There are many myths about garage door security, some of which may be giving Portland homeowners a slightly skewed picture of security risks and solutions.
Debunking Myths to Secure Your Portland Garage Door
Many homeowner security concerns in regards to their garage door stem from problems that historically were an issue. For that reason, we are also including the background behind each myth.
Myth #1: Criminals with a random remote control for garage doors could use it to open the garage doors of select homes.
Background: Originally built using technology from WWII, remote control garage door openers have been on the market for over 3/4ths of a century. First generation garage door openers operated on only code; anyone else getting their hands on your remote would be a dramatic problem. Second generation garage door openers aimed to solved this issue by utilizing a newer technology, DIP switches. They would generate one of 256 different codes. Yet in those days, criminals could drive around and click at garage doors until they could find one that matched with the remote.
The Reality: Modern garage openers are not like this. They are actually built using a rolling code technology. Every time someone uses the remote, it generates a new code from millions of potential codes.
Myth #2: Burglars can use an electronic device called a “code grabber” to record your garage door opener’s radio signal, and then duplicate it to give them access to your garage.
Background: Before the advent of rolling code technology, this may have been a problem. The codes of old-fashioned DIP switches are not terribly difficult to duplicate.
The Reality: The advent of rolling code technology solves this problem. Modern garage door openers using rolling code technology are not affected by this, since they generate a new code each time you press your remote. This is the same technology used on the clickers of cars.
Myth #3: Criminals can commonly “fish” open garage doors, therefore you should install a separate garage door lock.
Background: Many companies are making lots of money by fueling this misconception. While a lock may be useful for garage doors with the jackshaft opener, it is not necessary for the standard garage door. The misconception of a lock being needed may be based on a lack of consumer understanding in the difference between the jackshaft opening system and the standard one.
Reality: While it may seem like a logical solution, buying and installing a separate manual garage door lock is not worth it. They usually cause more harm than good. Garage doors are extraordinarily heavy and you are more than likely to lock yourself out with no way of opening your door. Additionally, in most cases, the garage door opener will also hold the door closed in place of a lock.
A Separate Garage Door Lock is Not the Answer
We frequently get stories from homeowners who accidentally lock themselves out with the extra lock. The extra lock usually causes more trouble than it does good, and is not worth the money.
What You Can & Should Do to Secure Your Garage Door
- If you are going on vacation, you may consider simply unplugging the opener.
- Lock the door from the inside of the garage to your home
- If your garage has a “service door” (for walk-through entry into the garage), focus on securing that. It is usually the #1 security weak spot in garages. It should be made of a sturdy material and have dead bolt as well.