Many stories were heard of people being robbed in their houses due to garage door infiltration. In 2008 one woman was robbed at gunpoint after the robber entered her house through the garage door. In 2011, a family in Texas suffered a severe shock once they encountered a burglar in the early morning hours entering through the garage door. Many Americans have a false sense of security when it comes to the entrance paths in their home, and the garage door is rarely mentioned despite being one of the most sensitive entry-points in the home.
We use the garage door to enter the home more often than we think and this is one of the most frequently targeted areas by burglars. What are the best ways to secure your garage door and keep your loved ones protected? The following are our top 5 garage door security tips:
1) Close The Door
This one is obvious, but it’s the most essential one. As you noticed by the news headlines, people forget to do the most basic things and need to be reminded. If you go out of the house for a short drive to the grocery store, having an open overhead door is like inviting burglars to enter your home in the 15 minutes you’re away. Make sure to double-check the door is closed before you go to bed at night. Did you ever wake up at the wee hours of the night only to discover your garage door was open? If you check to make sure it’s closed, you’re rarely going to be caught by surprise.
2) Keep Your Garage Remote Within Reach
Hold on to the remote opener and keep it within reach. Do you know that the biggest mistake people make is they leave their garage door opener inside the car and then park the car in the driveway? If your car is parked outside the house, and it holds the keys to your house, you know what happens next. Many homes were broken into when people left their keys inside their car. If your car gets broken into, not only will your valuables inside the car be gone but so will the valuables in your home. Remember to keep your remote in your pocket or your bag. There is an option to get a mini-remote integrated into your keychain which makes it easier to carry around. When parked, never leave your keys in the car. Avoid leaving valuables inside your vehicle where passersby can see them, so keep your car safe (even if it’s a clunker).
3) The Remote Opener Codes Should Roll
The door mechanism and remote communicate via wireless electric codes which are the equivalent of a handshake: You need both to make the system work. The most recent overhead openers rely on rolling codes, meaning that all the codes change automatically and they can’t be duplicated by thieves who usually target high-value homes. If you have an older unit, your code has to be changed manually. What happens if you don’t secure your home? Any thief across the street could use a code-grabbing machine that would duplicate the code and then be able to enter the home. They wouldn’t need your remote at all. Upgrade your remote to the newest models and even go a step further and get encryption for randomized entrance codes. This way your door is 100% secure.
4) Double-Down On Security
The next step is to secure the secondary perimeter, in case the first one is broken into. Think of your garage like a fort. If a burglar gains access to the garage, where will they go? You can still secure the second perimeter. Instead of thinking about the garage only, you should also consider fortifying the entrance door that leads from the garage to your home. The fastest way to secure the door is to install deadbolt locks. If you have an attic above the garage you should secure the attic doors too. The same companies that offer emergency garage door repair can also install new security systems.
5) Replace Numeric Keypad Systems
Numeric keypads that you mount to the exterior of the garage can make it convenient for you to enter the garage and park your car, but they’re not the most secure. Ask yourself: Would you install a numeric keypad to secure the front door of your house? The best replacement for a numeric keypad is a new key switch. If you leave home you’ll have to carry a key which is a bit inconvenient, but it’s worth it for the added security.