Addressing Garage Door Vulnerabilities

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    In our modern society, convenience has been widely embraced. Whether it is paying for gas without ever leaving the pump or having push button access to the things we need, instant gratification has become a trend. The problem with some of these conveniences, however, is that they can, in exchange for their advantageousness, be the bane of our existence in that using them may open us up to the potential for unfortunate problems such as theft.

    Take, for instance, your garage door. You come home from a long day at work, press a button, and your garage door pops open, inviting you inside. Once your car is parked, you push the very same button, closing the garage door, and retreat into your home. Who knows if you locked the car or even the service door between your garage and home, but does it really matter since the garage door is down? Yes, it matters!

    Photo: AZ Family

    In most cases, a garage door with opener is pretty secure, but this is not true 100% of the time. For one thing, if you use a portable remote, there is the possibility exists of it getting knocked out of the car or dropped, which may then go unnoticed by you but not necessarily by the person with ill intent who happens to find it. Even if you diligently keep up with your remote or utilize the remote programming option in your car, your garage can still be broken into by someone with the right set of tools and knowhow, which can equate to a large loss if that happens to be where you house much of your survival stockpile.

    Garage doors can be disconnected from their openers from the outside with something as simple as a wooden wedge and a wire hanger. The wedge is use to push inward on the door, creating a gap for the hanger to slide through, which is then manipulated to reach the door release. A good, hard yank can disengage this, making it possible to raise your door regardless of the presence of an opener.

    Other vulnerable points include additional entry doors through which you can enter the garage from the outside. These should always be locked when not in use, preferably with a heavy duty locking mechanism such as a deadbolt. Having windows in these doors, as well as windows in the lift door or in the garage as a whole, only adds to the possibility of invasion. In addition to allowing thieves to see the tempting items inside, windows are easily broken to gain entry.


    So what is one to do to keep unwanted persons out of their garage in order to protect families and survival supplies? For starters, you can build a housing around the release so it cannot be reached and grabbed should a grabbing device be slid through. A well placed zip tie will also help keep it from being pulled loose. Good lighting is also beneficial as thieves tend to pick easy targets as opposed to those brilliantly lit; a few battery operated motion lights could be a valuable addition when it comes to deterring garage entry as well as other points of invasion.

    The most simple and effective tactic, however, is a good, old fashioned padlock. Simply place it through a hole in the tracks just above a wheel and lock it into place. This will prevent the door from being raised even if the door is disengaged from the opener in order to allow manual lifting.

    Photo: Jay Winterton

    With thieves thwarted, it is important to consider one last threat to your home, family, and possessions via garage access, and that is nature. If you live in an area prone to high winds, you may have already had the unfortunate experience of a garage door being destroyed. This is a problem because not only does it make garage contents vulnerable to damage in the aftermath of a natural disaster when it might become difficult if not impossible to fix the damage right away. In order to protect your garage door from disasters, utilizing commercial braces or building your own can be the difference between a door that fails and one that stands steadfast between you and nature's wrath.

    Photo: America's Best Garage Doors

    Have you taken any steps to reinforce the garage door in your home to ensure your survival in various situations? What methods have you used? Let us know in the comments!

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