Thanks to kids’imaginations and the likes of comics and cartoons, a lot of us think that burglaries happen at night, by expert outlaws and criminals that could be Super Villains in a real-life movie. Thus, daytime means safety, right? You couldn’t be more wrong. Many burglaries and home invasions happen during the day, usually with suspects banking on the fact that people aren’t expecting it.
Who doesn’t know the infamous Wet Bandits, AKA Sticky Bandits? You might also know them as the Home Alone franchise’s worst burglars ever.
Important Stats and Facts You Can’t Afford to Miss
Here’s a reality check by the numbers, to give you more insight.
Aeon Matrix says that:
● Most incidents happen between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., typically while people are at work/school/etc.
● Burglars are typically in and out in 10 minutes or less.
● Most burglars choose homes nearby and that knowingly lack security. As many as 65% of all burglars report knowing the victims.
● An experienced burglar will start in the master bedroom, typically.
Of course, most people presume that the garage is safe—after all, it’s just a space filled with lawn and garden tools, sports gear, car stuff, and so forth. Nothing in there is valuable, and who’d try to get in through your garage door? It’s too obvious, isn’t it?
Probably not. In fact, according to a report from Safe at Last, the most common entry points are as follows:
● 34% come in the front door like they live there.
● 23% find an open first-floor window.
● 22% use the back door, either because it’s open or by forcing it.
● 9% come in through the basement.
● And 9% of all burglars enter through your garage door!
It’s Easy to Overlook the Obvious
When you move to the suburbs and choose a nice neighborhood, you’re paying for the added sense of security, too.
As time goes on, people get more comfortable and relaxed. They enjoy the quiet suburban life and see that nothing happens here. Thus, we start leaving doors unlocked, windows open, and keys hidden in easily found spots. It’s convenient, easy, and comfortable. Unfortunately, it can also be dangerous.
Burglars are smart. It won’t take an experienced observer long to learn your schedules, habits, and weak points in your home.
You certainly don’t have to turn your home into a battleground as Kevin McAllister did, but you’ll want to make sure that you’re not setting yourself up as an easy target. Prevention 101 includes:
● KEEP YOUR DOORS AND WINDOWS LOCKED. Always. Yes, even when you’re home. Yes, even during the day. Yes, even when you’re in your yard. Thieves are sneaky.
● STOP hiding keys! Just don’t do it. There’s no “secret spot” a good burglar won’t find. If you need to leave a key, consider getting to know the neighbors. Even better, call Grandma or an Aunt or Uncle who will be available and can help out.
● Ditch the community key station by the door. Whether it’s a hook, a bowl, a shelf, or even a drawer, STOP keeping your keys and wallet right by the door. Don’t label keys. Don’t leave garage door openers in sight. Make everything a hassle to deter thieves.
● WATCH PATIO DOORS—these are especially vulnerable. Consider cutting an old broom or tool handle (or other wooden board/pole) to the size of the door and use it to keep the sliding door secured at all times.
● Know your neighbors. The closer your community, the less likely burglars will come by. They know that in communities like this, neighbors keep an eye on each other. Therefore, they’re going to stay away to avoid being spotted. If your neighbors have different schedules or are retired, that’s even better, because they’ll always be around. NO, you don’t have to become best friends—don’t worry, introverts, it’s not that serious. Simply meet them, chat a little, and offer to keep an eye in exchange for the same from them. No need to go planning parties or dinner dates.
● ALWAYS change the locks when you move into a new house or apartment.
● Keep curtains closed once it’s dark. Most burglars live nearby, remember, and they’re going to love being able to see from the outside when your lights are all on full power.
● Cover the basement and garage windows with curtains or shades, too. It’s great to have windows in the garage to let in natural light. However, they can also be easily peered into if they’re low enough, so consider frosted or other opaque glass. Sandblasted glass is a popular choice because it offers privacy and still lets light in.
● Put interior lights on timers. It’s always a good idea to leave some lights on, but you might want to change it up a bit so that the burglars don’t spot your routine. For example, if you always turn the light on over the sink when you leave at night, consider switching on another light, too, from time to time. The better option is to invest in 2 or 3 timers that turn lights and/or the TV on and off throughout the day and especially while you’re gone. It’ll be pretty hard for them to tell whether you’re home or not.
● Motion lights belong at all entrances, including the garage. Motion-activated lights are one of the cheapest tools you can use for security. They deter kids and small-time crooks from starting trouble, and they show burglars that you’re not making it easy to get in. Plus, you’ll enjoy the convenience of having a well-lit space, so you don’t have to fumble with keys in the dark or stumble down the stairs.
● Keep landscaping well-groomed. Any shrubbery that is near entrances or walkways needs to be kept trimmed back and neat so that it doesn’t offer an easy hiding spot for your would-be thieves. If you want to go the extra mile, consider putting rosebushes or other prickly plants under the windows so that people will be less likely to consider using that method of entry. It sounds silly, but it does work. Would you want to climb through a rosebush just to steal a TV and maybe a few other things?
● Be the burglar. This is the best way to protect your home. Take a walk around the property and imagine that you’re trying to find a way in. Consider which entry points would provide easy access and which windows may be easier to enter. Do you have outdated windows? Is the shed unlocked or the garage door unsecured? Are expensive items visible through windows? Look at every detail.
● Out of sight, out of mind. Don’t leave your home in a tempting state. Just keep your high-value items stored securely out of sight and don’t make your home inviting to burglars. Teach your kids to put their toys and electronics away immediately when they’re done, including expensive outside toys and bikes. That way not only are thieves less welcome, but your home stays tidier, too!
● Stop announcing your every move on social media. No one needs to know that you’re sitting at the Starbucks drive-thru for 20 minutes now. A thief could easily use this information to start watching your house and learning your routine. Want to show off those great views from your cruise? Wait until you’re home to share the photos so that no one is wise to your being out of town. Otherwise, it’s like you’re advertising.
This Safeatlast blog article will tell you just how safe your home really is.
What about protecting that beautiful garage and garage door?
How long is your emergency release mechanism?
In this ColoradoRMN video, a handyman explains how you can use a tie wrap to shorten the emergency release rope.
If this rope is long enough, it could be hooked from between two sections of the door, allowing them to pull it out and use it to access the garage. Photo credit: Image from the video
This isn’t considered a “design flaw”, though! It’s a mechanism that’s designed for your family’s safety.
These components are the emergency release of the garage door. They’re meant to provide a way out in the event of an emergency, such as a power outage or fire.
Tie wraps are NOT recommended. Instead, we advise shortening the rope a little bit. Ideally, you’ll install a garage trolley shield, which offers premium safety.
5-Star Solution: Invest in an Automatic Lock for Your Garage Door
Yeah, you can probably open most garages without a lot of effort. A good pry bar can go a long way.
And yeah, you can have “handymen” install bolts that slide to lock the door from the inside, but there are several issues with this. First, it’s inefficient and a pain to remember to lock the bolts when you leave the garage. Secondly, you have to do it from the inside. Sounding less and less like a good idea?
Now you’re using your brain! Considering that you can get as much as 25 years out of a quality garage door, you want to protect it. Drilling holes could cause you to void the warranty, too.
Consider a more modern, effective solution like the automatic garage door lock from LiftMaster that will ensure that your door is locked at all times when it’s in the closed position.
4 prime reasons to choose the LiftMaster automatic lock for your door
1- Total protection: Choosing an automatic deadbolt provides nearly impenetrable protection.
2- Security you can hear: The lock “clicks” as it engages, letting you know you’re protected.
3- Automated locking: When the door closes, the lock activates. When the door opener is activated, the lock disengages.
4- Anywhere monitoring: Smartphone monitoring is available through the MyQ app to help you protect your garage door.
Worry-free Performance. Use the MyQ app and know that your home and garage are safe and secure with this Auto Door Lock.
Modern problems require modern solutions: switch to a smart opener system
It’s time to move into the future and when you do it with LiftMaster, you can trust that you’re getting some of the best products. Their smart door opener includes two-way audio and a built-in camera for 24/7 monitoring and more.
9 Ways to Make the Most of Your LiftMaster Smart Garage Door Opener Model 87504-267
1- Set custom alerts
2- Make sure the door is closed—no more wondering and worrying while you’re away.
3- Engage the garage door right from your smartphone, from anywhere in the world.
4- Set limited access: you can create profiles and access codes for everyone in your family, your weekly housekeeper, your family, or anyone else that you’d like. Got a dog walker? Give them their own access.
5- Be notified every time someone enters the garage on your phone.
6- How about in-garage deliveries? If it’s available in your city, this door opener can do it.
7- Monitor the garage in real-time. Make sure you always know what’s going on.
8- Interact with people in the garage—give information, answer questions, or even just provide instructions for leaving a package.
9- View archived footage with storage options available for 7-day or 30-day storage, with pricing on a subscription basis.
How does it work?
The homeowner gets a notification “Garage door 1 opened just now” on her smart phone and sees her children and the babysitter, live on camera, as they enter the garage.
With the camera on this model, you will ALWAYS KNOW WHAT’S HAPPENING in your garage. It includes:
● 1080p HD video with live streaming
● Night vision and motion detection
● Manual rotation up to 360 degrees
The homeowner gets a notification on his smart phone and sees the neighbor as she enters his garage. “Hi, Rachel!” he says, “the ladder is hung on the left wall”.
Two-Way Audio Means Everyone Can Speak and Be Heard
● Live two-way communication with integrated speaker and mic
● You can disable the microphone if you desire
The homeowner gets a notification on his smart phone “Alert Occurred – The garage door remains open and sees that the neighbor who walks the dog as the last to come out from the garage door.
Smartphone Controls and Built-In WiFi Mean You’re ALWAYS IN CONTROL
● Integrated WiFi and Bluetooth
● MyQ App connectivity
● Customized access and alert settings
● Open and close your garage door from anywhere
Secure Your Home and Family with PRIME SAFETY FEATURES
● The included battery backup ensures you can use your garage door even when the power is out.
● The automatic electronic locking feature protects from your door being forced open.
● The secure access codes ensure that no one gets in without permission.
● Safety sensors keep the door from closing when there’s something (or someone) in the way.
● Lights with motion detector sensors so you’ll never have to walk into a dark space ever again.
Replacing the former LiftMaster 8550, you can see that the LiftMaster 87504-267 model is nothing like your “typical” garage door opener. If you’re like me and love shopping online because it’s so convenient and enjoyable to do from the comfort of home, you’ll love to know that this door can protect those valuable deliveries from porch pirates, weather, and so much more. It might not be long before companies require in-garage deliveries, so now is the time to get on board.
If you want to ensure that you’re not leaving thieves an easy entry point:
● ALWAYS lock your car, even when it’s parked in the garage.
● HIDE the garage door opener, both in your home and in your vehicle.
● Reprogram all LiftMaster accessories when you get a new door to ensure that your system can’t be accessed by another remote. It sounds odd, but some people drive around trying to access garages with old or modified remotes. Better to thwart them from the start.
Maybe you’d like to talk to a garage door opener pro before you decide?
Feel free to give us a call at 519-539-2988.
We can assist with everything related to maintenance, repair, and installation of a garage door opener and the garage door itself. We’ve got years of expertise and we’re passionate about what we do.
If you think it’s time to upgrade to a new garage door opener or garage door? Let the team here at Charlie's Overhead Door know how we can help. Just answer a couple of questions and we’ll work with your budget and expectations to deliver the best garage door system for your home.
Maybe you’ve already got an idea of what you want in a new garage door or opener system?
We will gladly provide a quotation by email.
Looking for a little inspiration?
Check out the residential photo gallery we’ve got set up. Perhaps you’re interested in getting interactive or trying doors on your home? Check out the Design Centre on your smartphone and you’ll have a great time creating your perfect garage door.