This summer, home burglaries and car robberies are on the rise in the Western suburbs. While many of these thefts are the result of homeowners and car owners simply being negligent or careless, leaving doors unlocked or keys in doors, there are some instances when the instigators are actually quite clever. Here are some ways these thieves might try to use your electric garage door opener and its related equipment to gain entry to your garage.
4 Common Types of Garage Break-ins to Safeguard Against
Even if you are cautious about locking up, there are still ways criminals can break into your garage these days. Some of the more increasingly common ways that burglars are breaking into garages include:
- Gaining Access to the Emergency Release Rope—With enough dexterity and ingenuity, a burglar can use a hanger or some other tool to reach over your garage and get access to the emergency release rope. From there, a simple yank will make that door easy to open. To prevent this, consider repositioning or removing the release rope so that it is out of reach.
- Bypassing the “Fixed Code”—Some garage door openers, especially older ones, were built on “fixed-code systems.” These systems are particularly susceptible to manipulation; in fact, one security expert once rigged a children’s toy to break that “fixed code” and open a garage with the opener’s transmitter frequency—and no actual opener. To safeguard against this, consider either investing in a newer opener that relies on a “rolling code,” which is much more difficult to crack. Also, if you plan on being away from home for an extended period of time, consider turning off the power to your garage.
- Keypad Code-Breaking—Keypads are a great convenience, giving you, your spouse, and your kids easy access to the garage door without needing a transmitter, keys, or any other devices. However, police have seen time and time again that keypad codes are actually quite easy to break if the criminal is perceptive and observant enough. The buttons with the numbers you press regularly to unlock the garage door from the outside with a keypad will have oils from human skin on them while the buttons that are not used will simply have dirt or dust on them. Once the crook discovers the most common numbers by way of oils from the skin, finding the right combination of numbers to crack the code of your keypad is much easier. If you do not want this to happen, think about regularly wiping the buttons clean; routinely changing the combination of numbers; or removing the keypad.
- Hacking into “Smart” Garages—Smart garage door openers and controllers can be hacked into just like any other Internet of Things (IoT) smart-home device, computer, or smartphone. If it can connect to the Internet, it can be hacked. And if it is in the “cloud” somewhere to enable notifications and other remote access by you from afar, it could be even more vulnerable to hacking. In that sense, strictly Bluetooth-only garage door devices might help. Or you could just avoid smart garage devices entirely.
Contact a Downers Grove Garage Door Opener Expert
If you are concerned about how safe your garage is from burglaries, consider customizing your garage or remodeling your garage to make it safer. Call a Chicago-area garage specialist at 630-852-8485 for ideas about safety measures you can take. With more than 40 years of garage building experience, Blue Sky Builders can develop garage construction plans that will make your garage much safer.