If your garage is attached to your house, you may be unknowingly giving burglars access to your family and your home. Once they get into your garage, they are out of sight and can work on breaking in through the door between the garage and your house. Here are four ways that a burglar can gain access into your house through your garage and how you can prevent them: 

1. Pull the Safety Release Mechanism with a Hanger

Your garage door opener assembly has a safety release mechanism that disconnects the cables from the opener. When this mechanism is pulled, the garage door can be lifted manually. Thieves can shimmy a bent hanger through the top of your garage door to catch and pull the safety release mechanism without pulling on the red cord. Then, they can simply raise the garage door to get inside. To make it difficult for burglars to do this, secure the safety release by locking it in place with one or two zip ties. If you need to release it in the future, simply snip the zip ties.

2. Break a Window in the Door

It's standard to have regular exterior doors leading from the garage to the outdoors, and in some areas, it's a requirement for fire safety. If this door has a window or window panes, burglars can break the window and reach inside to unlock the door so they can get inside. While having a window in this door is something you may prefer, it's better to have a solid door to deter burglars. If you'd rather stick with a door that gives you a view, consider installing a safety window, which is a window that has wire mesh sandwiched in between two panes of glass.

3. Crawl in through Your Pet Door(s)

If you have a pet door in the door leading from outside into your garage, thieves can possibly crawl through it and get inside your home. Sometimes they'll enlist the help of small children or petite females to get through pet doors so these individuals can unlock the doors or push the garage door opener on the wall to let others in. Obviously, you can't keep the pet doors locked because doing so would defeat the purpose of having them. However, there are new pet doors on the market that open via a remote control that you put on your pet's collar. You can find these models at any pet care retailer. If this is not an option, you'll need to remember to lock your pet doors when you are not home and when you go to bed.

4. Take Your Garage Door Opener from Your Car

A home in Virginia was broken into after the burglars used the homeowner's garage door opener to gain access to the inside of their home. It is believed that the burglars took the garage door opener from an unlocked vehicle. It doesn't matter where your vehicle is parked—if someone is able to get inside your vehicle, they can easily find out your name and/or where you live by going through your glove compartment or by rummaging through papers that may be in your console, such as receipts with your name on them.

Once they have your name they can look you up in the phone listings to find your address. They can verify it's your address simply by clicking the garage door opener when they are in front of your house. It's important to always lock your vehicle. However, that may not stop persistent burglars who may break into a vehicle to get the opener by smashing a window. For this reason, do not leave your garage door opener where it can be seen, such as clipped to your sun visor.

For further ideas on how to protect your home from being broken into through the garage, speak with a representative from a company like J & D Door Sales Inc.