February 17, 2017
Your garage door is a crucial part of your home security. If an intruder gains easy access to your garage, everything inside is vulnerable. If you haven’t taken basic precautions inside your garage, your home itself may be vulnerable to break-in as well. Five Star Garage Door Service values your safety. That’s why we want to alert you to a potential security flaw in your overhead door system.
How it works
This six-second garage door break-in exploits a weakness in your release system. The release system disengages your overhead door from your opener so that it can be used during a power outage. The system features an emergency release cord that hangs down, usually with a red handle. Pulling this cord activates the release system. This means the door can be opened manually, as well as bypassing the locking system of your opener.
The break-in hack involves just three things:
- Wire coat hanger
- Small wedge, like a door stopper
- A little patience
The potential intruder inserts the wedge between the door and the wall at the top. It will easily slide behind the weather stripping, creating a very small gap. The wire coat hanger is inserted through this narrow gap. Now comes the patience. The hook at the end of the coat hanger has to grasp the release mechanism. Trying to grab the pull cord won’t work because you won’t have the right leverage to pull it down. After some practice, this trick can be pulled off in just six seconds, believe it or not.
How to prevent it
A carriage cover only eliminates the risk to the six-second garage door break-in itself. It is a separate piece of hardware you can easily install yourself. It slides over the emergency release mechanism and carriage to block access to the release.
One way to bypass this hack is to take advantage of a lock on the door itself. There are two kinds of locks: slide locks and external handle locks. The slide lock is more secure. It is only accessible from the inside. It’s a simple metal bar that slides through a hole like a deadbolt.
An external handle lock is a more convenient option. It is accessible from the inside AND the outside. It uses a key to unlock from the outside. This does expose you to a possible lock picker, but is still more secure than no door lock at all.
More security steps to take
There are other basic measures you can implement to beef up your security. First, always make sure your access door from your garage to the house has a lock. If an intruder gains entry to your garage, this will slow them down before getting into your home. Second, if you are leaving your home for an extended period such as a vacation, unplug the garage door opener. This will prevent anyone from hacking your opener with another remote. Third, always keep your car locked up when storing it in the garage. Last, take an inventory of anything particularly valuable stored in your garage to help you identify any stolen items.
If you’re considering upgrading to a newer door with a locking system, Five Star Garage Door Service is your one-stop shop. Our professional customer service representatives will dispatch one of our certified technicians. Once there, they can assess your situation and recommend the best door for your needs. Don’t wait, call today!