Most people these days have electric garage doors. And, because the door is essentially locked when it is closed, they don’t really think about garage door security. But, did you know that anyone can open that garage door in as little as 6 seconds? It’s true. And, it requires no fancy tools, skills, or technology.
This leaves everything you store in your garage at risk. That includes power tools, lawnmowers, gardening equipment, bicycles, and more. You don’t really think about it, but you probably have thousands of dollars of goods sitting in your garage. As you’ll see, they are as good as sitting by the side of the road. And, many people don’t lock the door from the garage into the house, since it’s not open to the outside. So, once in the garage, a burglar has free access to the house, as well.
Burglars are opportunists. Unless they want something specific that you have, they will look for the easiest targets and quickest entry points. That’s where garage door security comes into play, and it involves the door’s manual release mechanism. If you never need to open your garage door manually, you may not know it’s there, or what it’s for. However, if you look at the track running along the center of the garage ceiling, you will likely see a cord hanging with a pull handle on it. That is the manual release. If you pull down on the cord, the door will disengage from the motorized unit and you will be able to lift the door by hand.
A small wooden wedge and a straightened wire hanger with a hook at one end is all you need. First, put the wedge into the space between the top of your garage door and the doorframe, close to the middle of the door. This creates a space through which you can see the manual release. Next, the straightened metal hanger is fed through the opening. Once you hook the end around the release mechanism, a simple tug releases the door. If the hook won’t go around the release mechanism, it can still grab the cord and pull the wooden handle through the opening. Then, a pull on the cord and door releases. Most people can do this in under 10 seconds!
There are several very simple devices you can purchase to prevent someone from doing this to your garage door. One is called the Garage Shield, and it is inexpensive and fairly easy to install. Or, for a less expensive do-it-yourself option, put a zip-tie through the hole where the release cord attached and tighten it around the trolley track. This will keep the release lever from being pulled by a wire hanger. However, you also should shorten the release cord, because if the intruder gets the cord through the opening, he could break that zip tie with enough force applied.
For more information on garage door security and ways to strengthen all the weak areas around your home, find a mobile locksmith in your area and let him share his security expertise with you. After all, nothing is more important than protecting your home and family!