How Can You Keep Your Garage Secure?
The garage door of the house is a weak point in most home security plans. Although most homeowners remember to lock their front door, few remember to lock their garage door. Many homeowners assume that as long as the automatic garage door closes, they can leave the inner door unlocked, allowing them to enter the home with ease when they get back.
Reports show that most burglaries that began in the garage happened because of the homeowner’s negligence. Whether or not you’re persistent about closing and locking the attached garage door, there’s never a 100 percent guarantee that you will remember. Because of inevitable homeowner negligence, homeowners should take a special interest in the security of their garage.
Protecting your garage door is essential in order to have a safe and secure home. This article will teach how you can better secure your garage door and why it’s important.
Do Burglars Break-In Through the Garage Door?
Answer: About nine percent of burglaries are perpetrated by entering the home through the garage door.
According to security polls, 34 percent of burglars break in through the front door, 23 percent break in through a first-floor window, 22 percent enter through the back door, nine percent use the garage door, four percent break in through the basement door, and two percent use a second-story window. Security professionals recommend that homeowners install door and window sensors on every door and window on the first floor of the home. If homeowners can install alarms on every door and window, burglars will not be able to enter the home without triggering the alarm.
Locking the inner door of the garage isn’t enough. Some burglars look for open garages regardless of whether the homeowner is home. These burglars don’t try to get inside the house. Instead, they walk into the garage and look for expensive tools, bikes, and other sellable objects. These burglars are looking for a quick way to make cash at their local pawn shop. Garage burglars won’t bother looking to see if the home has a security system because they target houses that have left the garage door wide open.
Additionally, negligence can be unintentional, such as when a safety feature accidentally triggers. The garage door has several safety features that make it easier for burglars to enter the garage. The most common reason why garages are left open and vulnerable to burglars is that someone or something accidentally triggered the garage sensor. The garage sensor is a garage door sensor that stops the overhead door from closing on someone or something. It aids in garage door security and safety and is typically meant to prevent the door from hitting someone in the head, hurting a child who couldn't move out of the way, or breaking misplaced valuables. The garage door sensor works using a motion sensor about one foot off the ground. If the garage door is in the process of closing and something blocks the motion sensor, it triggers the automatic garage door opener. This will cause the door to open again. If the homeowner drives away without realizing that the smart garage door opener triggered, the door will stay open until the owner returns home, leaving the perfect opening for an intruder.
Around four percent of burglars specifically target garages and outdoor sheds. Rather than trying to get inside the home, the four percent will steal your DEWALT drill set or your Milwaukee cordless impact wrench. They are looking for items that can be snatched quickly from their place in the garage or shed. Because these four percent of burglars aren’t entering the home itself, they might break into the garage and go no further. These burglars won’t threaten the safety of your family because they will never enter your home. However, because they are breaking and entering your attached garage, detached garage, or detached shed, it can still cause anxiety and a sense of vulnerability for victims.
Homeowners with garages or sheds should take the necessary precautions to protect their property. This article will teach homeowners and renters the best methods to protect their property and how they can discourage burglary on their property all-together.
How Can Homeowners Secure Their Garage Doors?
Answer: Homeowners can have a more secure garage door by adding a garage door security system to keep their garage from becoming a target.
Securing your garage door is fairly simple and can increase your home security. Leaving your garage unprotected can endanger your family and your property. A study from UNC reveals that burglars can have violent tendencies. UNC reports, “About 8% of burglars reported that they had been charged with homicide, 12% with robbery, and 7% with assault at some point in their past. On the other hand, over 54% reported that burglary/breaking-and-entering was the most serious crime that they had been charged with to date.” Essentially, 27 percent of burglars may engage in violent or threatening behavior while entering a home, putting the household members' lives in danger. Here are five ways to secure your garage door.
1. Close Your Garage Door
The number one thing you can do to secure your garage is to close your garage door. It seems like a no-brainer, but how often do we randomly leave them open? It doesn't matter whether it's day or night--if you're not actively using your garage and need it to be open, it's time to close it. Every time. Even if you're just running a quick errand down the street. It only takes a few minutes for a burglary, and a thief will always take the easy opportunity. Simply closing your garage door will be the first step in deterring them, but also keeping them from seeing what you store in your garage that they might want to steal.
2. Use Smart Devices in Your Garage
As technology continues to advance, there are more and more "smart" devices available all the time. A smart garage door opener is a popular option, as it acts like a backup brain. If you ever forget to close your garage door, you can control it from an app on your phone. It's also convenient if you need to let someone into your house.
3. Check the Landscaping
One important thing you can do to secure your garage door is to check your landscaping. Landscaping can have a huge effect on the security of your garage. In some homes, the landscaping will have a tree or bush covering a window leading into the garage. Windows are easy targets for burglars because the glass can be easily broken without making too much noise (as long as the window is broken softly). With the landscaping covering the window, the burglar can easily obscure their entrance, allowing them to gain easy access to the garage.
The first step homeowners and renters should take when securing their garage is to ensure that all windows and doors can be easily seen from all angles. If there are trees or bushes close to your doors and windows, trim the landscaping away.
4. Install an Automatic Door Closer
In most homes, the garage door will stay open unless the homeowner enters the code or presses the garage door lock. This is convenient for those who spent ample time in their garages, such as welders, mechanics, and carpenters. Closing the garage door while the individual is inside the garage could expose the person to high carbon monoxide levels. For those who spend more than 30 minutes at a time in their garage, keeping the door open is safer for your health.
However, if you don’t spend time in your garage, you should invest in an automatic door closer. An automatic door closer will close the garage door after a given amount of time. The user can set the timer to close the door after five, ten, or fifteen minutes. This ensures that the door will close, whether or not the user remembers to close it after pulling their car out.
5. Hide Your Remote Control
Protecting the security of garage doors can be as simple as hiding your garage remote. Your garage remote is the key to getting the door open. If the burglar can get inside your car briefly and steal the garage opener, they gain another key to your home that they can use at any time. Rather than assuming that the garage opener has been stolen, most homeowners first think they misplaced and will simply get a replacement. However, if your garage opener is missing, assume the worst.
Change your garage code and get a new opener that an old opener won’t be synced with. Additionally, instead of placing your garage opener in your car, get a keychain door lock and door opener. This garage opener is small and can be attached to a keychain that you will carry inside the house with you. You can also use smart home automation to open and close the door remotely using your phone app.
6. Install Deadbolts on Garage Side Doors
Some garages have a utility door or a door that is located on the side of the garage. This door isn’t used often in most homes and is installed for when the garage door breaks. Although the security door is useful, it poses a security risk. To protect your garage, you will need to secure the side door. If it doesn't already have one, install a deadbolt. A deadbolt offers more protection as it deters thieves and makes it much harder to gain access into your garage.
7. Install Door Alarms on the Side Doors and Garage Windows
While you're at it, another great way secure any side doors on your garage is by installing door alarms. A door alarm is a small, unobtrusive device that is installed on the door and door frame. When the door opens, it triggers the garage alarm, scaring away the intruder.
You should also install a window sensor on any windows leading into the garage. One of the best window sensors for garages is the glass break sensor, which listens for the frequency of glass shattering. By protecting the garage door and the garage windows, you gain better security and protection.
8. Install a Garage Shield
A garage is a device that ensures a burglar won’t trigger the emergency opener on the garage door. Some studies have shown that burglars can open a garage door using the emergency hatch in under seven seconds. If you have an older garage you'll want to purchase a garage door lock.
9. Secure Your Front Door
To gain the best protection for your garage, you should also install door sensors on your front door, side doors, and back doors. Once a burglar is inside the home, they have access to every room of the house, including the garage. This means that securing just your garage won’t give you complete protection. In fact, most burglars will first try to enter the home through the front door. If the front door doesn’t open, they might try a side window that is obscured by landscaping. The garage door is typically the fourth thing that a burglar will attempt to enter if the house doesn’t have an alarm system.
What Do You Need in a Garage Security System?
Answer: Homeowners should install motion sensor lights, motion detectors, door and window sensors, a garage shield, and a security camera.
Garage security systems are typically an eclectic grouping of security equipment that is paired with your existing alarm system. Garage security systems will include motion sensor lights that can be placed directly above the garage door, motion sensor alarms inside the garage, door and window sensors on every door or window leading inside, and a garage shield. Some homeowners might also consider including a security camera inside the garage to watch for suspicious activity. These devices ensure that your home and garage is safer and better secured. Your garage security system should be tailored to the needs of your home.
Motion Sensor Lights
As mentioned earlier in this article, having motion sensor lights can startle the burglar into retreating. The sudden light exposes the burglar to the neighbors, making the burglar feel seen. In most cases, the burglar will run as soon as the light triggers.
Inside the garage, install motion sensors that will trigger an alarm if there is movement when the alarm is armed. Installing one motion sensor in the corner of the garage should protect the area. For the best protection, the homeowner should use a home security company to monitor the alarm.
Door and Window Sensors
Every door and window needs to have an sensor installed. Doors and windows are the most likely target for the average burglar, meaning that they are important to protect.
Having a garage shield ensures that the burglar can’t trigger the emergency opener on the garage door. Some studies have shown that burglars can open a garage door using the emergency hatch in under seven seconds. If you have an older garage you'll want to purchase a garage door lock.
Having a indoor wireless security camera installed in your garage or an outdoor camera outside of your garage can ensure that you have eyes on anyone approaching your garage and what's going on inside
Additionally, features can be added to your garage system to increase the effectiveness of your security. Depending on your neighborhood and the crime rates in your area, you may want to consider adding all possible security features to your garage. However, if you live in a regular neighborhood with low crime rates, your home should be protected by simply installing the five aforementioned devices. It’s important to remember that homes in low crime areas are still at risk for crime. Just because crime is uncommon in your community doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
How Can Homeowners Deter Burglars From Their Garage?
Answer: Homeowners can deter burglars by making their homes have an increased sense of security.
Homeowners should take a special interest in protecting their garage doors. Many people assume that every home has the same likelihood of becoming a target of burglary. However, this isn’t true. Many burglars choose their target “spur of the moment,” meaning that they see an easy target and immediately park their car and break into the home. This means that homeowners can deter burglars from targeting their homes. Burglars are less likely to target a home that uses safety features. Safety features and smart automation warn the burglar that the house is secured, making it a less appealing target. Here are five ways to deter burglars and decrease the odds that a burglar will break into your garage.
1. Install Motion Sensor Lights
Lights will not physically stop a burglar from breaking and entering your home or garage. They are not a physical barrier; they are a physiological barrier. When a light is motion-activated, it triggers the burglar’s immediate fight or flight. They will either be startled by the light turning on or blinded by it. In almost all scenarios with motion sensor lights, the burglar will turn and run the other direction. Additionally, some burglars might think that the homeowner turned on the light, which then exposes the burglar to the homeowner. Even if they know motion sensor lights surround the house, the adrenaline of breaking and entering a home will spike when the lights turn on, convincing them to run.
2. Use a Garage Shield
Homeowners should consider installing a garage shield, which covers the garage’s emergency release cord. This prevents burglars and intruders from triggering the emergency release and opening the garage door. Modern garage doors have a security defect, which helps the door to be safer in case of an emergency, but leaves the door vulnerable to burglars. An intruder can break through the door by pressing the garage door's top panel, tilting it inwards, and then releasing the safety mechanism using a small hook or clothes hanger. Installing a garage shield can prevent a burglar from opening the door, making the home a less appealing target.
3. Clean Up Your Tools
If you often leave your garage door open while home, having your tools in plain view can make your home a target for burglars surveying the neighborhood. Because the burglar can see everything that the garage offers, they will be more tempted to target your garage over a garage that they can’t see inside. Instead of storing your expensive tools in the garage, it’s safer to store them inside in a utility closet. Organize your garage to show (or at least appear to burglars) that there’s nothing for them to steal even if they decided to break in.
4. Close and Lock Your Doors
Although it might seem like common sense, one of the easiest ways to protect your home is by locking your doors, including your inner garage door. Some studies report that up to 20 percent of Americans do not lock their doors in some areas. When a person leaves their door unlocked, they become an easy target for burglars. Occasionally, burglars will dress as servicemen, knocking on doors in a neighborhood. This makes them blend in with the neighborhood and allows them to knock on doors without seeming suspicious. When no one answers the door, they will try the handle. If the door is locked, they will move onto the next home. However, if the door is unlocked, they will walk right into the home.
These burglars often come up with random things to ask the homeowner if someone does answer the door. A survey done by an Idaho news station interviewed 86 burglars. One of the questions asked was, “If someone answered the door, what would you do or say?” One inmate responded, “Sometimes I would wear nice clothing and print a questionnaire off the Internet and carry a clipboard and see if they could spare a moment for an anonymous survey.” Another said, “Act like I was lost or looking for a friend.” Regardless of whether or not you’re home, always lock your doors and never let strangers inside your house. Some burglars reported that they would ask to use the restroom or ask for a drink of water. When the homeowner let them inside, the burglar would unlock a window, creating an entrance for later in the day.
5. Install a Home Alarm System
When you're looking at securing your garage, don't forget the rest of the house. It not only keeps thieves from accessing your garage, but it keeps you safe in your home. Plus, if you're already looking into security measures for your garage, adding a few elements to make a complete home security system just makes sense.
Every year, studies prove that having a home security system is the best way to protect your home. A study done by UNC listed five main points that prove the effectiveness of installing a home security system:
- The close proximity of other people (including traffic, those walking nearby, neighbors, people inside the establishment, and police officers), lack of escape routes, and indicators of increased security (alarm signs, alarms, dogs inside, and security cameras or other surveillance equipment) was considered by most burglars when selecting a target.
- Within a broad set of potential target hardening deterrents, alarms and outdoor cameras and other surveillance equipment were considered by a majority of burglars.
- About 60% of the burglars indicated that the presence of an alarm would cause them to seek an alternative target altogether.
- Most burglars would try to determine if an alarm was present before attempting a burglary.
- Among those that determined that an alarm was present after initiating a burglary, about half would discontinue the attempt.
Having a smart home security system can decrease the odds of burglary by 80 percent. This also means that a home without a home security system is 400 percent more likely to be targeted by an intruder. If a burglar sees that there is a home security sign in your front yard, they are significantly less likely to target the house. This means that one of the best ways you can secure your home is by installing security cameras and a home security system.
What do you need to set up a home security system? Since every home is different, we recommend clicking below to take our quiz. It will ask you about your home's access points and other details, then offer recommendations on equipment like cameras, sensors, and more. Cove offers professional home monitoring for less than $1/day, so all in all, it's affordable and accessible for most anyone looking to secure their homes.
Ready to get started?
Take this short quiz to build your customized system today!
Takes less than a minute