One of the weakest security points in your home is the garage door. Because so many homes now have attached garages, it’s important that we look at those weaknesses.
The garage should never have windows, but if it does, cover them with curtains or no-see-through material. If the garage door has windows, cover them as well. You want to make it so no one can look in and see if your car is gone. Windows in the garage door make it easy for a thief to run a wire coat hanger through the frame of the garage door and see in while he fidgets the emergency release lever. Use a zip tie in the lever hole: you can still use the emergency release lever, but a thief can’t open it with a wire coat hanger even if he breaks the garage door glass.
If your garage windows are big enough to crawl through, there are many tutorials available on how to put do-it-yourself steel bars across them.
When you’re home, keep your garage door closed. If you forget to shut it fairly often, put a timer on it that makes it close automatically after a certain amount of time. One of the reasons you want to keep your garage door shut is that there are only a couple of elements which need to be in place to create a theft situation. Many of those situations follow a natural progression that looks like this:
1) The homeowner doesn’t lock their car when they’re home.
2) The garage door opener is in their car. Maybe clipped to the visor.
3) The homeowner doesn’t usually lock the door between the house and garage.
The thief can slip into a garage and snag that garage door opener right out of the car, maybe even while you’re carrying your groceries in!
When the homeowner tries to leave the next morning, he can’t find the opener. He’s in a hurry, so he grabs the spare, thinking the opener probably fell under the seat or the wife took it, or—he has a meeting in twenty minutes! Let’s say for the sake of argument that he decides to lock the door between the house and garage. Just in case.
The problem with this is that the door between the garage and the home is oftentimes people leave that door unlocked. If it isn’t unlocked, thieves have the privacy to find a way to break in.
A deadbolt on this door will really go a long way in giving your thieves some grief. Make sure it is a solid core door or reinforced steel door. An interior door is nothing more than a welcome mat to even the laziest of thieves.
Once an intruder breaches your garage, they have the benefit of being out of sight while they look for ways to compromise the attached door. Want to make him miserable? Get a Door Devil or some other kick-deterrent device. You want to do everything in your power to make him decide to give up.
This brings up a final point: you don’t need a visor garage door opener, which encourages thieves to break into your car to steal it. Your address is in your glove box on the registration card. You can get a garage door opener which attaches to your keychain.
Remember our homeowner who couldn’t find his remote? The thief had his garage door opener. After the homeowner went to work, the thief used the garage door opener, shut himself in the garage, and used the homeowner’s own tools in the garage to break down the door! How could this have been prevented? He could unplug the garage door opener or thread a bolt or padlock through the garage door track so the garage door won’t work.
To summarize, the wise homeowner covers his windows. If they’re big enough to crawl through, he puts bars on them. He ties a zip lock through the emergency release lever hole. He keeps his garage door closed, even when he’s home. He has a deadbolt and reinforced door between the garage and house, which he keeps locked. His garage door opener is the keychain variety.
Be safe everybody!