No one wants to fall victim to a break-in. That’s why many home and business owners take so many precautions. From updating their window and door locks to installing security systems, most people take steps to keep their property safe. Unfortunately, they often forget to take similar precautions with their garages—where quite a few possessions can be stored. From priceless cars to expensive tools, garages may be filled with treasures thieves can’t wait to get their hands on. The good news is that garage break-ins can be prevented. Here are four great tips to help you do just that.

  1. Never leave your garage remote in your car. A car is easily broken into by thieves. If the remote or an access button to your garage is available to them once inside, they’ll often use it — if not in that moment then at a later time when you’re not home. Always keep garage door openers on you or safely inside your home.
  2. Don’t leave your garage door open. This is an easy one to neglect. Who wants to open and close the garage door multiple times when you’re doing yard work or going back and forth between the garage and house? But any time you leave your garage door open—no matter how safe your neighbourhood seems—you’re inviting in thieves. It only takes a few seconds to steal something of value. So do yourself a favour and always close your garage door if you’re not inside it keeping an eye on things.
  3. Look for corrosion. Garage door parts will age. This is to be expected. However, if you’re not paying attention to when parts need to be replaced, it could result in an even bigger problem. From getting stuck wide open to only closing halfway, a garage door is only as good as its mechanical parts. That’s why it’s important to keep a close eye on locks, hinges, the frame and other replaceables.
  4. Lock your garage door when you’re out of town. You don’t always need an opener to open your garage door. If your throw latch isn’t locked it can be very easy for thieves to open the garage door, take what they want, and leave—especially if you’re out of town. So before you leave for that warm vacation, locate the side latch box inside your garage door. You can push the latch through the rail and install a padlock to make opening your garage door from the outside a lot more trouble than it’s worth.

You should also take extra steps to protect your home if it is accessible through the garage. Install a wide-angle peephole in the door between your home and garage. This way if you hear suspicious activity, you don’t need to put yourself in danger by opening the door. Instead, you can look through the peephole and call police if necessary. Also, add extra security to the door between your home and garage. From stronger, thicker door materials to an extra deadbolt on your door, make breaking into your home from the garage as difficult as possible. Because if it’s difficult, most thieves probably won’t bother.

While prevention is better than reaction, you can’t always stop a break-in from happening. This is true even when it comes to your garage. But there are still things you can do to protect yourself in case your garage is broken into. If you’re unsure of what you can do yourself to make your garage less appealing to thieves, call in a garage professional to assess your property.