Is your garage properly secured? Many homeowners take care to secure their front and back doors, but forget entirely about their garage–which makes it an attractive target for criminals. Not only does a garage often connect to your home and attic (and thus represents a significant security issue), but many people store valuable possessions in the garage itself. Here are 3 important questions to help evaluate the safety of your garage.
Is Your Interior Garage Door Solid Core?
There are a couple of reasons why a solid core door is preferable for an interior garage door over a hollow core door. You can tell which type of door you have by simply tapping on it; a hollow core door will have some “give,” while a solid core door will feel much heavier and thicker. Not only is a solid core door more secure, but it also provides better insulation, thereby saving you electricity bills. You can easily replace a hollow core door with a solid core door–they’re available at any hardware store.
So why do some homes have hollow core interior doors? It’s usually just cost; hollow core doors are much less expensive and they come in many attractive designs. However, hollow core doors can be easily kicked in. They are extremely fragile. having a hollow core door means that someone who accesses your garage will be able to very easily access your home.
Have You Disabled Your Garage Door’s Manual Override?
Most garage doors have a manual override–the string that hangs down from the motor itself. This manual override is used to pull your garage door up and down when the power is out or when the motor is open, but some criminals use this to their advantage by hooking the manual override from outside so that they can pull your garage door open themselves.
Luckily, this is very easily disabled; all you need to do is take a twist tie and tie the manual override string out of reach. (You can also cut it, of course, but that will leave you out of luck in the event that you actually do need to use the override!) Manual overrides can also be dangerous for children, who may try to jump and grab onto them, so tucking them up out of the way is a good idea regardless.
Does Your Garage Door Lock Manually?
Many people simply assume that their garage door is secured, but in actuality a garage door can usually be lifted with sufficient force–especially by two people. There is nothing that “locks” the garage door or ensures that the garage door cannot be opened while it is closed unless you have a physical lock on the door itself.
A padlock can be used to secure your garage door from the outside. This is especially useful for long trips to ensure that no one targets your home. You can also use a bolt to close the garage door from the inside. Habitually bolting your garage door closed after you get home is an excellent way to improve security.
In addition to the above steps, you may want to leave your lights on outside. In general, criminals will not go after a brightly lit, highly visible garage door. For the same reason, you should clear any clutter that criminals could hide behind.