How Worried Should I Be About Someone Breaking into My Garage?

Downers Grove Garage Door SpecialistThis 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Sources:
https://www.wisebread.com/are-you-giving-burglars-the-key-to-your-home
https://climaterwc.com/2018/05/14/redwood-city-police-warn-about-hackers-who-break-into-garage-doors/
https://lifehacker.com/test-if-your-garage-is-vulnerable-to-a-hack-that-opens-1710108565

Garage Door Problems? It Might Be Time to Spring into Action

Chicago-Area Garage Spring ExpertOne of the most important parts of a garage door opener are the garage springs. These critical components of a garage door opener not only keep your garage door opening and functioning smoothly, but they also maintain overall safety in your garage. That is why you should pay close attention to the condition of your garage springs and call in a professional if you need garage spring replacements or other garage hardware replacements. Here are some facts about garage springs and the risks posed by not having a professional evaluate and, if necessary, replace them.

What Are Garage Springs?

Garage springs are central to the overall functioning of your garage door opener. These springs provide the necessary force and resistance to withstand the pull of gravity when your door opens and closes. If garage springs are not working properly, the electric opener might struggle to lift and lower the garage door. Essentially, functioning garage springs can make the weight of a 100- to 200-pound garage door feel more like 10 to 20 pounds, which is how both you and your garage door opener are able to open and close such a heavy object.

What Are the Different Types of Garage Springs?

There are two types of garage springs: extension springs and torsion springs. Extension springs are long and thin, running along the garage door’s tracks. There are three main types of extension springs:

  • Open-looped
  • Double-looped
  • Clipped-end

Torsion springs are wide and placed on a metal shaft above the opening to the garage door. There is a drum at the end of that shaft, enabling the springs to be wound to a particular level of torsion. There are four primary types of torsion springs:

  • Standard
  • Early-set
  • Steel rolling-door
  • Torque-master

Why Is Fixing Garage Springs Yourself So Dangerous?

Even if you are good with tools and handiwork, it is always advised to steer clear of doing anything with the garage springs yourself. For one, they cannot be repaired; they can only be replaced. The most you can do as a homeowner is potentially apply some lubricant to the springs if they squeak; otherwise, you will want to solicit the assistance of a professional. Working on garage springs is very dangerous and can result in the following hazards:

  • Garage doors falling
  • Openers activating accidentally/unexpectedly
  • Both minor and severe cuts from rusted metal depending on the situation
  • Flying metal and other materials due to the tension that can build up in the springs

Torsion springs are particularly dangerous to replace yourself because of the massive power and force behind them.

Contact a Chicago-Area Garage Spring Expert

If you suspect issues with your garage springs or garage door opener, reach out to a Downers Grove garage hardware replacement professional at 630-852-8485. Blue Sky Builders has been replacing parts in garages for decades and knows exactly how to safely and effectively replace garage springs, cables, and hardware. In addition to possessing the proper expertise, Blue Sky Builders also has all the high-quality yet affordable parts necessary to get your garage back up and running.

Sources:

https://www.thespruce.com/garage-door-springs-1398149

https://www.bobvila.com/articles/replace-a-garage-door-spring/

https://www.thespruce.com/replacing-garage-door-springs-1398158

How Can I Beef Up My Garage’s Security?

Blue Sky Builders garage securitySummer or winter, rain or shine, one thing you can always count on is the possibility of crime. In many cases, homeowners will alarm their house, upgrade the doors and window locks, and light up the porch and back yard, but they may forget about one of the softest targets on the property: the garage. In fact, 9% of all home burglaries begin in the garage, and detached garages present a very enticing target as they are usually close to an alley, offering a convenient avenue for escape. Read more