When it comes to residential break-ins, the garage is one of the most popular sources of entry. Theft under $5,000 and breaking and entering makeup over half of all crimes reported in 2010 according to Statistics Canada. Most burglars are looking for an easy opportunity. By taking just a few preventative steps, you can significantly reduce your chances of a garage break-in.
Install Security Lighting
Flood lamps equipped with motion detectors are an affordable way to increase the security and safety of your garage and property. Most of these lights are simple to attach and wire. After a quick calibration of the motion sensor, you can rest easy knowing that anyone who comes near your garage will find themselves in the spotlight. While this does not prevent entry, it does increase the chances of burglars being spotted. In many cases, they will simply move on and find an easier target.
Invalidate Your Emergency Release Handle
One popular and easy way that burglars gain access to your garage is through the emergency release handle. They manipulate the lever with a simple wire coat hanger. In fact, this method can take as little as 6 seconds in some cases. It has even received a lot of media attention due to the ease at which burglars can enter.
The simple task involves using a coat hanger to hook the cord that attaches to the release handle. In some cases, he or she may simply hook the release handle directly. Whatever the case, the burglar then simply has to open the garage door, at which point they have total access to your valuables.
However, you can prevent burglars from using this method by removing the cord that attaches to your emergency release handle. Then take a plastic zip tie or cable tie and insert it into the latch of the emergency release. This will then stop the latch from being opened.
Increase The Security of Your Garage Windows
Burglars will choose to enter through garage windows as they be often be opened with relative ease or can be broken into. First of all, remember to always lock your windows. Amp up the security of your windows even more by adding window bars. This method will make it impossible for burglars to enter. Other options include reinforced glass, for example. You should also screw your windows shut if you don’t typically open them. Lastly, you can also get yourself an alarm that is specifically made for windows, which can be used as a deterrent.
Frost or Tint Windows
By frosting or tinting windows, you can keep your precious belongings from being displayed to would-be burglars. Most break-ins are planned with specific items or valuables in mind. By preventing people from seeing what your garage contains, you reduce the chances of a garage break-in. This also provides the added benefits of increased privacy and insulation within the garage depending on the window treatment chosen.
Lock Garage Doors When Away
Even if you have a mechanical garage door opener, locking your garage doors during extended absences helps to prevent break-ins. While this might be inconvenient when the garage is in regular use, it is a simple task to perform before vacations or holidays. If your door is not equipped with a manual lock, you can easily secure it using c-clamps or tie downs in most cases.
Upgrade Your Garage Door Opener
Early garage door openers used limited frequencies and channels to communicate. In some cases, entire brands used a single access channel. This means that if anyone has a device capable of reproducing the signal, your garage will open at the push of a button.
Modern garage door openers are stronger and more secure. Many top of the line models feature rotating frequencies, manual locks and other features that make them nearly impenetrable to unwanted intruders. While they may not be the cheapest option available, the security and peace of mind that they offer is priceless.
Install an Alarm System
When it comes to an all-around theft deterrence and intrusion detection solution, alarm systems are hard to beat. They are effective and popular enough that many new homes are built with systems integrated into the home. Unfortunately, many people forget to add their garage to their security perimeter.
Whether you are upgrading an existing alarm system or looking to install a new system, placing motion sensors and intrusion detection on your garage’s doors and windows is one of the most effective ways to prevent a break-in. Much like motion sensor lighting, alarm systems work because they draw attention to your garage. In many cases, this stops an intruder in their tracks.
While they will immediately sound an alarm, it does take time for law enforcement to arrive. Burglars know this fact. If something is enticing enough, they will simply break through the door or window, grab the item they want and leave before the authorities can arrive. For this reason, alarm systems are most effective when combined with other security methods.
Do Not Keep your Garage Door Opener in your Car
It makes sense for a lot of people to keep their garage door opener in their car; after all, it is very convenient. However, burglars are aware of this hot spot (which typically has your garage opener attached to your visor) and will not hesitate to break into your car to get it. Under no circumstances should you keep your garage door opener in your car. Instead, get a remote key opener that can be put on your keychain.
Stay On Top of Garage Door Maintenance
Don’t forget to inspect the mechanical parts of your garage door. If you neglect your garage door, it weakens the overall security of your garage door and welcomes intruders to enter if they detect any broken or weak spots. Ensure that all parts are in good working order. Also keep an eye on corrosion.