Although the primary purpose of a garage adjoining a house is generally for the parking and security of cars, they are also adapted and used for storage purposes for items that either too large to be stored in the house, or which the owner does not wish to dispose of. The latter in particular applies to products or items which the owner considers that there can/may be a future or alternative use for. Irrespective of the storage reasons, it is essential that they are stored as safely and securely as possible.
Traditionally, garages adjoining houses have also been key targets for burglars. Statistics show that, since 2012, the number of intrusions and thefts in garages, sheds and gardens have increased steadily each year, due to relaxed security and negligence. Further, not only are the security issues with storing equipment and items in garages, there are also some serious safety implications associated with to the storage of electrical equipment and flammable or combustible products, which can result in fires or explosions with potential catastrophic consequences.
Therefore, the following are some simple measures that tenants/landlords should implement for garage security and safety purposes:
- Locking Doors;
- Installing Bolts;
- Installing Motion-Sensor Lights;
- Organisation and Arrangement of Storage Items;
- Disguising (Frosting) Windows;
- Installing Fire Door(s);
- Remember Safety At Home;
- Inspecting and Checking Cables;
- Remote Control Security;
- Installing Alarms; and,
- Further Security Advice.
- Analogous to how you would (or should) ensure security and safety in your home, the garage door should, unless you need access, be closed and locked, even if you are at home and more importantly when you are away from home. Further, if you have a connecting door from your garage to your adjoining house, that door should also be closed and locked.
- Burglars are opportunists and will seize their moment if given the slightest inkling and/or encouragement to do so. In particular, for garages attached to adjoining houses, any security deficiencies associated with the garage, may also offer burglars with the opportunity to access the house and compound the situation by also burgling the house.
- Therefore, by ensuring that all garage doors and windows are locked at all times is a key measure to deterring a burglar and preventing a potential burglary.
- Garage doors are often installed with a simple lock at the centre handle, but which does not prove too much of a deterrent to the seasoned burglar. The simplest of tools can easily break such locks and facilitate access to the garage. Therefore, to enhance the security of a garage, either a door bolt or padlock should be installed as a further preventative measure. All keys should be located in a safe and secure location in the house.
Installing Motion-Sensor Lights
- Garages are conventionally equipped with dim lighting, which are not particularly effective in either startling or deterring burglars. A much more effective alternative is to install motion-sensor lights in garages, which automatically illuminate (with enhanced brightness) when someone has accessed a garage. These are a relatively low cost option, but with significant benefits, because their automated functioning and subsequent brightness startle the entrants (causing them to escape) and attract the attention of the residents and neighbours alike.
Organisation and Arrangement of Storage Items
- A garage can so often become a ‘dumping’ area of items, normally intended as a temporary measure, but which can easily become a more permanent arrangement. As time progresses, a garage can accumulate a large volume and variety of storage items, and space can become a premium as more equipment, products, etc. are stored. As such, it becomes more difficult to locate them and are forgotten over time.
- Therefore, it is extremely effective in the long run if items are organised and grouped into categories, and are stored and labelled accordingly for identification, ease of access and disposal purposes.
Disguising (Frosting) Windows
- For garages that have windows, then, because of the relatively low level nature of their location, which means that they can be easily reached and peered into, then every attempt should be made to disguise and block any view into the windows. One such method is to frost the windows such that any view into the windows is significantly impaired and that the contents of the garage cannot be seen.
Installing Fire Door(s)
- Garage safety isn’t just about protecting your home from criminals, it’s also about keeping yourself safe too. Fire doors are a legal requirement for buildings for two reasons: they stop fire from spreading, and they act as an escape route. If your garage is connected to your house, then the connecting door must be a fire door, helping to keep you safe in the unlikely event of a fire.
Remember Safety At Home
- Your front and back door should always be locked, but double check this before you go to the garage.
Inspecting and Checking Cables
- At a pre-defined interval, say, every month, the garage door should be inspected to ascertain whether there is any damage to the cables or pulleys. In the event of identified damage or deficiencies (e.g. pulled or snapped cables, which are easily visible and can quickly be repaired by appropriately competent persons), then appropriate corrective action must be implemented. It is important to note and highlight that damaged cables are not only risk to your safety, but make the garage more accessible to burglars.
Remote Control Security
- If you park your car in the garage and have an automated garage door operated by a remote control, the simple option is to keep the remote control in your car. However, in terms of garage safety, this is not good practice and should be avoided at all times for the simple reason being that, If a criminal manages to obtain the keys of a car and the remote is in your car, then a quick escape is inevitable. The remote control should be placed in a secure location,.
- Similar to installing a burglar alarm in the house, installing and commissioning a burglar alarm in the garage will alert the house residents and neighbours in the event of any attempted, criminal access. The noise levels from the alarm activation should be enough to startle the intruders.
Further Security Advice
For further information on garage safety and security, please contact J Mills Locksmiths on 07940900617.