Calgary homeowners need to ensure that their home is safe from intrusion. A break-in doesn’t just mean damaged and stolen property, but also a potential threat to the safety of you and your family as well. The garage door is actually one of the easiest ways for a would-be intruder to enter your home. All they would need is a wire coat hanger and they could very easily pick at and pull on the manual release, opening the door and giving them full reign on your valuables inside. Videos exist online that even prove that this can be done as fast as 6 seconds even. To help prevent these types of occurrences, we’ve prepared a number of simple garage door safety tips to protect your Calgary home, and your family from unwanted visitors.
1. Make Sure Your Garage Door Is Closed At All Times
This should go without saying but it’s incredibly important to keep your garage door closed at all times whether or not you’re at home. Never keep it open longer than you need to. Keeping a garage door open for extended periods of time leaves the in side in plain view for anyone casing your neighborhood for a break-in.
It also telegraphs a sense of carelessness and lack of vigilance, making you a more likely target for burglary.
2. Secure Your Garage Door Opener
Like we mentioned earlier, one of the easiest ways to break in is by taking advantage of the naturally built gaps in your garage door and accessing the opener using a coat hanger. You can prevent this easily by making it difficult for the intruder to disengage the manual release.
First, you’ll need to remove the cord that is attached to the release. It’s normally meant for you to easily access the release, but it’s also the easiest way for a burglar to activate it with their tool as well. Next is to zip tie the release to the undercarriage of the garage opener. This will prevent them from using the relatively flimsy wire coat hanger from tugging down the release. Of course, this leads to some minor inconveniences to you, but it’s fairly rare for you to ever need to activate the manual release yourself.
3. Secure Your Garage Doors And Windows Whenever You Aren’t Home
Just as important as the main garage door are your side doors and windows. Make sure that your door locks and window latches are secure. If they aren’t, consider repairing or replacing them. Keep the door keys with you when you go out, leaving it under a doormat or a planter like on TV doesn’t work as potential intruders will likely check these spots as well if they’re trying to break in. If you have an attached garage, this is even more important.
Some homeowners have a habit of keeping the door between their home and the garage unlocked. Lock them properly when you go to bed at night so if the garage itself is broken into, your home still has another layer of security. For your garage door opener, keep the passcode memorized and a secret to anyone you don’t trust, and make sure that the passcode itself isn’t easy for a stranger to guess.
4. Cover Your Windows
If your garage door has window panels, or if your detached garage itself has a couple of windows, make sure to cover them up so that passers-by can’t clearly see what’s inside. Use curtains for the side windows and consider a mesh screen for the window panels on your garage door itself. A mesh screen is usually enough to obscure your garage interior from street view while still allowing a good enough amount of light to shine through.
5. Keep Your Garage Door Remote Hidden In Your Car
Most people have a habit of clipping their garage door remote to the sun visor for easy access. This is a terrible idea. If your car is broken into, a burglar essentially has quick access to your garage, they’ll just need to find out where you live and that wouldn’t be very difficult. Instead, store the remote in a glove compartment or the middle storage area at least. If it’s small enough, consider attaching the garage door to your house or car keys instead.
6. Install Some Security Lighting
Properly lighting the area around your garage is also a very good way to deter would-be intruders. LED lights with built in motion sensors are fairly cheap nowadays and their setup is also rather simple. Some newer models might even come with cameras that link to your phone so you can properly surveil your driveway even when you’re away.
Most people who go about this at night are usually rather cautious, they’re more likely to look elsewhere if they suspect that someone may be watching them. Your garage light suddenly turning on upon their approach might be enough to spook them so they seek another target. In this way, lighting can make for an effective deterrent.
7. Invest In A Smart Garage Door Opener
Investing in one of the many smart garage door openers now available in the market is also a good idea. This new technology comes with a whole host of features that will help keep your garage more secure than ever. With a smart garage door opener, you can get immediate notifications if your garage door is opened without authorization.
Another of their basic functions is also to convert your phone into a remote, removing the need to keep it in your car. Some systems even allow for integration to other appliances like external lights, able to schedule times when to turn on your driveway lights to deter would be intruders.
8. Consider Replacing Your Old Garage Door
It may be a good idea to upgrade your current garage door as well, as the paneling may have started to deteriorate after years of constant exposure. Weakened materials can make it easier for burglars to break the garage door itself to get into your home.
Newer garage doors are made with tougher materials and garage door openers come with a host of new smart features that can keep your garage far safer than older models. If you’re considering this type of replacement, don’t hesitate to give us, B&W a call. We’ll make sure that you make the perfect choice that keeps your home as safe as possible, at any budget.