This post is originally authored at the home security blog at family + home security.
Statistically, a significant percentage of thieves enter a residence by breaking in through the garage. In order to protect the security of your home, you have to ensure that your garage is secure against potential burglars. Here are some basic garage security tips.
Maintain Your Garage Door
Many residential units have garages that haven’t been properly maintained. Your garage door operates with many mechanical parts, which do need to be replaced over time. Check for any sign of corrosion on the metal implements of your garage door, replacing them as necessary. If your garage door has a wooden frame, make sure that the wood is solid, and has not been rotted or cracked.
Upgrade Your Automatic Door Opener
If your garage door opener is from the 1990’s, it’s essential that you upgrade to a modern unit. Some of the earlier generation garage door openers are not secure, and use a standard code that can be easily imitated by thieves with a remote transmitter. There are also several models of early-generation garage door openers that need their code to be manually changed in order to be secure. However, today, the best security option for your garage door is to purchase an automatic opener that implements what is called “rolling code” technology. Each time you open your garage door, the transmitter uses one of millions of unique codes. Since a new code is generated each time you use the device, it can’t be imitated by thieves.
Install an Alarm
In order to increase the security of your garage door, consider installing a simple burglar alarm. There are many electronic alarms available that can warn you of a burglar’s attempt to break in to your garage. You can usually purchase a simple magnetic contact alarm for around $20 at your local hardware store. If you would like a more sophisticated alarm, consider installing a motion-sensing alarm that covers all possible entry points into your garage. You can either purchase a stand-alone motion sensor, or add it to an existing monitored security system. Depending on your security company, you may even be able to add a wireless motion sensor for increased versatility. However, it’s important to ensure that any wireless devices you install are within range of the security system’s control panel.
Keep Your Garage Door Opener Safe
This is possibly one of the most common mistakes that people make with their automatic garage door openers. Many of these devices have a clip, so that they can easily fit on the sun visor in the interior of a vehicle. However, a stolen remote can give a thief instant access to your home.
Install a Deadbolt Lock
If you have a connecting door that leads from your house into your garage, you need to keep it just as secure as other exterior doors in your home. Install a heavy-duty deadbolt lock on your connecting door, making sure that the lock that you purchase is burglar-proof. If you need tips on how to discern between the different types of deadbolt locks, you can also check out our article, ”A Guide to the 3 Types of Deadbolt Locks“.
Test Your Garage Door’s Reversing Mechanism
If you have an electronic garage door, you need to do regular tests in order to ensure that it is functioning properly. To test the reversing mechanism on your garage door, place a piece of scrap board (standing up on its side) in the path of your garage door. Activate the door, and watch to see if the door stops its descent when it touches the board. If the auto reverse feature doesn’t kick in, you need to consult a professional to repair your garage door. If you have an older electric garage door that doesn’t have an auto-reverse feature, you may want to consider upgrading your system.