Securing your Garage

The F.B.I. says burglary is one of the most preventable crimes.  The problem is many make it easy for burglars to go about their business. If everyone would take a few simple precautions, the number of residential burglaries could be reduced. We’re going to talk about securing your garages, but first let’s take a look at some statistics:

  • 34 % of burglars enter through the front door
  • 23 % through a first-floor window
  • 22 % through the back door
  • 9 % through the garage
  • 4 % enter through a basement
  • 4 % through an unlocked entrance
  • 2 % through a storage area
  • 2 % enter anywhere on the second floor

          Although garage doors only make up 9% of burglary entries, it still places fourth in the line-up and serves as a weak spot when it comes to home security.  To secure your garage there is, of course, motion detectors and driveway alerts that you can place inside and outside your garage to inform you of movement or if your garage door is opened, but let’s talk about measures not pertaining to a home alarm system.

          To help secure your garage never leave the garage door open, even if you are away for just a few minutes.  Obviously, burglars can simply walk in and close the garage door behind them.  This way no one is watching and they can take their time getting into the main house.  Burglars know to look inside your car for keys and other valuables so keep it locked, even when the car is parked inside your garage.  Once the job is finished, the burglar can take their time leaving as well.  To help avoid entry by a door in the garage that leads to the house, you should make the access door as secure.  One way to do this is to put a deadbolt lock on the access door and keep it locked at all times.

          Now let’s talk about the structure of various garages.  Hinged doors can be secured by a pair of cane bolts at the top and bottom.  Garage doors that swing out and up should be fitted with a sliding bolt lock.  If you can, avoid wooden garage doors with easy-to-break panels.  If your garage is equipped with an automatic door opener, make sure your code changes frequently, either in an automatic mode or manually.  Also, make sure the automatic door release (which disconnects the overhead garage door from the belt drive in case of emergency) is secure.  It’s also a good idea to disconnect the automatic garage door if you will be away from your home for a while.

          Okay, now that you have taken measures to secure your garage door, it’s still important that you keep the driveway of your home lit.  One way to do this is with a motion sensor flood light.  Now, I want you to weigh the option of having windows on your garage door or not.  Windows may look prettier, but it gives the opportunity to a thief to look in and see if there are any parked cars or not.  If he sees no cars, then that indicates that maybe no one is home.  That’ why it’s important, if you have windows, to tint them.  On the other hand, if you do have clear windows, perhaps someone can spot a stranger in your garage (although most garage door windows are probably not big enough).

          Finally, don’t make it easy for a thief to get into your house by leaving a remote on the visor of your vehicle.  Instead, you can purchase a small key chain remote that attaches to your key ring.

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