SF SAFE’s Tips for Preventing Garage Break-ins

Garages can sometimes be the most vulnerable area of the home and they are often the entry point targeted by thieves because of the easy access they offer. To that end, and backed by four decades of providing San Francisco community members with Residential Security Surveys, SF SAFE has created some tips to help secure your garage and protect it from theft:

Always Close Your Garage Door: This may seem obvious, but just drive through any residential neighborhood and you’ll likely see a few wide-open garage doors. This is an invitation to burglars and, at the very least, you’re allowing passersby to easily view the contents of your garage.

Reinforce the Glass on the Garage Door: Add vinyl adhesive to reinforce windows. You can also opt for a frosted or translucent glass design to allow sunlight in while obscuring the contents inside.

Install an Interior Manual Garage Door Lock: When leaving on a vacation or for extended periods of time, disconnect the automatic door motor and install a manual lock.

Install Surveillance Cameras: There should be at least one exterior mounted camera facing the street and registered with the D.A.’s office.

Have a Quality, Functioning Garage Door: Garage doors should be as secure, sturdy and well-built as your front door and should remain in good condition and tight fitting. Deadbolts should also be added to the garage-to-house door.

Install Motion Sensitive Lights: Homes and garages with poor exterior lighting become more appealing targets for burglars. Ensure all entry points are well-lit. Constant lighting supplemented by motion sensitive lighting is best.

Don’t Leave the Garage Door Remote in Your Car: A garage door remote is basically another key into your home and thieves won’t hesitate to use it if they find it. Opt to use a remote on a keychain.

Tie the Emergency Release Cord: Typing your emergency release cord into a small ball will make it more difficult to reach by thieves who manage to break the garage windows.

Secure Any Valuables: Keep all tools in cabinet systems with locks and be sure to hang and lock any bicycles. As much as possible, try to avoid keeping valuable items in the garage or inside vehicles.

Install Interior Mail Slot Hood Cover: If the garage door is equipped with a mail slot, a hood cover will prevent any view into the garage and its contents, eliminating enticement to enter.

Want to see a flier version of our tips? Contact us at info@sfsafe.org or 415-553-1984 and we’ll send it your way.