It is often the case that people do not just keep their car in the garage, but they also store a range of power tools, expensive sports equipment and various other valuables which are highly sought after by burglars. Whether your garage is attached to your property or separated from your house, the contents could be at risk if the garage is not secured properly.
How are Garage Doors Forced Open
There are lots of ways that a burglar can break into your garage. The older the door is, the more likely it is to be targeted, as thieves know they are not as secure as the new modern doors. Not that we are saying new garage doors are burglar proof, but their modern features make it more difficult for someone to break in.
Older garage doors are at risk of having their locks drilled or cut out completely, whereas new doors protect against this. Older garage doors may also be vulnerable at the top, where the door meets the frame. Modern doors are fitted with a special bar that protects this weak spot from intruders using a crow bar to gain entry.
Types of garage doors that offer more protection are roller or sectional garage doors, and this is down to the way they open. The only way to break into a garage door in this style is to physically cut a hole in the door itself. This is labour intensive and extremely noisy, so this would put off any potential intruder who’s looking for a quick smash and grab. However a more experienced burglar may still find a way in to your garage.
Garage Door Security Features
When you buy a modern garage door, you can be confident that they come with a number of security features that come as standard in all garage door styles and designs. Garage door manufacturers have learned over the years, the different methods a burglar uses to gain entry illegally and updated there designs and security features accordingly.
You’re likely to find the following security features on any new manual garage door bought from a reputable manufacturer today:
Two locks – one on each side
The capacity for two further locks should this be chosen as an upgrade
Strong bars which protect the locks from being pried open from the outside
The main lock (which you put your key into) is an anti-snap Euro-cylinder lock, which means that – even if snapped or drilled, it still won’t allow access.
Automatic Garage Doors
For another level of security, you may want to invest in an automatic garage door, as they have extremely secure locking mechanisms. A locking system in an automatic door is designed to constantly push the door downwards, until you activate it by pressing the remote.
Other ways to secure your Garage:
You can buy the most expensive and ‘securest’ garage door on the market, but it still won’t be 100% burglar proof. So it’s worth taking some other precautions to keep your home safe. You might think about installing a security light in close proximity to your garage. This is another method that will deter a burglar, as most intruders like the cover of darkness to conceal their identity. If you do keep extremely valuable items in your garage then it might be worth investing in an alarm system, this works much like a home alarm. If anyone forces their way in to your garage, or someone enters who doesn’t know the code a loud alarm will sound, to alert people someone has entered.
Securing your garage externally
- Installing a heavy duty lock
- Installing a security light
- Using a garage door defender
The majority of burglars are opportunistic and are anticipating an easy win, so seeing a heavy duty lock on a garage door could easily deter a burglar. Many burglars strike at a property when residents are distracted, so the installation of motion-triggered security lights will ensure any movement around your garage will not go unnoticed. As burglars aim to complete a job in the shortest possible time, any obstructions which require further effort and time will be sure to deter a burglar, such as installing a garage defender to disable the use of the door.
Securing your garage internally
- Securing any valuables
- Use of wall anchors
- Installing expandable bolts
- Ensure your home security alarm extends to your garage
Keeping your valuables locked up is not just good practice for your home, but for the garage too. As previously stated, burglars are looking to be in and out as quick as possible, so locking up your items may mean a thief doesn’t get to them.
Wall/floor anchors and Expandable bolts
Wall and floor anchors a useful if you are storing a bike, or anything else large in your garage, as even if a burglar does get in , there is no way they will be able to remove anything attached to a floor or wall anchor (unless they have brought a chainsaw!). Extendable bolts work in the same way, as it gives you a strong fixed point embedded into a wall to attach your belongings.
When looking at improving your garage and outbuilding security, do not forget to include them in your home insurance cover. Calculate the total value of the contents in your garage and other outbuildings, and whether your home insurance pay-out will be sufficient compensation. If not, consider discussing additional cover with your insurer. In the unfortunate event of a break in, you want to be in the position to claim for the goods missing.
What is ‘Fishing’?
Fishing is a technique used by thieves to gain entry into someone’s garage. They push the top of the door inwards, to create a gap. The burglar can then insert a wire with a hook on the end, and try to trigger the release cord. Once the cord is hooked, one good pull will open the garage door, allowing them access.
How to prevent ‘Fishing’
You can make a garage door ‘shield’ which makes grabbing the release chord with a hook almost impossible. You can use a scrap piece of wood and sew it to the openers arm and secure it with 2 nails. Make sure you use a relatively weak piece of wood, so if anything (such as your car) runs into the door, it will just break, rather than damage the opening mechanism.