When people are looking for ways to secure their residences, they often overlook the largest security gap in their home's line of defense against burglars, the garage door. It is simple to do, as many individuals don't view their garage doors as vulnerable. However, the truth is that would-be thieves are looking for an easy point of entry, and garage doors are often the least protected of all. Below are three easy measures that any homeowner can implement to help prevent intruders from using a garage door to gain entrance.
Lock the inside latch at night
Garage doors usually come with a sliding latch that moves a steel bar into an opening on the track, and this simple and effective mechanism can slow down burglars seeking a way into your home. To use the sliding latch, push the bar into the opening all the way. Be sure not to leave the sliding latch halfway entered, as it can be knocked out of the opening with force applied to the door. For an extra measure of protection, placing a keyed padlock on the door latch can ensure that a would-be burglar can't force the latch open from the outside.
One word of caution to keep in mind when latching your garage door is to remember not to use an automatic garage-door opener with the door latched. Accidental activation of the motor can cause the door to bind and pull, and releasing the tension can cause damage to the door or pose a threat to your personal safety.
Unplug the opener when you are away for long periods of time
Another important security hint to keep in mind is to disconnect power from the garage-door opener when you take an extended trip away from home. Unplugging prevents any possibility of someone "hacking" your door opener and using cloning techniques to remotely open the door. You should be especially diligent to unplug if your opener was built before the early 1990s, as older openers used much less sophisticated technology to keep devices secure.
Close the door all the way
Closing your garage door completely is another simple but sometimes overlooked security measure that you can take. A partially open door can be forced open with a car jack or other brute-force tools, and keep in mind that it doesn't take much more than a dozen or so inches for a thin person to squeeze beneath the door. That is why leaving your door open to permit a pet to come and go or to ventilate your garage is a bad idea; instead, install an appropriately sized pet door in the garage or add securely fastened vent louvres to the door.
To learn about the locks on your particular garage door and how to make the door more secure, consult a professional locksmith in your area, such as Suburban Lock.