The holiday season will soon be here which means we will all be going in and out of our homes and opening and closing our garage doors more often. Shopping, celebrating, family vacations and parties keep us on the go which is one of the top reasons why there are so many home break-ins and burglaries this time of year. At Anderson Garage Doors, we want to help keep you, your family and your home safe. Here are 12 Tips to Secure your Home and Garage.
1. Keep your codes and passwords secret
Many home entry doors, vehicles and garage doors have keypads so you don’t have to carry around a huge set of keys. Keeping the codes and passwords secret is very important. Once the information is out it can be shared by anyone. Many garage door opener companies including LiftMaster and Craftsman have created a way that you can set a one-time code and user-specific codes. This is helpful when you have company visiting or a repair man that needs access and you don’t want to give them the keypad code. The new MyQ and wifi enabled openers allow you to open and close your garage door by using your smartphone from anywhere in the world.
2. Keep garage door remotes away from children.
Teach your children that remotes are not toys. When children have access to remotes they can open your garage without you even knowing about it. Your garage and home can be left vulnerable to burglaries. Since remotes are small they can easily be lost in the grass where strangers can pick them up and get access to your home. Keep remotes up high, out of the reach of children. If you make a habit of keeping them in the same place then it will be easier to notice if one is missing.
3. Change opener and keypad codes
Most of the newer garage door openers have a built-in rolling code function. This means that each time you open your garage door a new code is set. It prevents any other remote from opening your personal garage door. Older garage door openers come with factory set codes that can be changed. If you have an older opener mark your calendar to change the code before the holiday season begins each year.
4. Check opener for all security features
Locate your opener brochure and become familiar with all of the security features you have. Ask your garage door dealer about all the new awesome advancements in security and safety that you can add to your already existing opener. If your opener is old you might want to consider a new one. There are also different kinds of locks available for garage doors with and without openers.
5. Use obscure or frosted glass in garage door windows
More than half of all garage doors have windows. If the windows sit low enough that people can see into your garage we would suggest adding an obscure or frosted glass covering. These just stick on and can be purchased at your hardware and paint stores. If you are purchasing new garage doors ask your dealer about the many different glass options. Most window sections can easily be moved higher in your existing garage door if you want more privacy.
6. Keep remotes hidden in vehicles
If you are like most people you keep your garage door remote on the visor of your car. If you are going to leave your vehicle for an extended period of time then keep your remote hidden. Your remote is like another key to your home. Would you leave your keys in the car? No, that would be crazy! Yet, we leave our remotes out in plain sight all day while we work, shop and go about our other activities. A burglar can grab the remote, follow you home and have free access to your home at a later time. Don’t be an easy target. Practice using these 12 tips to secure your home and garage.
7. Don’t leave your garage door open
I can’t count how many times I have driven down a street to see a garage door wide open and no one is around. Even leaving the garage door partially open for pets can be an invitation to burglars. Your property is right there for all to see…and steal. Many garage door openers have a timer to close feature. You set the timer for a certain amount of minutes and the door will automatically close. Installing a Keyless entry pad is an easy to way to open and close a door if you are doing yard work. The openers with the MyQ and wifi features allow you to open and shut your garage door with your smartphone. You can also receive alerts if your door has been opened.
8. Don’t post on Social Media that you aren’t home
This seems like a no-brainer right? But we do it all the time. We ask for travel suggestions for our upcoming vacation and then we post pics while we are on vacation. We show videos of the soccer game we are attending or the event we are at. It’s easy to forget that we are just announcing to the world that we aren’t home. Make your social media accounts private and be aware of what you are posting and how it’s effecting your security.
9. Enable vacation mode on your opener
Most openers come with a vacation mode feature. This makes it impossible to open your garage door using a remote. If your opener does not have this option then unplug your opener while you are gone. A few steps of prevention can really make a big difference to an intruder. Again, becoming familiar with the safety features of your opener is important.
10. Keep vehicles locked
Get in the habit of locking your vehicle even when it is parked in your garage and place the remotes out of site. This might seem a bit extreme but intruders can hide in your vehicle or just reach inside and grab the remote only to return when you aren’t home. It’s worth the effort when it comes to keeping your children safe. Just a quick run into the store in long enough for a burglar to climb inside and take what they want.
11. Keep doors and windows locked
Do you keep the entry door locked between the garage and your house? This is an often overlooked step. There are over 2 million home burglaries reported in the US each year. Over 90% enter through an unlocked door or window. Our lives are busy and it’s so easy to get distracted and forget. Most homes have at least one window in their garage and a separate main door that goes to the outside. Don’t forget to lock them up. Once a burglar gets into the garage it’s pretty easy to get into the house unless you have taken the time to lock your doors.
12. Arm your security system
What good is a security system if you forget to arm it? Put a small note in your car and near your bed as a reminder. Another great tip to deter intruders is to put a security sign both in the front and in the back of the house. Security systems really do make a huge difference in home and garage security…if it is armed!
Following these 12 tips to secure your home and garage can make a big difference. We need to take the time to learn new habits and break the old ones. At Anderson Garage Doors, we can help you learn about the new advanced garage door and opener safety features and apps. Be sure to check out all of the products and services we offer and be sure to give us a call with any questions!