Chris Swenson thought he implemented the measures needed to prevent a burglar from entering his home.
“I secured all of the windows and the front and back doors. I invested in a security system. I thought I was good to go.”
Like many homeowners, Chris had his heart in the right place, but his new home security system included one large gap called the garage. It doesn’t matter if your garage attaches to your home or stands alone a few yards away from the nearest home entrance. Although burglars gain access to homes via a garage in just 9% of burglary cases, the 9% figure does not include stand-alone garages that offer thieves a rich bounty of high-priced tools and auto parts.
How do you protect your valuables sitting in the garage? Let us count the ways.
Protecting your valuable possessions stored in the garage doesn’t require a PhD. First, remove the garage door opener from your car. Attach the garage door opener to a keychain or place it in one of the diversion safes you purchased from a trustworthy home security company. If you have to leave the garage door opener in the car as a matter of routine, conceal it in the glove compartment box. Other common sense burglary preventive measures for the garage include locking each window and not leaving expensive home improvement tools and equipment outside the garage.
Zip Tie the Garage Door
If you think a fancy, expensive garage door lock will prevent a thief from accessing the garage, think again. Resourceful thieves use coat hangers to dislodge the emergency release handle. Connect a zip tie to the loop located in the emergency latch and you have added another layer of protection for the valuables stored in the garage. You can also remove the emergency release handle to dissuade a burglar from trying to enter the garage.
Frost the Windows
Most burglars perform what television show detectives refer to as “casing the joint” before deciding on which home or homes to burglarize. By frosting the garage windows, a thief has to rely on first hand accounts of what you store in the garage. This means placing the thief at risk of being caught because of the frequent sightings of the thief in the neighborhood prior to a burglary. Frosted garage windows also create an aesthetically appealing design.
Add the Garage to the Home Security System
A garage is not just a place where you toss oil rags and sweep debris in from the yard. Many homeowners store expensive items in the garage, such as lawnmowers and off terrain vehicles. Even if you have a stand-alone garage, you should connect the garage to your home electronic security system. The easiest way to integrate the garage is by installing an alarm and adding at least one camera and motion detector.
Noise is Your Friend
What is the first thing a thief does when he or she approaches your home? The answer is listen for evidence of any family members inside of the home. After hearing nothing, most thieves then perform a quick tour to see if anyone is home. The same principle applies to the garage. If you leave a radio on at low volume, a thief canvassing your garage will move on to a home where the coast is clear. Leaving a light on has the same effect at night, but not as much preventive impact during the day.
The Value of a Diversion Safe
Copper has morphed into the hottest commodity thieves steal to gain access to fast cash. Garages represent prime locations for storing copper. To thwart a thief, store valuables such as copper inside of diversion safes. You can create do it yourself stash cans by using soup or vegetable cans. Clocks and books also make effective diversion safes.
It’s easy to forget the garage when it comes to installing a home security system. Yet, your garage probably includes some of the costliest items you own. Put as much time and effort into securing the possessions inside of your garage and don’t forget to make diversion safes an integral part of your home security plan.