Home security is a huge concern for all of us. You may think you’ve done all you can to protect your house and family from a break-in but are you aware that your garage could in fact be the weakest link?
Whether you have an integral or freestanding garage, it goes without saying that your home security needs must be met in order to safeguard the contents of your garage and home. If your garage is not structurally sound or the doors and windows are insufficiently secure, it may be time for an upgrade.
Did you know that many burglars target a garage first to gain access to tools and ladders that will make it easier for them to break into the main house? What’s more, if you have a built-in garage with a door through to the rest of the house, having a high security garage door takes on an even greater importance.
How secure is your garage door really?
Are you sitting down? Then, without further ado, here comes some bad news. Even a modern garage door can be broken into in under 6 seconds, with nothing more than a coat hanger. This is how it’s done:
Unsurprisingly, older doors are much easier to overcome than the state-of-the-art security features of the most advanced garage doors on the market today. Would you believe that many traditional up-and-over doors rely on nothing more than a single lock that’s a doddle to drill through or cut out? Then there’s the weak spot where the top of the door meets the frame, which is clearly no match for a crowbar – or a mere block of wood and a coat hanger, as in the clip above!
Roller doors and sectional doors offer a greater degree of protection since the method of opening is different. In order to get in, you would have to cut a hole in the actual door – a time consuming and noisy job that a burglar would wish to avoid.
Having said that, it’s always unwise to underestimate the determination of any intruder intent on breaking in. All it takes is a remote location and a motivated criminal armed with an angle grinder or circular saw, and door panels and bracings can be overcome without much ado. In extreme cases, the door can simply be folded in half to create a large and convenient opening! With your possessions that are not in regular use (e.g. your ski equipment) it may be worth putting them in storage. A provider such as storing.com can help keep your possessions out of the reach of burglars.
So, what security features are worth having?
Regardless of garage door design and style, modern manually operated garage doors are now fitted with standard security features. These are continually reviewed to keep one step ahead of the criminals, and include
Dual locks (one on each side), and an option to have two more locks
The main lock is a key operated, anti-snap Euro cylinder lock
Strong bars to withstand prizing open from outside
As more methods of illegal entry are becoming known, garage door manufacturers are making modifications across their product ranges to stay ahead of the game and supply the safest possible doors.
Automated garage doors offer exceptional levels of security. Since they are electrically operated by the doors’ motor, they exert a continual downward motion to keep the door in a closed position, waiting to be activated by remote control. That said, there’s usually an emergency release lever that lets you open the door manually in the event of a power cut – taking you right back to square one.
What is the safest garage door type?
Thankfully, all brand new garage doors manufactured by reputable brands such as Hörmann, Garador, Cardale, SWS, CDC, Teckentrup and CedarDoor offer extremely high levels of security that would make it very difficult for anyone attempting to gain access. As always, it pays to shop around.
On of the most advanced garage doors on the market to look out for is the SWS automatic roller garage door made from insulated aluminium. This is an example of the UK Police’s flagship initiative Secured By Design, aimed at combining the principles of ‘designing out crime’ and physical security. SWS, Novoferm and Hörmann are among a select group having achieve official approved manufacturer status.
Should you get additional garage door defenders?
If you feel the need to adopt a belt and braces approach and wish to enhance the security provided by your garage door further, fitting additional garage door defenders could be an option. These are heavy duty, highly visible devices that are anchored securely into the ground just outside the garage and block the outward swing of your garage door.
A bit like a steering wheel lock that physically prevents the car from being driven, a garage door defender stops the door from being opened, even in the event of the door being unlocked or broken. For best effect, defenders should be placed centrally in front of each garage door.