3 Ways To Improve The Safety And Security Of Your Garage Door

Just like any other component of your home, you expect your garage door to operate safely and securely. However, without regular maintenance and additional modifications, your standard overhead door doesn't exactly fulfill these expectations. Luckily, you can ensure safe, secure, and reliable operation by performing or arranging for these services and modifications:

Deadbolt Installation

Your residential garage door is one of the largest entrances to your home. Additionally, it's far less secure than any of your other exterior doors without any additional forms of security. For this reason, garage doors are one of the most common entry points to a residential structure for burglars and other types of intruders.

Although your automatic opener (and the sheer weight of your garage door) make it difficult, outsiders who are determined to gain access to the valuables inside your home will still be capable of manually lifting your door into the open position. In such a case, burglars will have an undetectable point of entry into your home and gain the opportunity to breach the door leading into your home with complete privacy from your neighbors.

To prevent this form of entry, install an interior deadbolt on your garage door. A deadbolt can be mounted directly onto one of your garage door panels and slide into a hole drilled into the wood trim surrounding your door.

Simply installing a deadbolt won't be enough to prevent burglars from gaining easy access to your home. You'll also need to make it a habit to get out of the car and lock your garage door's deadbolt anytime you leave your home unattended. Although this additional step may seem like a nuisance, it provides a great amount of additional security to your garage door.

Counterbalance System Inspections

Your counterbalance system consists of the shaft, winding cones, cables, and springs just above your garage door. These components allow you to manually open your garage door with a single hand by lifting the majority of your door's weight. As your door begins to rise, your torsion springs begin to unwind and pull nearly the entire weight of your door along your guide tracks.

Your counterbalance system also carefully guides your door back into the closed position. Without the majority of your door's weight being counteracted by the resistance of your torsion springs, your door would simply smash into the ground anytime the closing cycle is initiated.

If a person or object happens to be passing beneath your door as it closes, then a malfunctioning component of your counterbalance system can prove to be deadly.

Your torsion springs will typically last between 15,000 to 20,000 full cycles. However, your cables or drum bearings may give way well before your springs reach their life expectancy. Even if your torsion springs still have several years of life left in them, have your entire counterbalance system inspected by a professional technician at least once a year to ensure safe and reliable operation.

Anti-Fishing Protection

Home burglaries are becoming more common as burglars become more familiar with various residential features—such as your garage door.

Your automatic garage door opener is required by federal law to contain an emergency release lever. In case you ever experience a house fire, structural collapse, or another form of emergency, you can activate your opener's lever to immediately force your garage door into the open position.

Although this mechanism could potentially save your life at some point in the future, it can also give an intruder easy access to your garage. By simply sliding a coat hanger through the gap between your top panel and door frame, an intruder can release your opener's emergency release lever without even stepping foot into your home. This method is called fishing, and it has become common knowledge to ill-intentioned intruders.

Luckily, garage door fishing is counteracted by a deadbolt. However, in the event you choose not to install a deadbolt, you can keep your door from being fished by sliding a zip tie through your lever's handle. If you ever experience an emergency, you can still break the zip tie and open your garage door by using a bit of elbow grease.