Tag Archives: garage door security

Time for a Garage Door Opener

If you’re tired of jumping out of the car to heave your garage door open on those cold, rainy, snowy days, then it’s time to consider purchasing an automatic garage door opener. Or if your opener dates from before the 1990’s, then you should consider replacing it to ensure that your opener meets current safety and security standards. Consider the following factors when choosing your next garage door opener.

Power

Automatic garage door openers vary in power. The amount you need depends on the type of door you have. For most residential applications the ½ hp is more than adequate and it is the most common motor you will find. Some jobs such, as custom-made wood doors can weigh several hundred lbs more than usual and could require a ¾ hp motor.

Drive Type

The automatic opener pulls your garage door using one of three different types of drives. A chain drive can be used on all types of doors, and resembles the chain drive on a bicycle. They’re the most affordable, but can be noisy if not properly adjusted, and require lubrication and service every couple of years.

Belt drives are made of sturdy rubber, so they offer the quietest operation and the least vibration. If you have a bedroom over the garage or if noise is a concern at all, then a belt drive is your best option. Although made of rubber, belt drives are durable, have great warranties and rarely need replacement.

Screw drives have slower, rougher movement, and are best suited to doors that tilt open in one piece. They tend to cause a lot of vibration and are typically not recommended by a professional installer.

Safety and Security

All automatic openers should have an emergency release feature that quickly disconnects the door from the opener and allows for manual opening, and should also include an automatic reverse feature in case a person, animal or object cuts through the path of its infrared sensor.

For added security, all new garage door openers feature rolling code technology, which changes the remote control signal each time you activate the opener. This prevents burglars from duplicating the code to enter your garage.

Remember, a professional garage door dealer/technician can assess your door for the type of automatic opener best suited to your needs.

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Hiring a Professional Garage Door Repairing Service

Doors are always considered as a significant part of our house and always keep things secure and safe. Likewise, garage doors are no exception. They are essential parts of your property that protect your cars from intruders and thieves. The door of a garage is a big moving object and it is operated by the electric door openers most often. Therefore, proper testing, installation, maintenance and operation of the door and the automatic opener are really necessary to ensure the trouble-free and safe operation. Improperly adjusted garage doors can lead to serious injuries. So choosing the correct garage door repair service helps with the repair needs as well as save the users from any unexpected injuries.

The actual problem starts when the garage door does not work properly. If it is not fixed immediately, the broken garage door makes it very easy for the undesirables and thieves to enter in your home. For this purpose, you need to hire a garage door repair service for fixing the garage door problems as soon as you can. Most people are of the opinion that they are able to perform this job on their own. They might end up doing a lot more harm to the situation than good so it is better to find a reputed garage door repair service for such tasks. But it is important that you hire a company after doing proper research on them.

You can follow some tips that would help in getting you started with garage door repair service search:

1.  Ask your relatives and friends and get good recommendations regarding the garage door repairing service. This way you can get information on the reliable servicing companies.

2. Looking in the local newspapers, search the telephone directories or visit the websites online for the repairing services of your garage door.

3. Make a shortlist of all the repairing companies and then notice how many of those provide the emergency services as well. A reputable company which provides a nice garage door repair service would have an impressive infrastructure with a number of trained technicians on their team.

4. Be sure that the repair company and all of its technicians hold a proper license with proper skill certificates. They should know how to tackle a situation if something goes wrong.

5. Always select a garage door repairing service which provides full guarantee of their work.

6. It is not always wise to hire an unprofessional repairing service just for the sake of saving money as this decision may cost you a lot in future. The reputation of a company is very important.

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Breaking the Code

A key point of entry into your home for thieves is the garage, and if you own an older type garage door opener, your home could be vulnerable.

The weakness of these units is the frequencies that operate them, using something called “fixed codes”. Fixed codes were initially developed years ago to combat a shared frequency problem. If a homeowner wanted to change the frequency, all he or she had to do was preset a digital code by switching eight to 12 “Dip Switches” on the receiver and transmitter. Whatever number sequence selected for the receiver (garage door motor) had to be the same for the transmitter (remote).

Multi-Code System

With this multi-code system, garages were secure again. Or were they?

Now a new problem developed. Burglars were scanning these frequencies with something called a “code grabber”. Criminals were able to defeat the multi-code system by grabbing codes from homeowners who were leaving their homes. There were basically two types of scanners. The first type scooped up the code when the homeowner pushed the garage door to either open or close it.

Once displayed on a screen, the criminal could immediately re-transmit the signal to open the door. The second type of scanner would automatically attempt every possible combination in a very short time. It didn’t take long for the frequency numbers to show up and the crook to enter the garage.

This caused garage door opener manufacturers to switch their transmitter/receivers to something called “rolling code” technology. For the “rolling code” to work, both the transmitter found in the remote and the receiver found in the overhead garage door opener must react with each other and have the same code generator.

After one code is used, both devices roll out a new code and continue to work together. Because the frequency codes are constantly changing, this technology prevents crooks from capturing codes and gaining entry.

New garage door openers can be securely locked when the door is down and can also monitor against attempted forced opening. Once the door is down, if an intruder tries to pry the door up, the locking system will reactivate the opener to the closed position.

Provide Temporary Passwords

If you have a system that allows you to control the opening and closing of the door from an outside keypad, did you know you can provide temporary passwords to friends or service people without having to reveal your own personal identity code? Did you also know you could program a temporary password (numeric) for a limited number of activations for a predetermined number of hours of operation?

How about coming home to automatic lights that stay on in your garage for up to 4 1/2 minutes before automatically shutting off? This is a standard feature today with most garage door openers. You can also program your vehicles built-in remote to accept a frequency code, enabling you to control the lights and opening from the comfort of your own automobile.

Going on vacation? Here’s a great security feature. Just push and hold the vacation button on the main panel until you see a light flashing. This signifies you have now blocked all outside frequencies while away.

Once a new homeowner takes possession, they often don’t change the frequencies on the garage door remotes or outside keypad. This is very dangerous because previous owners may still have a remote to your overhead garage door. If this is the case, even though you spent money to have your locks rekeyed, you’ve still allowed access by an outsider who holds a garage door opener.

So why don’t new homeowners change their garage door remotes? The problem lies in the fact new homeowners are not aware their remote frequencies need to be changed or just don’t know how to change them. Here’s a tip. Check on the door opener itself. Often there are step-by-step instructions on the unit located near the motor.

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Have Your Cake and Eat It Too!

Did you ever think that a new garage door could almost pay for itself?

Garage door replacement ranked No. 2 in “cost recouped” on a list of 35 common home remodeling projects in Remodeling Magazine’s 24th annual Cost vs. Value Report.

The average midrange garage door replacement cost was estimated at $1,291. Resale value of the project averaged $1,083 – an 83.9 percent return on investment (ROI) at resale. In some cities, such as Charleston, W. Va., Honolulu, Providence, R.I., and San Francisco, the ROI for a new garage door was more than 100 percent.

Upscale garage door replacements were estimated to provide a 69.8 percent ROI – No. 4 among the upscale projects listed in the survey.

What does that mean to homeowners? You can have your cake and eat it, too. A new garage door can add to the beauty of your home as you live in it and enjoy it today, while also providing a high level of payback – nearly 84 cents of every dollar spent on the garage door replacement – when it’s time to sell.

What’s more, garage door replacement was one of the least expensive projects listed in the survey. That means a new garage door may be the quickest, easiest, and least expensive way to enhance your home’s appearance and get a great return on your investment.

In addition to providing a great ROI, a stylish new garage door can add to the beauty of your home. If you have a front-facing attached garage, a new door adds instant curb appeal. An attached garage can make up a third or more of the front of the home. Replacing a garage door can be the difference between a “plain vanilla” home and a stylish, attractive home. After all, haven’t you ever drive down a street you’ve driven down hundreds of times before and notice something “different” about a house that has enhanced its look? Could it have been a new garage door?

If you’re seriously thinking about a new garage door, here’s something else to think about: once you’ve picked the model and style that’s right for you, sit back and leave the installation to the professionals. This isn’t a job for the weekend warrior. A garage door is the heaviest moving object in your home. It is actually a system that includes springs, cables, rollers, tracks and other hardware. Some of the elements of this system are under high tension. If improperly installed, this system can cause injury or even death.

Proper installation and even repair projects are best left to experienced professionals.

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Easier Way to Access Your Garage

Garage door keypads are used as an easier way to access the opening and closing of your garage door. It’s easily mounted, usually near the door, to be there whenever you will need it. But don’t worry, not everyone will be able to use it. Only those that know 4 digit security code can enter garage. Garage door keypad can be changed anytime as you want. Some garage door keypads have room for more security codes, so everyone in your household can have his own unique security code.

The best garage door keypads even have a function that will allow you to set a temporary security code that can be used only for certain numbers of time or for certain period time. You can use this temporary code for your repairman or any other one who need to enter your garage while you are not at home.

If you want to add garage door keypad to your opener or your old keypad doesn’t work anymore and you need replacement, you should think about getting an universal garage door keypad. Universal garage door keypads were made to work with most of mayor garage door opener brands. But not all universal keypads will work with any opener. Most of the universal keypad have a problem working with older models of garage door openers. So before you go and buy universal garage door keypad, make sure it will work with your garage door opener.

One of the best universal garage door keypads is Liftmaster’s universal keypad. It will work with 99% of garage door openers. It’s very easy to program it with its smart learning button and comes with a bright, backlit keypad that is very easy to see in the dark.

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Why Didn’t It Close?

Everyone’s finally dressed and ready to leave. You back the car out, hit the remote, and you’re off. Until you realize the garage door hasn’t gone down. You reluctantly pull back into the driveway, brow furrowing in frustration. It happens to everyone. Many homeowners don’t even realize they left it open until they return home.

Why didn’t it close? Garage doors usually fail to close as a result of the safety sensors being blocked. They’re located on each side of the opening, no more than a foot or so off the ground. Typically, each will have a small light that stays lit when everything is going well. If either of the lights are out, simply move whatever is blocking the sensor (sometimes even cobwebs/small debris can cause safety sensors to malfunction) or adjust them so that they are pointing at each other again. You can move these around by hand if they’ve been knocked out of alignment.

If you’re still stuck at home, make sure nothing is blocking the path of the door. This can be a common cause for service calls on garage doors. Always use caution when operating your door, but be extra cautious when it’s not working correctly. It’s the probably the largest, heaviest piece of machinery in the house. The counter balance system of the door is under extreme pressure, and when it doesn’t work properly, it can be dangerous. Many people have been injured or even killed by garage doors, some of them professionals. If your garage door is sitting crooked in the opening, has come off the tracks, or is not working properly, call a professional repair company immediately.

If the door works but the opener still won’t close it, there are a couple more things to try before calling a professional. Try using the wall button instead of the remote or keyless entry. It’s possible the remote’s batteries are dead, or the opener’s lock function has been enabled. If the garage door itself is working properly, you can pull the manual release on the opener. This will let you close the door manually, although the opener won’t be locking it shut the way it normally would.

Some openers have an indicator light that can help troubleshoot any problems. Again, you’ll need your owner’s manual for your opener. Many can be found online by doing a quick search for your make and model number. You can find the model and manufacturer on the back of the opener.

If all else fails, it may be time to call a pro. Some companies will be able to give an estimate on probable repairs over the phone, so let them know what steps you may have already taken. Call a few different companies to ensure their numbers are competitive. Since openers have an expected life span of about 10 years, it might also be a good idea to check prices for new openers, instead of repairing an older model. Newer models will also have more up to date security features.

For more information about garage door openers, click here: Openers

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Is Your Garage Door a Soft Target?

As the economy tanks, crime is going up. The bad guys will be looking for soft targets and your garage – especially if you leave it open – is one of the softest.

What can you do to reduce the odds you’ll be victimized?

Don’t flash what you have

Try to avoid leaving your garage door open so that everyone who drives or walks by has a full view of your stuff. Even if you’re working in the garage, it’s best to leave the doors down. Try to keep what you have under wraps – and keep a low profile.

Keep the door locked

This is just common sense – but it’s a fact that many thieves never have to break into anything. They just walk right on in – and walk away (or drive away) with your stuff. Use a high quality door lock, plus a deadbolt. If you have an outside electric keypad opener, don’t use an obvious code or tell too many people what the code is.

If your garage has doors with windows, consider replacing them with solid doors

As nice as it is to have a door with an upper glass section to let the sun shine in, glass allows a would-be thief to see inside your place – and getting in is as simple as smashing out the window.

Install a bright light near your garage

Ideally, one with a motion sensor. The light should be of the floodlight type – and either far enough up or otherwise out of reach that it would take at least a little bit of effort to defeat it by smashing the bulb or some such.

Consider an alarm system

You might even get a rate reduction on your homeowner’s (as well as your classic car) insurance. Or get a fake alarm – dummy closed-circuit cameras or blinking red LED lights near doors and windows can accomplish the same thing (but forget about the insurance discount).

Make your stuff harder to steal

Tools should be secured in heavy, hard to remove/move (and locked) tool cases; ideally, cases permanently fixed to hard points such as the floor or workbenches. Locked cabinets bolted to the wall studs work well. Garage doors should have heavy metal lock bars and other such devices to make them difficult to open for an unauthorized user.

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Garage Door Security Tips

 

Everyone should know something about garage door security. Garage doors are a common weak point when looking at security in a whole-home approach and an easy target for thieves. Garage door are not only a weakness, but provide criminals a shelter once inside. To the casual passerby an open garage with a work truck pulled up to it doesn’t look out of place or scream break-in.

Securing your garage door doesn’t just mean the roll-up door; you have to look at every entrance point as vulnerability. Not that any loss to your family isn’t devastating, but one that occurs through a preventable measure just shouldn’t happen. Here are some important things you can do to secure your garage.

Automatic Garage Door Openers

When the first generation of automatic openers came out they all featured the same code. You can imagine the security risk by having one of these openers. Thieves could just drive a neighborhood pushing their purchased transmitter and if you had the same brand as they did they gained instant access.

The second generation of openers increased their security by featuring dip switches that could be set by the owner to a unique combination. While this did increase security, most owners would leave the default setting on and guess what? Again, instant access. Another security risk of the second-gen openers is that a code grabber could be utilized to gain access to your system. A code grabber device works by locking onto your signal and memorizing it. Then, all a thief would have to do is re-transmit the code and they were in.

Modern automatic garage door openers now feature rolling-code technology, where your remote will transmit a brand new security code each time you press your remote. There are over 100 billion codes, so the likelihood of a code grabber working is very slim. Be sure that your opener features this rolling-code technology. LiftMaster, a well known manufacturer of garage door openers, has their Security line that features this technology.

Top 10 Tips

  1. Don’t leave the garage door remote in your vehicle – If a thief breaks in to your car and steal the remote he has a way into your home.
  2. Invest in a keychain remote opener – Stop using that remote you clip to your visor and get a keychain remote opener that you can leave on your keys.
  3. Secure your garage door emergency release – Follow our article here and learn how easy it is throw some zip-ties on your emergency release and still retain its intended function.
  4. Keep it locked – Put a deadbolt on the door between your house and garage; is it really that much of an inconvenience to have to use a key each time you come home?
  5. Make sure the door from your garage into your house is as secure as your front door – Ensure you have a strong, sturdy door made out of solid-core wood or reinforced steel and install an Anti-Kick device like the Door Devil on it!
  6. Don’t leave your garage door open – It amazes me how many people in my neighborhood just leave their garage door open all the time. It’s just inviting someone to pop their heads in and grab something. No matter how safe you think your neighborhood is, good neighborhoods are the first place criminals like to drive through to case houses.
  7. Install a wide-angle peephole in the door between your house and your garage – You’ll at least be able to see what’s going on if you hear a strange noise; rather than opening the door to find out.
  8. Garage windows are available in tinted or seedie glass which makes it harder to see in the garage – Don’t do thieves any favors by enabling them to see when your vehicle is gone.
  9. Padlock the throw latch on your garage door when you’re out of town – If you don’t have a manual lock on your garage door, you can use a c-clamp tightened down on each side of the door track to effectively “lock” down the door. It’s similar to those small window track locks you can buy for your home interior windows.
  10. Don’t neglect maintenance on the mechanical parts of your roll-up garage door and keep an eye out for corrosion. Don’t forget the door from your garage to your house; check the frame, locks, hinges and any replaceable items.

Test your own security by putting yourself in a criminal’s shoes. How would you break in to your garage? What are the weaknesses of your security system? Do you have an external keypad? Try removing it and taking out the batteries out, can it be manipulated to open your door? How can you be sure if you don’t try it out? It will definitely make you rethink your security. Test your system for vulnerabilities! Take a few minutes and share this with your friends and family!

Don’t be the victim of a garage door break-in this holiday season!

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Consider This!

When you are purchasing a new garage door for your garage, you need to take careful consideration before you make your decision.

The garage door that you choose may have a great impact on the way your home looks, and can either complement it or decrease the value of your property. You’ll find nothing better than a good garage door that makes your house look more attractive. There are lots of functions for a garage, from housing your motor vehicle to being an extra workroom or even an extended living area.

This is why it is also important to look into garage doors that provide good insulation. If you are planning to be utilizing your garage for something other than housing your car, then you’ll want it to be as temperature regulated as possible. Even if you’re only likely to be keeping your motor car inside the garage, you must keep it a good temperature so that the engine does not freeze up on cold winters’ mornings!

There are a number of different styles you are able to choose for your garage door that may vary greatly. Each one of these will add its own different appearance and feel. The first style of garage door you can get is one with a flush panel. This means that the paneling of the door is slightly flat and can fit in well with the surrounding wall. You can even choose several types of panel blocks for your garage door. You may choose long raised panels that will give a good sense of depth to the garage door. It is possible to get shorter panels for your garage door, to add even more depth. Different types of raised paneling on the garage door will suit a variety of different styles of home.

Now it will come time to select the material for your garage door. The two most widely used materials are wood and steel, with wooden garage doors coming in first for popularity. There is something so lovely about a wooden garage door, and it is also a very versatile material to make use of. Firstly, you can paint or varnish wood to any stain you need, to enable you to match your home accordingly. Wood is also excellently insulated, and is much more affordable to buy than many other materials. Galvanized steel is becoming a popular choice for garage doors though, as it is less likely to weather over the years, unlike wood. Steel will show up dents and scratches more easily than wood though, whereas wood seems to have more character with a bit of damage!

There are plenty of different garage doors to select from; you simply need to examine the brochure belonging to the garage door company that you are looking at obtaining a quote from. There are also many stores that will have showrooms with examples of the garage door you can buy. Whichever style, pattern and material you choose, your home will certainly look far better with your new garage door!

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Helpful Tips for Replacing a Garage Door

What Kind of Garage Door should I buy?

When looking for a garage door, you notice that there are two major designs: tilt-up doors and sectional roll-up doors. Sectional roll-up doors are more expensive than tilt-up doors, but the extra cost is well worth it.

Tilt-up doors consist of a single panel of material. To open the door, you have to pull it out and pivot it up to slide it along the roof of your garage. Sectional roll-up doors, on the other hand, are made of a number of horizontal sections. Each section is hinged to the next section, allowing the door a certain degree of flexibility. Because the door is mounted on rollers, to open a sectional roll-up door you just have to lift the door and it will roll into place along the roof of your garage.

Sectional roll-up doors are superior to tilt-up doors. From a purely practical point they take up less room. Because you don’t have to pull the door out, there will be more room in front of your garage door for things like your car. The door will also take up less room in the garage, since it can be placed higher up than a tilt-up door.

What should my Garage Door be made of?

Garage doors, both tilt-ups and sectional roll-ups, are primarily made from wood or steel. Of these two materials, wood is the cheaper and – arguably – more attraction option. If you decided to get a wooden door please keep in mind that just like your deck, a wooden garage door will be more easily damaged by the weather than a steel door. If you live in a particularly hot or cold climate, you may find yourself with a warped or damaged garage door.

Steel garage doors are more expensive, but you will not face the same problems that you would encounter with a wood door. If you decide to get a steel door the main thing to check is that it has been properly prepared to prevent rust.

Garage doors are also occasionally made with aluminum or fiberglass. While both of these materials are less expensive than steel doors, you should be careful when using them. Neither material is as strong as steel so they will not hold up to the usual wear and tear of a garage door. And once again depending on your climate, they will not be as energy efficient as a steel door if that is a concern to you.

How do I look after my Garage Door?

Just like any other exterior surface on your house, your garage door will need periodic maintenance to keep it working smoothly and looking as good as the rest of your house. You’d be surprised how the look of your garage door not only affects the overall look of your house, but the perceived value of your house too.

No matter what material your garage door is made of, it should be washed regularly. If you have a wood door, you should repaint the door every other year to ensure that the wood stays protected. If you have a steel door, you can give it a yearly shine with car wax

To prolong the life of the mechanical parts, you should lubricate all moving parts with motor oil whenever the door starts to feel sluggish.

Safety Concerns with Garage Doors

Every year, children are seriously injured from accidents involving garage doors. To avoid these preventable accidents, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends that you should only use automatic garage door openers if they have an automatic reverse function. This will reverse the closing of the garage door if an obstacle is encountered.

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