Home Security: Garages--Is Your Garage Secure?
Is your garage protected from burglars? Garages are a favorite target for thieves because they contain such valuables as cars, bicycles, and tools that are easy to fence. Also, garages are not likely to be occupied at night, so they make an enticing target. Once in the garage, it's easy for burglars to access the rest of the house. For these reasons, it's important to secure your garage.
Start with your garage door opener. In general, it makes garage doors difficult to force open, but if you never changed the electronic combination from the factory setting, it might not be as secure as you think.
To change your garage door opener combination, pry off the lid and examine the set of switches inside. There's usually a row of 10-12 switches. If all except one of them are going in the same direction, the combination is relatively easy to break (the thief has a 1 in 10 or 1 in 12 chance of getting it). Choose a more complicated combination (more switches opposing each other), then make sure to adjust the switches in the receiver (the box above the door) to match. You can use a toothpick or something similar to flip the switches.
Also check the garage door itself. Make sure it is solid without loose panels or damaged corners that could make it easy for someone to pry their way in.
You'll want to similarly check any windows or entry doors to ensure they are secure.
Once you have done these things, apply commonsense in your day-to-day garage use. Don't leave windows and doors unsecured. Don't leave the garage door open, even if you're just driving down to the 7-11. It only takes a moment for someone to run in and make off with your belongings. Also, an open garage door gives anybody walking or driving by a clear view into the interior, showing off any valuables you might have.