Automatic garage doors are a convenience enjoyed by millions of homeowners. Simply hit a transmitter button in your vehicle and the garage door lifts up, enabling you to slip carefully inside. That convenience, however, can also make you vulnerable as thieves can easily gain entrance by slipping in behind your vehicle. Suddenly, your safety has been compromised with perhaps you and your family at grave risk.
There are a number of steps that you can take to ensure that your garage door does not compromise your safety.
1. Remove nearby obstacles. The garage door isn’t the only challenge to your safety. Obstacles nearby such as bushes on either side of the doors can be a problem and the place where thieves may hide. Stand in front of your home to determine what may be in the way. A large obstacle located within 10 feet of your home should be removed or moved out of the way. This includes trash barrels too.
2. Install security lighting. One telltale sign of trouble is security lighting that turns on when a moveable object is spotted. You should have such a light installed, pointing directly across the driveway. At night, before you pull into the driveway, if you notice that the light is on, there could be a person nearby. Proceed with caution. If the light doesn’t turn on when you approach, it may have been tampered with by a crook. Stay in your car and use your cell phone to call for assistance.
3. Store the remote. If you car is stolen, the thief will take everything in it. This includes the remote, what makes it possible for a thief to return to your home and make easy entrance to your house. The thief not only stole your vehicle, but now has access to your inner sanctum. Keep your transmitter with you at all times.
4. Lock it and leave it. The door that connects your garage and home is the entrance point that thieves will use once they get into your garage. Install a deadbolt here to make it more difficult to get into your home.
5. Keep it shut. Drive through most any neighborhood on a Saturday or early evening, and you will find one or more garage doors open. Worse, there will be no one in sight. In warmer climates, it isn’t unusual to keep the doors open to air out the garage. It only takes a few moments for an individual to reach in, grab a power tool or pricey equipment, and run. Keep your garage doors shut when not in use!
6. Garage door windows are a problem. Garage doors with windows help to bring in natural light. This is also a way for thieves to peer in especially if those windows are at eye level. You can cloud your windows over to prevent roaming eyes from looking in. Install do-it-yourself window frosting, a cost-effective solution that does not compromise your visibility. Find what you need at your neighborhood hardware or home center.
7. Keep your garage door maintained. An automatic garage door is a system of pulleys, tracks, cables, cords and related hardware. As such, your doors need to be regularly inspected and maintained. You may think that your automatic garage door is working as planned, but then discover that it can be lifted up manually while still connected to a power source. Thieves routinely test doors for vulnerability and you should too.
Another way for thieves to break into your home is to simply kick in the garage door. You can find out how vulnerable your door is by walking up to the front of it, bending your knee and applying pressure to the panel. If you notice that it is giving way, then a kick in will likely move the panel away entirely. Thieves will seek to kick in your door at the point where the security latch is located, reaching in to disconnect your door and opening it manually.