For approximately 70 percent of U.S. households, the garage door is the quickest and easiest way to get inside of a home. Unfortunately, someone targeting your home might feel the same way. Many burglars choose the garage as their point of entry when breaking into a home -- and getting in through your garage is a lot easier than you'd think. Fortunately, there's a simple way you can safeguard your garage against forced entry.
Why a Burglar Would Choose Your Garage Door
Going through the garage door might not be the most popular approach, as recent statistics show, but there's a good reason why some burglars make it their main point of entry. Homes equipped with alarm systems are likely to have all of their exterior doors and windows wired to detect break-ins, making those approaches the noisiest and most obvious. Your home might also have reinforced door jambs that prevent burglars from kicking the door in, preventing all but the most determined from gaining quick entry.
Your garage door, on the other hand, is surprisingly vulnerable thanks in large part to its emergency release lever. The emergency release lever is designed to help you open your garage door if the garage door opener stops working or if you need to make a quick escape from your garage.
Burglars can exploit this ordinary safety feature by threading a wire hanger past the weatherstripping along the top edge of the garage door and hooking the emergency release lever. All it takes afterward is for the burglar to pull the lever back and disconnect the opener from the garage door. Then the burglar can lift the garage door open and gain access to the rest of your home.
Enter the Humble Zip Tie
Preventing a garage door break-in can be as simple as looping a zip tie through your emergency release lever mechanism. Here's how you can secure your garage door with this simple trick:
- Locate the hole in the emergency release lever where the spring is mounted and thread the narrow end of the zip tie through that hole.
- Locate the other hole on the outer trolley (the part directly above the lever) and thread the zip tie through it.
- Loop the zip tie to secure it and cut off the remaining portion of the tie.
With this trick, it's all about leverage. With the zip tie in place, there's not enough leverage for a would-be burglar to pull the lever from the outside. However, you can simply pull the lever as normal to break the zip tie and exit your garage door.
Securing your garage door's emergency release lever might be the simplest way of protecting your home against burglars, but it shouldn't be your only form of protection. Reinforced doors, well-lit entryways, and even home security cameras can also lessen your chances of being targeted for a break-in.
For further assistance, contact local garage door repair professionals.