The garage is a commonly overlooked part of the home when it comes to home security. You don’t sleep in there, or spend much time in there, so you don’t think about keeping the area free of criminals the way you do your main home. But, if you’re like most people, you likely use your garage for all sorts of things other than parking your vehicle, like storing family heirlooms, working on DIY projects, and—of course—hiding gifts until the holidays. Don’t let your garage slip under your radar, especially during the holiday season.
1. Storing presents in there
If you’re trying to hide gifts from your children, the garage might seem like an obvious place—especially if you have young children who don’t yet drive, because they don’t spend any time in the garage. You may also be short on storage room in your actual home. But burglars prowl garages around the holidays, expecting you to stash your new televisions, expensive electronics and other valuables in there, before wrapping them up and giving them away. Keep these items in your home, in a locked room.
2. Leaving it open for guests
If you have a lot of guests visiting around the holidays, you may just leave the garage open for them. Should you be expecting a guest to arrive when you’ll be away, you want to give them somewhere safe to park. But you’re better off using your home automated system and smart phone to remotely open and shut the garage door. Leaving it open for hours, even if it doesn’t contain valuables, makes your home vulnerable to burglars.
3. Leaving door openers in plain sight
If you have individual remote controls for the garage door, make sure to stash these where nobody can see them. Don’t leave them on the back patio table, or anywhere outdoors, even if that’s most convenient for you. And don’t store them on a ledge near an open window, inside. All a burglar needs to do then is reach inside the window.
4. Swapping out your security lights for holiday ones
Perhaps the holiday spirit has you stringing up Christmas lights everywhere, including your garage door. But don’t make the mistake of thinking these can stand in place of your security lights. Keep your motion sensing or scheduled security lights active, even if they clash with your holiday lights.
5. Not putting a lock on the garage during travel
If you have holiday travel planned, take extra steps to secure your garage. Consider putting a padlock on the door while you’re away. Even closed garage doors are easy for burglars to pry open when given enough time.
6. Pointing cameras away from the garage
The garage roof is a popular place to set up surveillance cameras, but don’t forget to also have cameras pointed at the garage. If burglars find some way to bypass the cameras facing the front of your property, you want to be sure to still catch them somehow.
7. Having a door with windows
Garage doors with windows just give burglars an easy way to peek inside the garage and see if your car is in there, thereby seeing if you’re home. These small windows also let burglars see what you’re storing in your garage, so get a solid door without windows.
8. Letting the cold interfere with its operation
Do regular maintenance checks of your garage door to make sure the cold weather doesn’t interfere with its operation. You don’t want the snow or low temperatures causing the power in the door to act up, leaving it vulnerable to accidentally opening.
Consider your garage just as valuable, and as vulnerable, as any other room on your property. Burglars certainly do.