How secure are your locked garage doors? Surprisingly, it’s easy for a thief to break into a locked garage door with nothing but a coat hanger. Worse still, it only takes the average burglar six seconds to gain access to your garage.
Burglars take advantage of a simple vulnerability in your garage door. Luckily, you can eliminate this break-in method and secure your garage. On top of this quick fix, have a reliable garage door repair service inspect your locks. It’s best to switch out weak locks for a sturdy variety or consider more security measures.
The Roll up Garage Door Security Vulnerability
For all their sturdiness, roll-up garage doors have a simple but exploitable vulnerability. And that’s the cord connected to the emergency release lever. A would-be burglar only needs a coat hanger and a small wood block to trip the safety mechanism on the garage door.
Burglars thread a hooked piece of wire through the top of the roll-up garage door. They can then yank the cord to disengage the emergency latch. Once the safety release is disengaged, the burglar then rolls up the door manually to gain entry. Since the entry is simple and noiseless, burglars often get away with it.
Uncovered garage windows help the thieves along by improving visibility. But a burglar can just as easily break into a garage without windows. The release cord is located somewhere in the middle of the door, so you can snag it on feel alone.
Improving the Security of a Roll-up Garage Door
The emergency release cord lets you roll up the garage door during an emergency. In addition, it provides you with a handy way to access the garage when you can’t use the remote and the wall button.
- Remove the emergency release cord: Naturally, removing the cable fixes this vulnerability. Moreover, it makes it more tedious for a would-be burglar to break into your garage. Vandals and burglars prefer easy pickings and go to the extra length to avoid detection. They would rather give up an attempt to break in than risk detection. But ensure that you can still reach and release the emergency level during a power failure.
- Lock the release lever in an engaged position: Depending on the model, you can tie the emergency lever to its housing. You can do this with a thin wire or zip ties. The lever comes with a hole to attach the release cord, and most carriage housings have holes. If there are no holes in the housing, you can make one with a power drill. The trick here is to remove the possibility of a hooked wire pulling down the release level. Locking the engaging arms with zip ties is ideal. It disables the common bypass method used by burglars. In case of power failure, you can manually open the garage door from the inside by yanking sharply to break the zip ties.
- Install an emergency level shield: Installing a shield to keep the wire from grabbing the release cord is probably the best solution. It doesn’t interfere with the operation of the emergency release mechanism. The shield is fixed in front of the level release. That allows you to keep the pull rope for quick access during an emergency. You can opt to install the shield yourself or have your local garage door repair service do it for you.
More Ways to Secure Your Garage Door
In most cases, an overhead garage door is the weakest link in your home security. Most people install a sturdy front door but pay no mind to the garage door. The National Association of Certified Home Inspectors estimates that 9% of home burglaries happen through the garage.
Here are simple but effective ways to fortify your garage and dissuade thieves from breaking in.
- Cover all the garage windows from the inside with a frosted film
- Install motion detectors and floodlights
- Install a lock on the garage door handle
- Always lock the door connecting the garage to your house
- Install security cameras
All your efforts to safeguard and secure your home will amount to nothing if you neglect your garage. A thief can overcome a locked roll-up garage door in less than six seconds. Worse still, they need nothing more than a block of wood and a wire.
Taking extra measures to fortify your garage door helps to improve home security. Consulting a reliable garage door service can help keep your doors in tiptop shape. They can also help you pick the best security solutions.