door is closed and locked at all times

Don’t leave your garage door open, even if someone is home. If you do, any passerby has access to the contents of your garage, including anything valuable stored there. Make sure to shut all windows securely and to lock both doors and windows when no one is around. If your garage is attached, we recommend that the door to the house inside it be locked at all times, and even equipped with a double lock for extra safety.

Adequately light the area

Bright lights deter thieves and burglars as they could easily be caught in the act. Make sure all doors, and even windows if possible, are well lit. Not only does exterior lighting such as recessed lights or wall lamps increase security, but they also improve the appearance of your home at night.

If energy consumption is a concern, or if you want extra lights for even more security, you can install motion-detecting floodlights that will only turn on if someone passes by. These bright lights will let everyone around know that there was unexpected movement in the area, and will also scare off most potential burglars.

Cover your garage windows

Prevent passersby from seeing the precious contents of your garage by installing covers or curtains over your garage windows. If you still want to let the sun shine in while also blocking the view, you can use sheer fabric or plastic sheets instead.

Use a reliable garage door

Your garage door should be a strong and robust obstacle to the contents of your garage. Even if you live in a safe neighborhood, it’s still a good idea to secure your garage by choosing a well-built door made of high-quality materials that also looks appealing, such as our recessed panel door, the Cambridge, our classic or elongated raised-panel garage door, the Standard+; or our carriage-house-style garage door, the Eastman Estate. All of these doors are made from 1 ¾” thick galvanized steel with a polyurethane-injected core.

If you store highly valuable equipment, tools, or other valuables in your garage, then you can’t go wrong with a solid steel door with no windows or easily accessible openings. Our Top Tech, for example, is made from 23-gauge hot-galvanized steel and reinforced with 14-gauge plates around the hinges and handles.

Use an alarm system

A simple door sensor in and of itself can be a powerful deterrent. Door sensors sound an alarm when the garage door is opened, which discourages intruders. There are also remote door sensors that trigger a silent alarm that sends a signal to a remote monitor or receiver when the door is opened.

A lot of garage door openers come with built-in security features such as self-closing or the ability to monitor whether the door is opened or closed. They also often integrate with smartphone apps, allowing you to open or close your garage door over the Internet.

Keep your security code secret

If your garage door is equipped with a wireless keypad, make sure the security code remains secret. When you enter the code, ensure no one can read it. If you must share the code with anyone for any reason, be absolutely certain that person is trustworthy and don’t forget to change the code on a regular basis to make it harder for people to guess it.

Keep your garage keys safe

When you’re not home, always make sure to keep your home and garage keys with you and not in your car or in some secret hiding spot at home. If you leave your keys in your car and it gets broken into, the thief will have easy access to your garage if they find out where you live. If your garage door has a remote, opt for the keychain type that you can carry with you on a keychain.

Don’t leave your remote in your car for all to see

Do not clip your garage door opener to your sun visor. Instead, hide it in the glove box or another concealed spot in your car. If your vehicle is broken into and the thief finds your address on your registration paperwork, your garage door remote would give them easy access to your home.

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