When you’re a homeowner, you have to worry about various problems cropping up. Security should be a top priority for your home, and there might be a few weak points that would allow a burglar, whether a professional or an amateur, easy access to your home. If you happen to own a garage that includes pet doors or windows, you might be at risk for break-ins. Exactly how insecure are these aspects and what can you do to prevent burglars from accessing your home from these weak points?
Are Windows And Pet Doors A Home Security Concern?
By and large, most would agree that windows in a garage door and pet doors aren't the biggest security concern you likely have. Windows, traditionally, are a non-concern. Most garage door windows are set high off the ground and would make it difficult for a criminal to access the inside of the garage from these windows. Lower set windows are a potential concern, as they could give criminals access to sensors or levers on the garage door, which would allow a criminal access to the home. Windows do pose one significant risk, however -- they allow would-be thieves to see when your car is not in the garage, giving them potential knowledge of your comings and goings.
How To Protect Your Home
While you can safeguard your home with proper bolts, the garage is a susceptible area of the home. To ensure your garage does not allow thieves access to your goods, follow a few, simple, easy rules to keep things safer than ever:
There is nothing worse than being on vacation, only to find you are so busy worrying about the security of your home that you’re not even enjoying yourself. The best way to avoid this problem is through preparation, and following some basic home security tips. Knowing that your home is safe and your valuables are secure will give you the peace of mind you need to get back to relaxing and enjoying yourself.
How Can I Secure My Home While On Vacation?
A home that looks empty is a vulnerable home. Many thieves look for homes whose owners are out of town. That said, the best way to keep your home safe, aside from a security system and locked doors and windows, is to make it look like you’re there. There are a few ways to do this:
Your garage has the potential to be a weak spot in your home's security. A garage that doesn't lock properly, or has locks that can be cut off, means your home is vulnerable. This is especially the case if the garage is attached, but even if it isn't, you no doubt have valuable equipment or supplies that could be stolen.
Manual garage doors have to be locked from the outside, and those locks really only deter theft -- they don't prevent it. It’s easy enough to cut off a lock. An automatic garage door is locked from the inside, making it much more difficult to break into. There is no handle or exterior lock to pick or cut off.
Security is but one of the advantages of automatic garage doors. They also look great and increase home value. If you would like more information about garage door options and installation, you can contact Willow Creek Overhead Doors today.
According to FBI statistics, over 60 percent of home break-ins happen without obvious signs of forced entry. How is this possible? There are vulnerable points of entry on almost every property that people forget about, most notably the porch and garage doors. The likelihood of a burglary can be greatly reduced by following a few simple tips.
Burglars Usually 'Case' A Property First.
How Does My Garage Door Contribute To That?
It depends on the model, but many garage doors come with windows in them. This is an aesthetically pleasing element that also lets in light to your garage, but you need to be wise about how you showcase it. Many homeowners use tinted glass so a passerby can't look inside -- anything to block the view from the outside and keep your belongings from view.
I Lock My Garage Door Remote In My Car. Isn't That Enough?
Unfortunately no, it's not. In fact, taking this step does you very little good, especially if you have a habit of parking on the street. Thieves look for garage door remotes in glove compartments, on visors, in caddies, and on doors. You need to be careful where you hide your remote. Try to remember to take it with you into the house, which is really the safest place to keep it.
On a side note, if your garage door can be accessed by a coded keypad, enter a custom code. Don't use the numbers in your street address and change it from the factory default of '00000.' There's no sense in making it easier for someone to break into your home.
My Garage Door Has An Emergency Release Latch.
Is There Anything I Can To Protect Against A Break-in?
Yes, the latch does make it easy to simply pop the door, lift it, and gain entry. Luckily, there's an equally simple solution to this problem. Use zip ties to secure the door from the inside. That way no one can use this trick to access your valuables.
What's The Biggest Mistake People Make When Securing A Garage?
It's going to sound silly, but people forget to close the door. We've all had to quickly run out for something, and in a rush, forgotten to lower the garage door. This can leave your garage vulnerable to opportunistic thieves. Even if you're only gone a few minutes, that's enough time for someone to locate and steal your belongings. Always close the door behind you and monitor its wear and tear.
Maintaining these habits will make burglaries in your home and neighborhood less likely. Willow Creek Overhead Door in Amarillo can help protect your home. Ask them about garage door safety features.
How secure is your garage? With recent break-ins in the Amarillo area, and burglars entering the garage, you may wondering this. The way most homes are built today, the garage is part of the house that has entry into the house rather than a detached building. It is therefore very important that the garage is well secured. If not, it can be the route that burglars use to gain entry into the house. We recently discussed garage door security, and today we’d like to expand on that topic by talking about locks for your garage door.
What kind of garage door lock do I need?
There are different types of garage door locks. Most of them secure the garage door from overhead. Every type of lock works differently.
Slide or sliding locks are most commonly used to secure overhead garage doors. Also known as a latch, the lock has a latch that slides from the garage door into a vertical track with a hole that is cut to fit it.
This ensures that the door cannot go up when the lock is on. This kind of lock is not recommended for automatic garage door openers. It is common for homeowners to forget that the lock is engaged and run their opener. This burns the motor and can bend the upper section of the garage door.
What other garage door locks are there?
T Handle keyed lock
This is the second most common type of garage door lock. It has a handle that is shaped like the letter T which is installed on the outside. The inside is made up of a cable system that are affixed with bolts. The bolts are fastened into the track and they can only be released when the T handle lock is turned.
The handle can only be turned using a key. Like the slide lock, this key is also not ideal for use on garage doors that have an automatic opener. Forgetting that the T handle keyed lock is on and running the opener while the lock is still engaged will leave your garage door operator damaged.
There are garage door openers that use electronic locks. An example is the LiftMaster side mount Jackshaft 3800. These kind of doors have motors that engage and release the lock automatically before the door is operated. This works like a slide lock with the difference that the lock is automatically operated. This eliminates the problem of damaging the door by operating it while the lock is still engaged.
Every modern automatic garage door comes with a lock built into it. The lock is usually on the operator arm on the trolley will lock into place when the garage door is closed. This makes it impossible for the garage door to manually be lifted up. Different brands have different names for their locks. An example is the Chamberlain LiftMaster PosiLock.
How can you ensure maximum security?
You have to play your part in maintaining the security of your garage door and home. The different parts work together and the failing of one part can cause problems with the whole door, and give a thief or burglar ample opportunity to break into your house or business.
How can you do your part? Maintain your garage door. Lubricate the parts as they need it, check for any problems with the track and pay attention to a squeaky garage door. Make sure the door is sealed properly.
For more garage door safety and maintenance tips, call Tony Hall, owner of Amarillo garage door company, Willow Creek Overhead Door. Willow Creek Overhead Door is one the premier garage and overhead door companies in the Texas Panhandle. In addition to repairs and installations, Willow Creek Overhead Door offers great bargains on garage door parts.
image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / Free Digital Photos
As you may have heard, there have been instances of home burglaries and attempted break-ins in the Amarillo, Texas area as of late.
One such instance took place in the neighborhood of City View. The homeowners left their garage door open for their children, who were outdoors playing. While eating dinner, the husband stepped into his garage to discover two young men breaking into the cars. The husband tried to stop one of the alleged burglars, and the other burglar pulled a gun on him. The couple’s son approached and the burglar turned the gun on him. This happened in broad daylight.
Just two days later, there was a break-in on the 6000 block of Chisholm Circle in Amarillo. This alleged crime also took place in broad daylight.
How Can My Garage Door Protect My Family And Home?
Your home is your castle. A strong, efficient garage door provides another layer of protection for your home, possessions, your family and pets. You would think we could leave our garage doors open during the day, but with recent events, it seems we cannot.
No matter what time of day it is, please try to keep your garage door closed. An open garage door provides burglars with easy access to the contents of your garage, such as your cars, and your home, especially if the door to your home is unlocked. Burglars could break into your cars, steal your garage door opener and then come back to your home later on.
When you are not home, always keep your garage door shut. If you need to leave it open for someone, such as a repair-person or a house-sitter, opt for a garage door app, such as the MyQ app for LiftMaster. This app allows you to open and close your garage door from your phone or smart device, no matter where you are.
Whether you are at work or across the country on vacation, you can control your garage door and keep track of when it was opened and closed. LiftMaster also offers a Security+ line, which transmits a new security code each time you use your garage door remote. Referred to as rolling-code technology, this type of technology reduces the likelihood of a potential thief from using a code grabber device to open your garage door.
If you are home, it’s advisable to keep your garage door shut, too. Keep your doors locked. If you or are your children are outside, use a key to get back in.
What Else Can I Do To Protect My Home From Burglaries?
Did you know that the average dollar loss from a break-in is around $2,000? There are at least 2,000 burglaries every year in Amarillo, according to Amarillo Crime Stoppers and city data. There has been a decrease in recent years, but that does not mean you should be lax in your efforts. Please do the following to help protect your family and home, and prevent burglaries:
Remember, a working, secure, well-maintained garage door is one of the best ways to protect your home and family from burglary. A garage door is one of the most common things people overlook when it comes to home security. Make sure yours is doing its job by contacting Willow Creek Overhead Door today.
Willow Creek Overhead Door owner Tony Hall discusses Garage Door and Home Security Measures with NewsChannel 10 in Amarillo.
photo courtesy of Stuart Miles / Free Digital Photos
As a responsible adult, we always lock our houses at night or whenever we leave to prevent burglars or uninvited guests from invading our home.
We also see to it that everyone at home adheres to basic safety and security practices. Although we strive to strictly follow these security reminders, we might still overlook some essential precautions.
Here are just a few commonly overlooked security measures:
Every member of the house should be able to set up the burglar alarm. Having a burglar alarm installed is one of the best ways to protect your home from intruders. You were advised to teach everyone in the house how to set up and shut off the alarm. But before you pass on the pin codes to everybody at home, consider their age, maturity, and trustworthiness. There are cases when a member of the household accidentally or intentionally divulged the deactivation code to burglars, permitting easy entry.
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