Garage doors present one of the largest access points in a home–and one of the most vulnerable. They are an easy target for burglars. In fact almost 10% of all break-ins start in the garage, according to an article on This Old House.
Here is an overview of problems you need to look out for and ways to increase the security of the doors connected to your garage.
Access Door Between the Home and the Garage
Treat the access door like an exterior door. Use a deadbolt lock and make sure the doorframe is strong. Your goal is to make security on this door as tight as it is on your front door.
Install a wide-angle peephole in your access door. That way you can easily check what’s going on in the garage if you hear unexpected noises.
Your Service Door
The service door is the one you walk through to get into the garage from the outside. Make sure it has a deadbolt on it, as well as a heavy-duty strike plate. Treat it like any other exterior door on your home. If you have a home alarm system, consider putting sensors on this door in addition to the door between your house and garage.
Attached and Unattached Garages
Once intruders get into an attached garage, they can get into the rest of your house. In the garage, they can’t be seen by your neighbors. It’s the perfect cover.
Even if the burglar gets into a detached garage, he can steal what you have stored there. According to Angie’s List, the garage is one of the major depositories of expensive power tools, garden equipment, outdoor gear, car accessories and even appliances.
Check the Windows
Most garages have windows, some even on the garage door itself. This lets thieves see what is inside. It’s a good idea to put translucent film over the windows or even sheer fabric curtains. These let in light but prevent a clear view of the interior.
Close the Garage Door
It is all too common for homeowners to leave the garage door up. It can be convenient if you’re running errands or doing odd jobs around the house, but it presents an open invitation to thieves.
A good way to remind yourself that the door is up is to invest in a garage door monitor. This has a sensor that is connected to the door and a monitoring unit that stays in the house. It lets you easily check if the door is up or down.
You can also install an automatic door closer. This will close the door for you, even if you aren’t home.
Lock the Roll-Up Garage Door
If you are using an overhead door that you open and shut manually, be sure to install a lock on it. If you go out of town and don’t have a manual lock, use a c-clamp on each side of the door track. This works like a lock because it fits tightly on the track, effectively locking it.
Make sure the mechanical parts of your roll-up door are in good working condition. If you see rust and corrosion, get it fixed. Poor maintenance makes it easier to break in, even if it is shut and locked.
Consider a motion-activated light on the front of your garage. Criminals hate bright lights. Proper lighting is often enough to send the bad guys trolling other neighborhoods.
Be Careful with Your Remote Opener
Remotes that sit on your car dashboard, visor or in the glove compartment make it easy for a thief to gain access to your garage. It’s better to invest in a remote opener that fits on your keychain. That way it stays on your person, not in the car.
By following these precautions, you can quickly and inexpensively beef up the security of your garage door, access door and service door. Stay safe and don’t make it easy for home invaders to get in through your garage.