Reinforced Garage Doors

Car Thief Breaking In Through the Garage

A house's proneness to break-ins is measured by how secured its entry points are, and the garage is no exception. High-utility garages have one entry door that leads into the house and the service door which hides the parked car away from sight. Which is why it's a burglar's third favorite place to break into. We are going to show you how you can secure the areas of your garage that need the most protection and how you can use them to deter would-be criminals from trespassing on your property.

1. Reinforce the Entry Door

A common mistake homeowners make is they think that so long as they keep their service door shut, they don't need to worry about securing the entry door and in fact, they'll often leave it open or unlocked. Based on current FBI estimates, nearly 30% of all burglars trespass on a home using open first-floor windows and doors. If they manage to break into your garage and your entry door is unlocked, it's smooth sailing for them from there. Below are a few strategies that you can use to secure your entry door, so you don't fall into the similar traps.

Get a Door with a Stronger Material

Fiberglass happens to be very popular among homeowners due to the fact that it's very strong and able to be customized to blend with any layout. Can't afford authentic wooden doors? Fiberglass doors can be made to look like wooden ones and take on a classy finish. Their resistance against all environmental conditions makes them a strong contender when compared to all other materials.

Wood doors may be appropriate to very specific home situations in terms of appearance and function. They are usually installed as front doors thanks to their superior insulation characteristics and beautiful organic appearance. A wood door will make sense as an entry door to your garage if it serves a practical purpose and matches your kitchen's theme. Wood is known for its noise dampening, so if a household member is a carpenter and all their buzz saws and cutting tools are making a lot of noise, a wood door would be ideal more so than any other material. If your area's climate experiences extreme fluctuations, doors made of wood seriously up the insulation performance of your home by keeping it warm during the winter and cool in the summer.

Laminate: Can't afford a wood entry door? Get a laminate door as it can take on any appearance for a very low cost. Laminate doors don't do well in harsh weather, but they make for strong and durable interior doors as well as entry doors for a garage.

Reinforced Door Frames

Replacing your old door with a new and better one is not enough if you don't also change the frame that holds it in place. The important thing to remember about door frames is that they need to be made from the same material as the door itself, and need to be identical in how much tension they are able to withstand. This is to help maintain a static equilibrium between the two components involved and how well they hold up against an attempted break-in. For example, if a burglar uses a car jack to bend the door away from the frame, a relatively stronger frame will actually support the torque produced by the tool to help break the door open.

Deadbolt Locks

Burglars can tell if they can pick a lock just by looking at it, so ensure you make a discouraging first impression by having a formidable lock wait for them. You can't pick a lock if there isn't a keyhole in place, and that's the beauty of a one-sided deadbolt. By offering a keyhole only to the inside of the home, they can only be unlocked either with a key from the inside or with an access code from the outside. Another perk with deadbolts is that their latches typically extend further in a strike plate, making it that much more difficult for the door to be kicked down.

2. Secure Your Service Door

Garages make up 9 percent of all targeted points of entry by burglars because they allow discrete passage into the home itself, and not because they think there's anything particularly valuable left in it by a homeowner. Now that you know how to secure the entry door connecting the garage to your kitchen, it's time to improve the security in your first line of defense against intruders. 

Cover Up Your Garage Windows, If Any

A burglar who knows what they're doing may plan the attack ahead of time, and that involves peeking through the windows of a home in order to window-shop - as it were - and pinpoint the property's weak points. For this reason, you should cover up your garage windows with curtains, blinds or opaque film to keep your belongings hidden from the eyes of mischievous calculating criminals.

Add a Motorized Deadbolt

As effective as they are on other external doors, deadbolts come in so many different styles that their mechanism of access can be applied to doors of all sizes. Having one secure your garage door is cause for peace of mind and confidence in your home's protection. Garage door deadbolts can be controlled with the remote, and they can be opened and closed by being hooked up to a motor which provides enough momentum for a secure lock. As part of an overall system, deadbolt locks work in unison with garage door lifters and openers and don't interfere with the rail along which the door opens.

Fasten a Heavy-Duty Striker Plate

A deadbolt is not complete and as secure as one would hope without a quality strike plate. Secure strike plates are not only fastened tightly to the service door; reliable models have their screws hidden from plain sight when the deadbolt latches are securely locked.

Use Smart Security Devices

Electronic security devices are becoming better every day due to continuous technological advancements made in the home security industry. Ever smarter security systems are becoming more and more affordable for the average household, and these include items such as motion activated lights, garage times, door sensors, and door monitors.

Motion Activated Lights: Nothing scares a burglar more than the feeling of being exposed or watched. They prefer anonymity and stealth and they will be shaken if an alarm system sounds off, or security dog starts barking bloody murder, or a neighbor has spotted them lurking out in the front yard. Neighborhoods with poor lighting are much more the target of property crimes than well-lit neighborhoods. Motion activated lights can be placed strategically just over the garage door to spot any movement within the garage's vicinity. As soon as a would-be burglar sets foot near the garage, the motion detector in the light will pick it up and trigger the light switch. This will startle the trespasser and clearly define him or her for all eyes to see and make them think that the light was switched on by a suspicious homeowner watching from the inside.

Garage Butler: Open garage doors encourage would-be burglars to follow through because it tells them that the homeowner has no booby traps or security system in place if the homeowner wasn't cautious enough to close it shut.  A garage butler's primary purpose is to automatically close your garage door if you forget to close it yourself. You absolutely need to get this for your garage door to keep your home protected if you happen to forget closing it when you head off to work or when you absentmindedly fall asleep. It is easy to install and convenient to the point where you can set the built-in timer to shut the door 3, 10, 20, 30, 45, or 60 minutes after it has opened.

Garage door sensors will trigger an alarm and send an alert if they detect an attempted moving or lifting of the service door. One thing to remember, however, is that these are contact sensors and that they'll detect a break-in if the service door has been moved up to a certain height or angle. Not all break-ins involve moving of the service door. Sometimes the service door could already be up and the burglars need not deal with it, or the garage windows are accessible enough that using the door wasn't necessary.

Glass break-in sensors measure high-frequency noises nearby including that of shattering glass. Once the glass to a garage window has been shattered by a burglar or baseball, the break-in sensor will trigger an alarm and send notifications to the homeowner's phone and email.

Garage door openers are easy to install, use and provide an excellent protective bubble to that side of your home. They can be controlled remotely from your phone or tablet, and certain models will come with a camera that enables you to access a live video stream of your garage. 

Cameras: Install an outdoor camera facing the garage door as a major burglar deterrent. They don't need to be constantly recording 24/7 and occupying more data storage for nothing. Motion-activated cameras start recording only when someone is trespassing on your property. Once a moving object that's heavier than your pet reaches the service door to your garage, the camera will start recording and send a clip of the happening to your phone and email.

3. Install a Security System

Homes with a security system installed are three times less likely to be targeted by a would-be burglar. Not only would installing a security system provide you with top notch equipment sold at a discount, but you can have a professional do the monitoring for you around the clock.

All-Around Home Security: It's not only your garage that is protected under a home security system but the rest of your house as well. All entry points to your home can be armed and ready to trigger an alarm whenever a break-in is about to be underway. 

24/7 Monitoring: No security system is truly complete without round-the-clock monitoring. You cannot constantly be on the look-out for burglars because you have other things to do, so it's only logical that you have an experienced agent constantly scanning your garage for suspicious behavior. Furthermore, if an alarm is triggered by one of the sensors in your garage, a notification will be sent to your phone and the control panel will signal your provider's closest monitoring center.

A Win-Win for Everyone

Having secure front and back doors, garage doors, and windows increase the value of your home and impress prospective buyers when it's time to move. As part of a cycle, improving a home's security reduces homeowner's insurance costs by 15-20%, increases home equity - which can be cashed-out - and increases home resale value as a result. It's a win-win situation!

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