10 Savvy Tips to Keep Your Garage Safe and Secure
Your garage is an important part of your home. It could be where you exit and enter your house the most on a daily basis. It might also be where you keep your lawn equipment, or maybe you use it for storage.
Regardless of how you use it, you should do everything you can to secure your garage. If it connects to your home’s living space, this is even more relevant. You need to make sure you’re protecting everything in your house, from your valuable items to your family members. Our garage safety tips can help keep you and your loved ones safe here in the Chicago area.
Checking the Condition of Your Garage Door
Securing a garage starts with the garage door itself. Your garage door is the last line of defense for your house, making it one of the most targeted break-in points for burglars and trespassers. A secure garage door is a deterrent for thieves, so you should make sure your garage is strong and looks like it. If your garage door is old and weathered, thieves may view it as an easy target — and they’ll be correct in their assumption. Old, weak garage doors are easy to break into.
Here are some common indicators of a weakening garage door:
- Warping panels
- Faded paint
If you see any of these signs on your garage door, consider repairing or replacing it. Some burglars are subtle and use tricks to enter and exit a garage without leaving any trace besides missing items. They can use cracks and loose seals in your garage door to unlock it from the outside. Then they can carry out their business without anyone knowing they were there.
Other times, thieves will use brute force to enter your garage. If your garage door is full of cracks and gaps, an intruder will wait until the time is right to break through the garage door by forceful means. You can avoid these instances by investing in a strong and secure garage door. If a burglar’s attempt to get past your garage door is difficult or lasts too long, they could give up and leave the premises before anyone can spot them.
10 Tips for Securing Your Garage
Once you make sure your garage door is in good condition, you can take other actions to keep your garage and entire home safe and secure. Here are 10 tips on how to keep your garage safe:
1. Keep Garage Door Sensors Clear
Garage door sensors act as a safety precaution to make sure nothing is under the door when it closes. While sensors do a good job ensuring the space below a garage door is clear of people, pets, toys or debris, they have the potential to malfunction if they get dirty. You could drive away from your home after pressing the button to close your door only to return home to an opened garage door if something triggered the sensor.
If nothing was in the way of the garage door, you might have an issue with the sensor lenses. Make sure no dust, leaves or other obstructions are in the way. Then, use an electronic screen wipe or microfiber scratch-resistant cloth to gently wipe the lenses. This should fix the issue of the garage door opening after you attempt to close it. If the problem persists, you may have faulty sensors and should seek replacements.
2. Add Lighting
Many thieves and burglars prefer to take action at night, since it provides natural protection from the watchful eyes of you or a neighbor. You can use the power of light as a deterrent to keep thieves from approaching your home in the evening. Install motion-activated lights around your home in key locations, such as the corners of the house and above entryways and garage doors.
Motion lights will stay off when the area is still. Once something enters their area of detection, they will turn on to flood the area with light. This will reveal whatever or whoever is approaching your home.
3. Keep Valuables Out of Sight
Most thieves don’t mindlessly break into homes. They target the exact item they want and its location to ensure a quick and successful operation. Thieves have keen eyes. Imagine you’re doing yard work with your garage open and someone walks down the road in front of your house. They may even offer a friendly wave.
This person could use this opportunity to see what you have in your garage. If anything is of interest to them, they could return later to get the item that caught their eye. Keep valuable items out of sight — especially around any garage windows — to make sure potential thieves are unaware of any items of interest in your garage.
4. Protect Windows
Protecting your windows is another way to keep valuables out of sight. If you have windows in your garage or garage door, you may be doing more than letting light into your garage during the daytime. You could be letting potential robbers scope out the interior of your garage. Visibility into your garage allows people to see your valuables.
There are a few ways you can decrease visibility through your garage windows. Curtains or blinds are one easy option to obstruct vision. If you still want daylight to enter your garage, you could choose frosted, glazed or tinted windows to make it harder to see inside while still allowing light to pass through. For added security, you could install bars behind your windows to eliminate them as an entry point for thieves.
5. Secure Side or Entry Doors
Doorways are consistently one of the easiest places for a thief to break into a garage or a home. People can use force to break through weaker doors, and prybars offer a solution to bypass stubborn latches. Cutting a small hole through a door can even give robbers the opportunity to reach through and unlock it. In the worst cases, robbers turn the handle and walk right into a house because the homeowner forgot to lock the door.
If your garage is attached to your home, you need to take extra precautions to bolster the security of your entry door. Add a deadbolt to the door and at least one other lock. Upgrade your hinges with larger, sturdier screws to reinforce the door’s connection to the frame. You could also upgrade your strike plate for added defense against prybars. It’s also important to establish a habit of locking your doors each night.
6. Install Security Cameras and Alarms
Have you noticed that people advertise their home’s security system by putting a sign in their yard that says what brand they have? This sign tells potential thieves that the house is not going to be easy to rob. The security system could trigger alarms, call local law enforcement and give away their location. Alarm systems are deterrents and alert inhabitants the moment a break-in occurs.
Consider installing garage security cameras and alarms. Many security cameras are motion-activated, so they only record when something moves in their area of detection. Like motion-activated lights, the mere presence of security cameras acts as a deterrent to robberies. Some security cameras stream their footage to your smartphone, keeping you updated every time something approaches your windows or doors. Equip your entryways with alarms to scare away thieves and alert you when someone is trying to enter your home.
7. Protect Garage Door Remotes
Your remote for your garage door opener is like a second key into your home. Many people leave their garage door remotes in their car. All a thief has to do is break into your car and take the remote to have access to your home. If you’re parked in public, they can use the address on your vehicle registration to find where you live before you finish shopping.
Treat your garage door opener as a key by getting a keychain for it. Attach it to your keyring so it stays on your person at all times. That way, you’ll never leave it in your car as easy bait for thieves. You also may want to think twice before hiding a garage door opener outside your house.
8. Prevent Fishing for the Release Lever
If you have an automatic garage door, you also have a release lever equipped with it. Locate the red cord or string hanging from your garage door opener to identify this lever. When you pull the string, you’re disengaging the opening system, which allows you to open your garage door manually. Unfortunately, thieves can access this lever from the outside to give themselves manual entry into your garage. It’s as easy as wedging open the garage door and using a wire hanger to pull the lever.
You can prevent this from happening. One way is to get a lever that pulls down rather than toward the door. This limits a thief’s ability to pull the lever toward them when they are outside your door. You could also use a zip tie to hold the lever in place and cut it off whenever you need to use it. Another option is to install a shield in front of the lever to limit outside forces from pulling it open.
9. Keep the Garage Door Closed
Many break-ins are a result of homeowners leaving their garage doors open. During busy mornings, it’s common for people to forget to close the door, which could be a costly mistake.
There are more ways to keep your garage door closed than simply remembering to do so. Some garage door openers have timers that automatically close them after a set time. Even if you drive away without closing the garage door, it will close itself after a programmed time period. With smart garage door openers, you can receive alerts that your garage door is open. As long as you have an internet connection, you can close the door from anywhere with the tap of your screen.
10. Unplug Openers When Out of Town
Thieves can often tell when you’re not home. A full mailbox, piles of newspapers, no lights and an empty driveway are all signs of vacancy. You can limit these signs with the help of your neighbors, but you should still take some extra precautions when leaving town.
Unplug your automatic garage door opener before you hit the road. You can even install a lock or bolt for your garage door rails to keep the door from being opened manually. When everything is in place, exit your garage using a separate door and lock it behind you. All these precautions can ensure your home is safer while you’re away, giving you peace of mind.
A Modern Garage Door Provides Better Security
Old garage doors can look weak, making them a prime target. Having a modern garage door can make all the difference in keeping an intruder from breaking into your home. New garage doors are secure and strong. They can better withstand break-in attempts with their modern materials, sturdy build quality and unique features.
At Garage Door Specialists, we offer a broad range of Clopay® garage doors to choose from. For example, the RESERVE® WOOD collection MODERN series garage doors are modern options that incorporate the beauty and strength of wood into their design. If you’re interested in the durability of steel, we offer MODERN STEEL™ collection garage doors to provide even more strength against intruders.
You should make sure your garage door opener is up-to-date to get the most security features. We offer a range of garage door openers to suit any need or security preference. You may want to select an opener that includes smart technology, timers and other features for added security. Many modern garage door openers use rolling codes to change the access code each time you press the button on your remote. Features like this make it harder for thieves to break in electronically.
Protect Your Home With the Help of Garage Door Specialists
If you want to improve the security of your Wheeling, Illinois home, remember to update the security features of your garage. It could be as easy as installing a new garage door and opener with modern safety features. Choose Garage Door Specialists to meet your garage security needs in the Chicago area. We have design consultants who will work with you to make sure your new garage door is both safe and beautiful. You can update your security and raise the value of your home with a new garage door.
We look forward to helping you secure both your garage and home with a new garage door and opener. Contact us online for more information on how to keep a home secure. You can also request an estimate or request service for your garage door today.