Burglars may have the key to your home and it’s a 10-cent wire coat hanger.
One expert said the emergency latch on a garage door may be more useful to burglars than homeowners. Bad guys can reach a coat hanger inside the top of the garage door and pop the emergency latch, freeing the door to slide open manually.
Phoenix police said this is an age-old problem going back 20-plus years. But now, YouTube videos can teach bad guys how to get past your garage door in seconds.
“Cars have been broken into within the garage,” said Darcie Barlow, a neighborhood watch member.
But there’s an equally low-cost way to fight back.
A zip-tie can be woven into the holes in the emergency latch to secure it in the closed position. That makes it much harder for someone to pull the latch from the outside. Shortening or removing the pull cord can also make it harder for burglars.
If the zip-tie idea isn’t good enough, there are third-party companies that offer more permanent solutions. A company called One Clear Choice Garage Doors in Denver makes a box that can be installed over the entire emergency release system to prevent tampering.
“We can take it, put it on there and basically nullify the ability to be able to stick wire in there and open your garage door,” said Keenan Gingrich with One Clear Choice Garage Doors.
Bottom line: don’t trust your garage door to keep out the crooks on its own.