Posted February 24th, 2022 by SimpliSafe
Whether it’s heavily used or not, a garage almost always increases the value of a home. It can provide a place to park the car in the winter, offer extra storage, or even act as a converted apartment in some homes.
The garage can also provide another entrance in and out of the house, which might be ideal for kids or adults coming home with groceries to unload. Or it can simply be a convenient way to enter the house without having to step through extreme weather.
Despite the obvious perks a garage offers, it can also present another path for potential intruders to enter your home. In fact, approximately 9% of home break-ins occur through a garage, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
So, if you have a garage, how can you ensure it's secure? Read on for these garage safety tips to help keep your home and belongings safe.
A garage can be one of the most vulnerable areas of a home for a break-in. And human behavior is one of the main factors that can make this entry point a target for intruders. If we feel safe in our neighborhood, we often won’t think twice about leaving the garage door open. Some people even leave the entrance to the home via the garage unlocked.
Because many people don’t see their garage as the home’s main point of egress, they don’t always treat it with the same level of security as other entryways. Not only can a garage provide easy access to the rest of the house, but the items in your garage might also be attractive to a potential burglar.
After all, robbers typically try to be in and out as quickly as possible. If an intruder sees something valuable in your garage (especially if you consistently leave the door wide open), they might not push their luck. When it’s easy for them to slip in and grab something before you’ve even had a chance to notice, a garage can be a gold mine for burglars.
Knowing the garage is often one of the most overlooked entryways into a home, it’s important to do whatever you can to secure this area. Nothing would be more frustrating than securing your front door, back door, and windows, just to have a burglar slip through the garage. That said, if you’re considering a security system for the first time, make sure protecting the garage is part of your strategy.
So, how can you prevent your garage from being broken into?
Indoor and outdoor security cameras
One of the most effective ways to protect your garage is by installing indoor and outdoor security cameras, just as you would for other entryways. According to the UNC Department of Criminal Justice & Criminology, the presence of security cameras (or lack thereof) is one of the most important factors criminals look for when selecting a home to rob. Not only do cameras often deter burglars, but they can also monitor and alert you to activity in and around your garage, so you can notify the authorities if need be.
Use motion sensors
Motion sensors are also an effective way to ward off intruders. For example, if you’re asleep at night and someone approaches your garage door, the motion sensor can alert you and scare off the potential burglar. Of course, the downside is some motion sensors are very sensitive, so keep this in mind before selecting one for your garage (for example, SimpliSafe Motion Sensors use pet-friendly technology to detect the unique heat signature of people).
While there are security tools that can alert you every time your electronic door is opened, the bigger concern is typically burglars entering the garage through a standard door or window. Though security cameras are one method to deter garage intruders, you can also use entry sensors to stop potential robbers in their tracks. An entry sensor can notify you when a door or window is opened, even if it is just slightly ajar, adding another important layer of protection to your garage security plan.
Add better outdoor lighting
As the first line of defense, consider adding better outdoor lighting around your garage. Intruders often choose the garage as an entry point because it is darker than the rest of the house. They are less likely to be seen by someone driving through the neighborhood at night, for example. Adding extra lighting, including on the walkways leading up to the garage, is a simple and cost-effective way to deter a break-in.
Though security tools can certainly go a long way, remember basic human behavior is often what makes garages insecure in the first place.
Protect your windows and be discreet
Do you have windows on your garage door or on the side of your garage? Make sure they’re secure, just like any other windows in your home. Windows can provide an easy view of the contents of your garage, showing off all the valuables you have inside. They also present another path for intruders to enter your home.
Be sure to keep these windows covered. Being in the garage, most people don’t think to put curtains over them, but you could opt for frosted windows (especially if you keep vehicles or other valuables in the garage). Also, consider a glassbreak sensor as an extra precaution for your garage windows.
Protect your garage door remote
Automatic garage door openers are certainly convenient, but as easy as they make it for you to get into your home, they can also make it easy for intruders. If you have a remote for your garage door, most people tend to keep it near the roof or visor of their car. But, this is the first place a burglar will look, so consider keeping it elsewhere if you can manage it!
Don’t leave doors unlocked or open
While it may seem obvious, the garage is something of an afterthought to many homeowners, leading some people to be less vigilant. First and foremost, never leave your garage door or windows unlocked, especially the entrance from the garage into the house. You should also make sure to lock any vehicles stored in the garage. And, like a front door, don’t leave the spare key in an easy-to-find place (like under a doormat!).
Don’t give away the code
Locking your doors won’t go very far if you share your garage keypad code with everyone in the neighborhood. Talk to your children about being careful not to share the code with strangers, and make sure your code is hard to guess. You should also consider changing the code every so often and assigning separate codes to guests that might need access to your home (the SimpliSafe keypad makes it easy).
A garage can be a great asset to a home, but it can also present security vulnerabilities. To help prevent a burglar from accessing the contents of your garage—or worse, using it as their first point for entry into your home—following these basic garage security tips will help.
Meet the System to learn more about how SimpliSafe can help you protect your garage and the rest of your home today.