A home invasion occurs roughly every 15 seconds, and 28% of the time someone is home. This means that once every minute, a house is robbed with someone inside. Keeping your garage door secure is an important part of home security.
Securing Your Garage Door From Burglary
There is good news and bad news when it comes to protecting your home — and especially your garage door —security. The bottom floor of a home is the entry point for a burglar 92% of the time. The good news for your garage is that robust security options are available to make it a tough place for thieves to access.
When looking at burglar entry points, Nationwide Insurance says U.S. home invasions breakdown like this:
- 34% in the front door
- 23% from a first-floor window
- 22% through the back door
- 9% via an unsecured garage
- 4% in another unlocked entrance
- 2% on the second floor
When it comes to your valuables, thieves are after a few very specific items. Here’s what they target most often:
The downside for an unsecured garage is that your home is at risk, and it’s likely a place thieves will target for three main reasons:
- You likely store your expensive tools in the garage, making it a chief target area.
- Many garages offer enough space for items to be collected as thieves move through each room of your home.
- Thieves can back a vehicle up to an unsecured garage door. They can open it, quickly load the vehicle, and drive away with minimal concern because it appears as though someone is leaving your driveway or garage.
Roughly 33% of burglars break in without any force, meaning that a window or door is left unlocked. You can avoid a lot of trouble by locking your doors, windows and garage. You can also install a security system and keep it active to deter thieves. This includes coverage for your garage and garage door.
Burglars are three times less likely to target homes with a security system, and 90% of convicted burglars say that they actively avoided homes with alarm systems.
Garage Door Security Tips
To begin the process of securing your garage door, consider the following seven tips.
Tip 1: Lock It Up Tight
Thieves and burglars often look at an entire home to see if anything is unlocked. If your garage door doesn’t automatically lock behind you, it could pose a major threat to your home’s security. Most people rarely wait for their garage doors as they close. Typically, we drive away without thinking about the door closing.
You should install a high-quality garage door that will lock behind you, and add a deadbolt for any access doors. The more automatic locks you have, the better! Always lock your door and, if possible, always check to make sure that the lock is engaged.
For service doors, you can also look at a lock reinforce to prevent splitting in the door, which can knock away a lock by adding a layer of metal around the piece.
The best deadbolts and doors will have an ANSI Grade 1 rating, though a Grade 2 rating will also offer your home significant amounts of protection.
Tip 2: Install a Stronger Door
Most people are surprised to learn that the most common entry point for a thief is the front door. Many front doors are hollow, which makes them easy to kick in. Flimsy, older wood doors are a big risk, so always check to see if they’re reinforced.
Garage doors can run the same risk: If they’re too light, thieves can pry them up and open, or push them in far enough to trigger sensors to open the door. Steel garage doors are heavy enough to avoid many of these problems, helping to keep you safe.
Tip 3: Secure Everything, Even the Windows
Securing a garage door from burglary means adding layers of protection to every part of it. Install the best garage door windows available to ensure your doors are protected.
Cheap windows make an easy target because they can be pushed out to give burglars easy access. Large windows allow thieves to see exactly what’s in your garage. An expensive toolset on your workbench is a tantalizing target if they know it’s available.
Replace your door with models without windows or install frosted windows that are high enough to allow light to enter, but not peeping eyes. Choosing the right windows is a significant way to reduce the likelihood that someone will see your garage as an easy target.
Looking past how to secure a garage door, windows can make your home more enjoyable. Thicker windows can provide better insulation and keep your home’s temperature more stable. Smaller or frosted windows will also help to keep your garage cool, while continuing to let in some light. There are many advancements in both security and comfort in modern windows for garage doors.
Tip 4: Make It Light and Bright
One of our favorite DIY garage door security tips is also a great way to keep your whole home safe: add lighting.
Bright lights keep people out at night. During the day, automatic lights can also fool thieves into thinking that you’re home. Bright lights make burglars think twice. It’s not always necessary, but lights with motion sensors don’t use as much energy and provide a security boost at night.
For an added layer of security, use your lights to highlight signage. Many garage door and home security systems come with yard signs and stickers for doors and windows. Consider pointing a bright, motion-activated spotlight at the sign. Security systems deter burglars, so make the sure they can easily see what’s keeping you safe.
Tip 5: Keep It Closed Whenever Possible
It’s obvious that you should close your door when no one is home to avoid being robbed, but you should also keep your garage door closed when you’re home. This is a key step in securing your garage door from burglary because it means you’re not tempting burglars with what you have.
Thieves usually check out a home before they rob it. They might look in the windows or doors to see what’s available, or they might add a flyer to your door or garage to see how long it takes you to remove it. Placing that flyer gives the potential thief an easy way to scope out your possessions and your security.
The more your garage door is closed — even if you’re only running down the street for five minutes — the harder you make it for a potential burglar.
Tip 6: Make It Automatic
A modern, secure garage door comes with one very important part: an automatic garage door opener.
Automatic openers allow you to control access to your garage. In the past, thieves could use code grabbers to open garage doors, but that’s not much of a risk anymore. Today, automatic openers use a series of changing codes to properly open and close, preventing access and maintaining security. The age of the Internet has made these automatic doors even more secure.
The newest garage doors can use your Wi-Fi and connect with you through a downloadable app. This type of service, such as the LiftMaster® MyQ technology, gives homeowners peace of mind. You can see when your garage door is closed, receive alerts when it opens, and link your house lights to the app so you know when a motion sensor goes off.
We install the LiftMaster series with MyQ because it’s an excellent way to keep your home secure. You and your kids are less likely to leave a smartphone in the car than they are keys or a garage door remote. This means there’s no easy target left in a car for a thief to grab and gain instant access to your home through an opened garage door.
Tip 7: Take Extra Precautions When You’re Away
A secure garage door should look different when you’re away on vacation or away at the office for the day. There are a few additional things for you to consider that will give you some extra protection. The following garage door security tips can give you added security when you need it most:
- Disable your latches. If you’re going away for a bit, make sure thieves can’t open your garage door. You should unplug the garage door opener, and consider putting a padlock or bolt in the latch to halt the door’s tracks. The overhead door won’t budge, which is a great deterrent.
- Think past the garage door. Eighty percent of thieves use social media to find out if homeowners are on vacation, and about 40% of younger homeowners broadcast that they’re away when on a trip. Having a strong garage door is smart, but pairing it with vacation pics shared only when you’re back home is smarter.
Protect Your Garage Door Today
Securing your garage door should be a prime concern when it comes to your overall home security. Take action and keep your family and your possessions safe. Banko Overhead Doors can implement various plans to keep you safe in every situation listed above, and a few more. We know the Greater Tampa Area and can make recommendations to address your security concerns, as well as keep your home looking great. Your home will be secure and stylish thanks to our selection of beautiful garage doors.
To find out more about selecting the right garage door for your home in the West Central Florida area — contact Banko Overhead Doors today for a free consultation!