From your back door to the front and all points in between, burglars have many possible points of entry. The latest annual data from the FBI indicates a staggering 7,993,631 property crimes occurring in the United States. As hard as it is to think about, you need to ask yourself the uncomfortable questions: Is your home an easy target? Where are you most vulnerable? Once you know the answers, you can take the necessary steps to secure your home and protect your family, valuables, and peace of mind.
The following information will help you to make your garage more of an obstruction to burglars than an invitation.
1. Put Your Garage Under A Spotlight
If the entry points of your garage are flooded by light, criminals are going to be much less likely to approach. Install bright spotlights wherever you need them most and either keep them on when it's dark or have sensors set to put the spotlight on anyone coming close to your garage.
2. Reinforce The Door
If your garage door is hollow or otherwise flimsy, you may be at greater risk. Look into greater fortification, such as reinforced steel or a solid wood center. This could act as a deterrent completely, but it will definitely slow down any would-be intruder every time.
3. Add An Extra Layer Of Security With A Gate
A security gate for your garage, from a place like Western Door and Gate, provides a high level of protection in a variety of ways, from keeping your children from running down the driveway and into the road to dissuading potential burglars from choosing your particular home to target. While these types of gates are typically seen on commercial storefronts, more and more homeowners are seeing the value of residential use. Depending on the model you choose, the gate can keep prying hands completely away from the garage door, meaning there's no way in, ever.
Security gates are relatively easy to install, simple to use and maintain and permit fresh-air to flow freely throughout your garage, while serving as a protective force.
4. Obstruct The Window Views In The Garage
Most especially if you're storing a valuable vehicle or extensive collection of tools, you don't want to offer bad guys even a glimpse of temptation. While a window-less garage is the safest option, if you do have them, simply cover them with curtains or spray them with a frost coating that will make them impossible to see through. Your windows will still look presentable and you can open them when you're using the garage, just remember to lock up when leaving.
5. Get A Phone Message When The Door Is Opened
Although the messaging may seem tedious when the "intruder" is actually your spouse or other family member going into the garage, it's worth the trouble to always know who is around and what time they're entering or departing. Set your garage door opener to alert you whenever the door is in use.
6. Keep Shrubs Around The Garage To A Minimum
Because shrubs can serve as a hiding spot or stopping point between a burglar and your home, you want to keep them trimmed regularly or positioned somewhere else. For example, a criminal lurking on the sidewalk might plot to approach the garage by hopping a fence and waiting under the cover of hedges to be sure he wasn't spotted. That stopping point or hiding space could be all that's needed to make you his next victim.
7. Deadbolt The Door Leading Into Your Home
Even though your interior door is behind the protection of the garage and even if you have layers of security in between, don't rely on anything other than a solid deadbolt to protect the home itself. Especially when nobody is home, a criminal can quickly finagle a weaker lock and be right inside without detection.
Additionally, it's important to keep the mechanical components of your garage in full working order, as an added layer of security. If the device doesn't function properly, it could become stuck in the up position or fail to work completely. Once a month or so, inspect your rollers, springs, cables, pulleys and other components for wear-and-tear or leaves, twigs and items that may obstruct function. Don't forget to apply grease to the moving parts, like hinges, tracks and rollers.
You work hard to achieve a great-looking home and yard, but make sure you work as hard at securing it, too. If you feel that any aspect of your garage is leaving you vulnerable, consider upgrading the features that will increase safety and hopefully prevent your home from becoming a statistic of crime.