We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – the most important step a homeowner can take to protecting the contents of their garage is to close the garage door! Although that might sound obvious, everyone can remember a time that they left their garage door open. Maybe, some of you reading this routinely leave your door open. Or maybe, you were doing some yard work in the backyard and left the door open on the front of your home so you could put your tools away. The simple convenience of not having to worry about the door is appealing, but ask yourself if it is worth risking a break in – or worse – and you might reconsider.
This news story from Schertz, Texas, describes how typical it is for a homeowner who left the garage door open to be burgled. In this particular case, the homeowner was around the back of his home, and upon returning to his garage he noticed that some things were missing. Although it is unfortunate that a robbery occurred at all, things could have been far worse – if he had returned a minute earlier and caught the thief in the act, the burglary could have escalated to an assault or murder.
Although the solution is simple, it bears repeating: if you are out of sight of your garage door, it should be closed. This includes times when you are inside your home or when you’re leaving, even if you’re just running a short errand. Thieves are always looking for a chance to commit a crime of opportunity, and having valuables on display in your garage is a quick way to draw unwanted attention.
A second tip is to not keep a garage door remote in your car, especially if you park outside. You should always lock your car when you’re not in it, even if you’re just ducking into a store for a soda, but many homeowners choose not to lock their cars when parked in their driveway. Obviously you shouldn’t keep your spare key inside the car, but even if you take that simple safety precaution, a thief can still cause quite a bit of damage with an unlocked car.
Firstly, a thief can steal everything from your glove compartment and seats, plus if you have a newer car, everything from your trunk. They can remove things like your airbag or stereo system, which are reasonably valuable and also expensive to replace. With the documents found inside your glove compartment (title, insurance, registration, etc) a thief can steal your identity, which just makes stealing your car even easier. Lastly, even if leaving your car unlocked doesn’t lead to a theft, it can make you a prime target for vandals to deface your car.
If you do leave your garage door remote in your car, you run the risk of allowing someone else to open your garage door and take their pick from the things within, and you potentially put your family at risk by doing so. Closing your garage door, locking your car, and taking the remote with you if you park outside are important steps, but if you forget any of them you put yourself at a much greater risk of being robbed. Be smart and take these preventative steps to safeguard your belongings today.