It's more common than you think. Data released by the FBI in 2012 indicated that 1 in every 36 homes are burglarized each year, with each break-in resulting in an average loss of approximately $2,230. If you're planning on travelling out of town, your house becomes even more vulnerable to break-ins, as observant criminals may take this opportunity to ransack your home. Overhead garage doors are vulnerable openings for criminals. Here are 3 tips on how you can further secure your garage doors before you leave to prevent your home from becoming targeted.
Inspect Overhead Garage Doors and Replace Faulty or Worn-Down Parts
Unfortunately, garage doors are a vulnerable part of your home's overall security system. Crafty burglars have perfected the art of "fishing", which is basically a technique that they use to activate the emergency release that disconnects the door from the opener. Using a wedge to keep a gap in the garage door open, seasoned burglars are able to use a hook to reach the release lever. Others may even look for worn-down parts and try to break down the garage door by force from those areas.
One of the most important things that you can do before you leave town is to inspect your overhead garage door in order to make sure that there are no faulty or worn-down parts, as they are easy to break open. By replacing old parts with new ones, breaking in from your garage door will become a lot harder. In addition, make sure that all of the bolts and screws are tightly fastened into place. You also want to pay specific attention to whether you have a secure and functional shield in place that protects the release cord.
Frost or Cover Up Garage Door Windows
While garage door windows add a sense of elegance and class to the overall design, they also welcome trouble. Seasoned burglars will tend to scope out homes before making a move. One of the main things that they check for will be whether there are any valuables stored in the garage. If your overhead garage door has windows at the top panels, make sure you either get these windows frosted or cover them up from the inside. You want to prevent anyone from outside from getting a glimpse inside because if a burglar spots a valuable item, you can be sure that your home will be at the top of his or her list.
Covering up or frosting the windows is also a good idea because this will prevent thieves from keeping track of when your car is parked in the garage and when you might be home.
Padlock the Throw Latch
It never hurts to be extra cautious. Padlock the throw latch of your overhead garage door to prevent it from opening when you are gone. Choose padlock with a higher number of pin stacks, as they tend to be more difficult to break into, and make sure that the padlock is made from heavy-duty metal, so that it cannot be easily cut open with bolt cutters.
If you don't have a padlock lying around the home, you can also consider installing c-clamps to either side of the garage door tracks. This will effectively lock the garage door down.
Take the time to secure your overhead garage door before you leave for town, and you'll be able to better enjoy your trip without having to worry about burglars. There are plenty of different types of locks and equipment that you can purchase to further secure your overhead garage door in order to guarantee that it won't budget an inch until you're back (click here for more information).