You may only think of your garage as a place to park your car, but it's actually much more than that. It can be a place to store things, a workshop for tinkering, and, most importantly, an entry point to your home that probably isn't as secure as it should be. Most homeowners take the time to make sure that the other entry points in their homes are safe and secure, but if you're overlooking the security of your garage, you're leaving a big gap in your home's overall security. Here are a few simple ways you can make your garage more secure so you can prevent thieves from breaking into your home.
Start with a good garage door
If your garage door is over 20 years old, you probably want to invest in a new one. An old or broken door provides little defense against a burglar, so make sure that yours is sturdy and functioning properly. Steel garage doors are a popular choice because they are sturdy and impact-proof and come in a wide variety of finishes to complement different home exterior styles.
If you have a garage door with an automatic opener and it is one of the older models, there's a chance it's the type that used a 'universal' opening code, meaning that more than one opener could open the door. If your door is otherwise sturdy, but your opener is ancient, upgrade to a newer garage door opener that you can program with your own unique code to prevent thieves gaining access.
Use a lock
If your garage door has a lock, use it. Most break-ins are crimes of opportunity, and if you leave your garage door unlocked, it makes it easier for a thief to gain entry quickly. Also, secure your door's emergency release lever with a plastic zip tie. The emergency release lever is there in case you lose power and need to open your automatic garage door manually. Leaving it unsecured allows thieves to use a piece of wire to pull it from outside your home, opening the door without any damage or trouble.
Don't forget to lock the door that leads from your garage to your home's interior. This door should have as much security in place as any other exterior door, including a deadbolt lock that you should use any time you leave your home.
Install motion sensor lights
Many burglars love the cover of night for gaining access to homes, so it pays to have plenty of lighting near every entrance, including the garage. Motion sensor lights only come on when movement is detected and can be a deterrent against burglary. They can also be useful for helping you guide your car into your garage at night, illuminating your driveway for your convenience, then shutting themselves off after motion has ceased.
Cover your windows
Garage doors with windows may be attractive, but they also allow thieves to look inside and take stock of everything you have in your garage that may be worth stealing. Even if they never step foot inside your actual home, a thief who robs your garage could make off with thousands of dollars worth of tools, lawn care instruments and anything else of value that you happen to have in the garage.
If you have windows on your garage door and are concerned about thieves looking inside, cover them with cardboard or consider applying a window tint film that will darken the windows and make visibility trickier.
Your garage is an important extension of your home, so you need to ensure you secure it as well as the rest of your house. Take the time to implement these simple steps, and you can rest easier knowing that your garage is secure at all times. For more information about garage door opens, you can visit sites like http://www.702garagedoors.com.