Each year, approximately 1.5 million home burglaries occur in the United States. Often, burglars choose to enter a home through unlocked doors or windows. Unfortunately, a home garage is an ideal target for many thieves because it typically has several entry points, connects to the inside of a home, and is often left unlocked.
Keeping your home and family safe starts with understanding the basics of garage door security and what you can do to prevent break-ins. Read on to learn how to secure a garage door and stay protected.
Understanding Garage Door Security Basics
Understanding the basics of garage protection is vital to choosing the right security system or plan for your home. Any garage’s security can be compromised by an old remote opener or keypad, a broken door, or even strong winds and heavy rain.
Maintaining your garage door, keeping the area clean, and staying current with security technologies can all help you avoid thieves, burglars, and other risks to your home’s overall security.
Remote Openers Can Be Dangerous
Remote door openers aren’t completely secure. A savvy hacker can override your remote’s security features and open your door while you’re away. Staying up-to-date with transmitter technologies and replacing your remote and signal system annually can help prevent hackers from accessing your garage via remote signals.
Broken Doors Are a Huge Hazard
Broken or faulty doors are the most significant threat to both home and garage security. Immediately fixing broken doors and keeping up with a smart maintenance schedule is the best way to prevent intruders from entering through an entryway. Heavy bolts and thick, glassless doors are a great place to start.
Keypads Are Hackable
Even though keypads are often advertised as a safer alternative to remotes, they are just as hackable. If you rely on a keypad to keep your garage safe and secure, be sure to alternative the passcode from time to time. You may also want to have a more modern system installed, especially if your current one is five years or older.
New Doors Are Safer
Older garage doors may be better off removed and replaced. New doors tend to come with a wide variety of safety features, and they can last for several decades if properly maintained.
Contacting a reputable garage door installation service is often the best option when doors are worn, old, bent, or unrepairable. Doing so can save time, money, and energy over the long-run.
Garage Door Locks Can’t Be Hacked
Installing a garage door lock can help deter potential burglars. It’s an obvious physical barrier that can be difficult to break through without a very strong pair of bolt cutters. The noise generated from trying to cut through one of these locks is often enough to wake neighbors and residents, making it an effective deterrent.
Top Threats to Garage Security
There are several factors to consider when attempting to make a garage more secure. Potential threats range from fires to hackers, and recognizing how to avoid each one can massively increase both your home and your garage’s security.
A garage’s doors are the first line of defense against intruders. Unfortunately, they’re also one of the primary targets. Thieves may use crowbars, bricks, knives, and lockpicks to enter a garage through one of its doors. Garage doors that fail to close completely are the most significant threat, as burglars can often wedge their way beneath these doors or trick the detection system into opening the door completely.
Check that all doors are properly closed and locked each evening is one of the best ways to deter intruders. It’s crucial to make a habit of this nightly security check, as watchful thieves may take advantage whenever possible.
The average garage is full of potential fire hazards. Overloaded circuits, clutter, and twisted piles of wiring are all potential hazards. Keeping your garage organized and clean is an excellent way of avoiding potential fire damage.
It’s essential to remove oil or fuel from garage floors and call for maintenance as necessary when wiring begins to exhibit issues. During hot, dry weather, it doesn’t take much to start a fire, so always be sure to remove and eliminate hazards.
Though intruders may be a threat that is constantly on the minds of homeowners and tenants, it’s vital to remember that natural threats are just as dangerous.
Many garages have windows to help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning and keep the area from getting musty. Windows also let in natural light, increasing the inherent value of the space. Still, garage windows are often a thief’s best friend, as many homeowners forget to lock and secure them.
Many people forget that windows age and need to be replaced from time to time. A garage’s windows typically survive years of extraordinarily cold winters and sweltering summers, as time and weather continue to cause wear and tear, cracks begin to form. Checking garage windows for any sign of deterioration can ensure that windows are secure against burglars.
Windows that are too tall to reach easily and are no excuse for an unsafe garage. They can easily be replaced by stronger, modern windows with easy-to-use or automated locking mechanisms. Additionally, homeowners can choose to remove windows for ultimate security.
Extreme weather often poses a tremendous threat to the security of a residential garage. Blizzards, floods, and even heatwaves can cause harm to a garage.
The heavy snow of a blizzard can cause water or ice damage to the interior and exterior of a garage, especially ones that aren’t properly sealed. Flash floods can seep beneath faulty garage doors and damage everything in sight. And heatwaves can ignite flammable materials and liquids present in a garage.
Insulating a garage from weather conditions, checking the seals around doors, and keeping the area clean are the best ways to prevent weather, causing expensive and extensive damage.
Believe it or not, someone can hack into your garage door’s electronic system and open it remotely. Hackers can target traditional, remote-controlled door systems or more advanced keypad security systems. The result is the same: an unsafe home.
Avoiding hackers isn’t difficult, but it does require a little planning and extra caution. Those with remote door openers should never leave their remote in their car or leave their garage open and unattended for any amount of time. Thieves can work quickly, taking advantage of any opportunity that arises.
Motion-activated lights and sensors can also prevent hackers from approaching close enough to home to hack into its security system.
Common household pests can infiltrate your garage and cause a significant amount of damage. Rats, squirrels, birds, spiders, cockroaches, and termites can all infest a garage, especially one that is unorganized, messy, or filthy. Subterranean pests can damage a garage’s foundation, and airborne pests can take up residence in a garage’s attic or loft area.
Over time, these pests can bore holes in walls, ceilings, foundations, and even entryways. These openings are sure to allow more pests inside. Also, they may make a garage more susceptible to weather damage and intruder break-ins.
Contacting an exterminator at the first sign of trouble is the best way to solve and prevent this threat.
Unlocked Garage Doors
An unlocked garage door is open to thieves and intruders. Even though a door may be properly closed, without a physical lock, it can be hacked into and opened remotely. A deadlock bolt on the outside of the garage door can provide the extra security and warning to keep intruders far, far away.
Garage door lock installation typically requires very little time is an exceptionally affordable option for most homeowners. Locks come in all shapes and sizes, and the best one for you and your garage door depends on your preferences, door type, and budget.
Garage Door Break-In Prevention Tips and Tricks
Preventing break-ins is key to maintaining garage security. Here are a few helpful tips and tricks to get you started.
Update Your Security Devices
Keeping your security devices updated is crucial to proper garage security. Whether you use a camera, keypad, or remote, you must ensure that your chosen system is properly functioning and in good repair.
It may also be wise to change your security codes and passwords often. Unwanted intruders and potential thieves can spend several weeks staking out a possible hit, and they can watch you from afar and learn your habits—including your pin codes. Changing security passcodes at least once a month can help prevent this from happening to you.
Installing a new system may also be a great idea, as older systems tend to be more open to hacks and outside manipulation. Replacing your system, or just your remote can significantly increase your garage’s security.
Keep Your Door Maintained
Keeping a garage door maintained and in proper working order is one of the wisest ways that any homeowner or tenant can keep their garage safe from intruders. Garage doors that fail to close completely, or that open unexpectedly from time to time, may require immediate repair services.
Protect Against Extreme Weather
Garage doors of all shapes and sizes should have some sort of weather protection. For example, most garage doors have thin strips of rubber sheeting adhered to their bottoms. This sheeting can help keep rainwater out of the garage, and deter strong winds from entering the shelter.
However, it’s essential to make sure that the sealant around outdoor entryways and interior doors is intact and in good condition. Doing so can help prevent significant damages from flash floods, blizzards, and other types of extreme weather.
Heavier, Bolted Doors Can Help
Installing heavier, bolted doors that lead into the home or out to the backyard can help deter intruders. These doors should not contain any windows or glass, to help prevent intruders from smashing through panels and unlocking an entry from the inside.
Thick bolts (or door chains) are more durable than standard locks, and combining multiple steel bolts with a deadlock knob can help keep your entryways stable and secure. Of course, you’ll have to remember to engage all of your locks each evening before going to sleep.
Install a Security Camera
Installing a security camera can be excellent for garage security woes. There are several different kinds of cameras you could install, including new smart cameras that sense motion and heat. These cameras have various settings, but most only record when they sense an intruder presence.
Part of the charm of these smart security cameras is that many are accessible via a smartphone app. That way, you can receive alerts directly to your pocket whenever your camera notices an unexpected visitor approaching your home or garage. However, large locks may be easier to cut, though they tend to be more secure than smaller ones.
Contact a Local Service Agent Today
There are plenty of things that any homeowner or tenant can do to keep a garage secure. Checking that doors and windows are locked every evening before going to bed, and fixing broken entryways is the first step to real garage door security. However, advanced security systems can provide a little additional peace of mind.
Still, many security systems and devices require a professional installation service and should not be attempted alone. If you’re preparing to update your garage’s security, check out our pricing options today and find a service that works for both your home and your budget.