November 30, 2018

Prevent Break-Ins Through the Garage With These 6 Simple Tips

Prevent Break-Ins

Were you aware that there is a residential burglary every 90 seconds in Canada? It is even worse in the US with a burglary every 18 seconds. Plus, about 80% of the ones in Canada and 60% of the American break‑ins happen during daylight hours.

We hate to say it but, the garage door makes for one of the best points of entry for those with dishonorable intentions to gain access to your home. Also, garages themselves are often the target because of the all the easily moveable and valuable items contained inside. Things like motorcycles and mountain bikes are often stored with easy access in the garage. Negligence is usually the main reason most robberies occur.

A known tactic used by thieves is to find unlocked cars in parking lots. Then they steal the garage door opener that is conveniently clipped to the sun visor, after finding the address to the owner of the car’s residence on his or her car registration. The owner is busy shopping to they drop, but his or her house is being robbed! And the robbers got in with the unwary shoppers own garage door opener!

The intent of this post is not to make you worry unnecessarily, but only to give you some useful tips that will help you avoid a terrible situation like a garage door break‑in.

1) Replace garage door openers made before 1993 as soon as possible.

  • Do you know when yours was manufactured? No? A lot of people don’t. Just take a peek at the label on the inside of the motor housing. The date is usually seen once you lift the plastic cover that covers the light bulb.
  • If the date happens to be before 1993, you definitely need to consider an update. It concerns the safety and security of your loved ones and the stuff you worked hard to purchase.
  • Prior to 1993, the signal to operate the opener was coded via dip switches (in position +, 0, -). It is extremely easy for thieves to "scan" the code and return later to enter your home illegally. After 1993, the signals began to be coded in a manner that was less easy to scan and allowing you to avoid a possible garage door break‑in.

2) Keep your remote out of sight

  • Do not leave it clipped it to your sun visor or tossed in the seat where it can be seen with just a glance.
  • Hide it in within your car, but in a place where thieves won’t necessarily think to look (avoid the center console). Consider bringing it inside with you in a purse or pocket.
  • Upgrade to a mini remote control (375UT) which can be snapped onto a keyring. Hot Tip! Be careful about where you toss your keys when you have the mini remote because if someone accidentally sits on it, the garage door will open. It just takes a tiny bit of pressure to push the button, and you may not hear that your garage door has opened which will give thieves open access to the stuff in your garage.
Mini remote control
  • New technology that was created by Chamberlain / LiftMaster’s MyQ in 2017, now lets you use your smartphone as a garage door opener! No opener to steal means you avoid break‑ins through the garage door.

3) Keep Your Garage Secure While on Vacation

  • LiftMaster sells a quality automatic lock (841LM) that can be activated from your smartphone. Note: you will need to connect your door opener to Wifi for this system to work.
  • Always remember to press the lock button on the control panel near the access door to your home before leaving. To ensure you have firmly pressed the button, check that the indicator light is blinking.Then, you will know it is engaged and you don’t have to worry when leaving.
  • Add on a side lock to your garage door. It is a lock that is installed on the inside of the door. It has a steel rod that slides snugly into the vertical rail preventing it from opening. A padlock will also work in a similar manner. Just don't forget to unlock it when you come back from your trip!
  • The safest way to prevent someone from opening the door while you are away is to disconnect the motor from the electrical outlet. A simple act, but it makes it impossible to use a remote control to open the garage door.
Automatic lock - 841LM

4) Check Those Garage Door Windows

  • Burglars can quickly see what you have inside your garage with very little effort if your windows are clear glass. If they like what you have inside, they can grab a simple wire clothes hanger to pop the manual release latch on the track of the door opener, and voila! They are in your garage.
  • Consider covering windows that are clear glass with a curtain, paint or an opaque privacy film.
  • Planning on changing your garage door soon? Try to make sure you order windows that have tinted or frosted glass instead of a clear glass that gives easy access to the contents of the garage.

5) Get Tough! Your Garage Door That Is...

  • A non‑insulated garage door or a garage door that only has a single panel of polystyrene insulation is much flimsier and easier to break through.
  • Upgrade to a sandwich‑style garage door that has both sides covered in steel sheeting. It will be a much tougher door. They can stand up to being pummeled by steel bars and being attacked with electric saws. Even stronger still would be a door injected with 1 ¾‑inch (45‑mm) thick polyurethane.

6) Miscellaneous tips to keep your home protected!

  • Double check that your garage door is closed every night before going to be. Take the advice of police officers and make the rounds before bed. Check all of the access doors to make sure they are closed tightly and properly locked. Consider purchasing a monitor (829LM) for your garage door that will tell you if the door is actually closed. Also, if you are equipped with LiftMaster’s MyQ technology, you can see it from your smartphone.
Monitor - 829LM
  • Outside lighting around your home and around your garage is definitely a safe bet, but it becomes an even better option if it is lighting combined with motion detectors.
  • Connect a security camera to your Wi‑Fi system. It can easily be monitored from your desk or even your smartphone. Look into getting an alarm system connected to your garage door system.
  • Leave a radio playing at all times in the garage. It is a simple but super effective means of defense.
Security camera

What does security mean to you?

If the answer is a lot, it is time to contact us. We are experts on garage doors, and we will be able to advise you on the best safety options available on the market. We can effectively explain the best choices based on your home. We are especially concerned with your security, all the while still we will be respecting your budget. We can easily send you a quote by email to make things easy.

Come and meet us at our showroom if you prefer, and if updating your garage door is part of your security plan, our useful tool, the Design Centre can help you choose the style of door that best suits your needs. Looking for inspiration? Peruse our image gallery where you can find many examples.

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