Security and Your Garage Door Remote - Helotes Overhead Doors
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Security and Your Garage Door Remote

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Security and Your Garage Door Remote

Let’s face it – you’ve probably watched enough Criminal Minds and true crime shows to suddenly have some serious concerns about the safety of your garage door. Unfortunately, you’d be right to be worried about security with your wireless garage door opener and remote. A burglar can access your garage contents and even your house if you do not follow some easy security actions. Don’t worry, though, we’ve got some helpful tips for you to help keep you and your family safe.

How Garage Door Opener Remotes Work

While you may assume the technology that makes your garage door opener work is pretty advanced, it’s actually fairly simple and direct. Garage door remotes work by sending a coded signal via radio frequency to the garage door motor. If this code matches that of the motor, it will begin to raise or lower the garage door. Older devices utilize a single coded switch, whereas newer systems use a rolling code that changes each time the remote is used, increasing the security of the garage door by offering billions of unique combinations. Tiny switches called dip switches are utilized to adjust the frequency used between the two. These switches can be adjusted to change the frequency if you have concerns that someone has programmed a remote to operate your garage door.

Now that we’ve covered the basic concept of how garage door remotes work, let’s look at some helpful tips to increase your garage door’s security.

Adjust Your Frequency

Concerned that someone may have programmed a remote to open your garage door? Much like changing your password on your email or computer, you can adjust the frequency for the garage door opener itself to keep out unwanted intruders. In order to do so (without professional help), you’ll need to find your dip switch. A dip switch is a little block of plastic about the size of a dice cut in half. They are typically colored blue or red with 8 to 10 small white switch levers placed up or down. When the up/ down switch patterns match on both devices, your two components will be able to communicate with one another. By changing the switch pattern, you are changing the radio frequency utilized to interact between the two. Resetting this periodically is sort of like changing your passwords – it makes breaking into your property more challenging.

Install a Smart Garage Door Opener

If adjusting your system’s radio frequency seems tedious (or you just want to go an extra step for security), consider installing a smart garage door opener. It removes the need for a remote altogether by using your phone to trigger the garage door opener. Many of the smart systems on the market today also offer real-time mobile notifications to alert you anytime the garage door is opened or closed, giving you extra peace of mind. On top of that, most of these systems also offer a “vacation” or “locked” mode, which prevents the door from opening at all until you deactivate that setting. This would be an extra step of security to ensure that someone can’t trigger the garage door between certain times of the day or while you’re out of town for extended periods.

Always Lock the Interior Door

If you’re like most homeowners, you probably don’t think to lock the door from your garage into your home. Why would you? It’s a door that’s behind an already secured space. However, locking this door is ALWAYS a good idea, as it provides one extra layer of security for your home, your belongings, and your family. Keeping this door locked while sleeping or out of the home ensures that even if an intruder manages to access your garage, they’re still prevented from accessing your home.

Think of it like this – if you have a backyard, you probably lock the door that goes out to the backyard, right? Even though the yard itself is likely fenced in and has a gate or some other sort of security, you take the extra step to lock the door itself. Locking the door between your home and your garage is the same concept. Better to add that extra layer of confidence than have to worry about your home’s safety and security.

These suggestions will help keep your home and your family safer by increasing the security of your garage door. Anything mentioned in this post would especially apply to anyone buying or renting a new home. There’s no way of knowing how many people previously had access to that property, so it’s definitely a strong idea to lock-down the garage door and prevent unwanted visitors from popping by and accessing your garage. As with all things, if you have garage door needs, call the experts at Helotes Overhead. We’re happy to help with any new installations, repairs, or security upgrades for your overhead doors!

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