With the holiday season just around the corner, home security should be a concern for anyone planning extended visits to family and friends. And just as many homeowners use their garage as the primary entrance to their home, burglars often target it for the exact same purpose. What’s more, garages can be extremely vulnerable to break-ins. So if you’re planning to be away from home this holiday season, include these garage security steps in your overall home protection strategy.
Disable the electric motor. If you are leaving for an extended period of time, detach your electric garage door opener. Most electric garage-door openers have a rope or chain you pull down to disconnect the electric motor from the chain that operates the door. That way, if a thief uses a frequency scanning device to obtain your code, it will be of no use since it is not operable.
Bolt it. Install a manual sliding bolt-style lock on the inside of your garage door that can only be opened from the inside. A side-mounted indoor lock provides extra security in case a burglar bypasses your electronic garage-door opener. Note: You must remember to enter through your front door when you return home from a trip. Otherwise, you could damage the garage door by trying to open it with the remote while it’s bolted shut.
Keep it in good condition. Make sure the garage door is properly functioning and that there is no damage to the panels that a thief could use to get in. If you have a roll-up garage door, don’t neglect maintenance on the mechanical parts and watch out for corrosion.
Frost, tint or cover your garage windows. Don’t do thieves any favors by letting them see when your vehicle is gone. Better yet, as a long-term solution, get a new garage door without windows.
Secure the home entry door. Make sure the door from your garage into your house is as secure as your front door. It should be a strong, sturdy door made out of solid-core wood or reinforced steel. Install a deadbolt and an anti-kick device on it for added protection.
One final piece of advice for when you are not traveling that applies for those who don’t actually park their cars in the garage:
Don’t leave the garage door remote in your car. A thief could easily break into the car and grab the remote. Instead, get a keychain remote garage-door opener that you can attach to your keys and take with you inside.
Peace on earth and goodwill toward men? Burglars say bah humbug. In fact, according to the FBI, every year there are over 400,000 burglaries in November and December alone. However, following the above tips for garage security will help protect your home while you're out of town during the holiday season.