The latest figures released by the Office for National Statistics reveal that 468,217 burglaries were recorded by the police between January and December 2012 – a rate of 8 burglaries per every 1,000 of the population. In addition to this the figures for burglaries in non-dwelling buildings stands at 237,917. While this actually represents a reduction on the previous years’ figures, the perception of crime remains high. Furthermore what these reports do not include is how properties are broken into.
As a nation we are more security conscious than ever. The average person will systematically go through their house ensuring doors are locked and bolted and that windows are closed. For some it even borders on obsession. They might have also invested in a sophisticated home alarm system, and they may even keep a dog for added reassurance and protection. But how many of us consider the garage to be the Achilles heel of our property – the chink in the otherwise impenetrable armour? Are we forgetting this potentially vulnerable part of the house, and should our security measures begin with the garage?
The Burglar’s Point of View
Think about it from the burglar’s point of view. The main house poses more dangers and higher risks, while the garage is easier to access, poses fewer risks and is less likely to see the burglar being detected. Furthermore the garage could potentially contain valuable equipment; your car, appliances, bicycles, pushchairs, expensive golf clubs, gym equipment, power tools – desirable items that are easy to take and even easier to sell on for a high price. The final thing to consider from the burglar’s point of view is where the garage is. Does it provide the added bonus of a link to the main house, and if so do you often overlook the security of that connecting door?
Modern Garage Doors
Worryingly there are even guides on the internet that explain how to force open your garage door. Don’t be alarmed, this is actually a resource for those hapless people who occasionally find themselves locked out of their house, but nevertheless it does highlight a frailty that should alert home owners. Fortunately today’s garage doors are reassuringly substantial; reinforced, with double-locking systems, and working on a different method to the old ‘up-and-over’ style. Developed engineering has rendered them almost inviolable. Alternatively sectional garage doors are constructed from individual panels connected by hinges, and are difficult to break in to. You don’t have to turn your garage into Fort Knox, but investing in a new door and keeping a general awareness of the garage area is crucial.
Thinking Outside The Box
The garage can be a treasure trove for a burglar, and not just for the items mentioned in a previous paragraph. Consider those long forgotten gems you might have stored there; old magazines, retro computer consoles, car-boot sale finds, antique shop finds, the flat screen TV that never sold on Ebay. It is worth bearing in mind that a man from California once purchased a $5 box of ‘junk’ from a garage sale only to find it contained a 1917 Coca-Cola stock certificate…potentially worth $130m. Even Del Boy finally became a millionaire when he found an antique pocket watch in his garage. So get in there, have a good dig and see what you can unearth. Anything valuable should be moved to the house, or alternatively have a garage sale!
So look out for your garage, it could be vulnerable and it could be valuable. Don’t give the burglars a chance; become a garage sale entrepreneur, get spring cleaning and get selling. But first and foremost get secure and beat the burglar. Assess the security and the age of your garage door, and if your garage is connected to the main house, make sure the door between the house and garage is secure and protected at all times.
About the Author
Lorna works alongside Easy Fit Garage Doors and has recently upgraded to a sectional garage door in order to improve the security level of her garage as well as updating the aesthetics of her home!