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Thread: Garage security

  1. #1
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Garage security

    As the economy tanks, crime goes up. That means your tools, classic vehicles and everything else in your garage are choice targets for thieves.

    What can you do to avoid being ripped off?

    * First and probably most important, be sure you are fully insured -

    Find out whether your homeowner's policy covers such things as your tools and equipment. A standard homeowner's policy on, say, a $250,000 home may not cover your $20,000 worth of tools. So, re-read your policy - and confirm the details with your agent. It's also a very smart idea to do a full inventory of everything you have - with pictures or video for back-up in the event you do get robbed and need to verify the extent of your loss.

    Similarly, be absolutely sure your vehicles - especially antique/collectible vehicles - are fully insured for their specific value (what's known in the business as an "agreed value" policy). That means, simply, if your vehicle is stolen and not recovered, you will receive the previously agreed-upon value listed in your coverage. No haggling after the fact over what it was worth.

    Related point: Many of us neglect to update our policies as we update our cars - or as the retail market value of the car changes. If you recently had your car professionally re-painted, for instance, you should make sure your policy/coverage reflects that. Make sure the "agreed value" is up to date - and not based on what the car was worth five years ago, when you first took out the policy.

    These precautions will minimize your losses if you do get robbed. But what about avoiding a robbery in the first place?

    * Don't flash what you have -

    Try to avoid leaving your garage door open so that everyone who drives or walks by has a full view of your treasures. Ditto parking your high-dollar antique vehicle outside, where everyone can see it. Try to keep what you have under wraps - and keep a low profile.

    * Keep the door locked -

    This is elementary - yet it's a fact that many thieves never have to break into anything. They just walk right on in - and walk away (or drive away) with your stuff. Use a high quality door lock, plus a deadbolt.

    * If your garage has doors with windows, consider replacing them with solid doors -

    As nice as it is to have a door with an upper glass section to let the sun shine in, glass allows a would-be thief to see inside your place - and getting in is as simple as smashing out the window.

    * Install a bright light near your garage -

    Ideally, one with a motion sensor. The light should be of the floodlight type - and either far enough up or otherwise out of reach that it would take at least a little bit of effort to defeat it by smashing the bulb or some such.

    * Consider an alarm system -

    You might even get a rate reduction on your homeowner's (as well as your classic car) insurance. Or get a fake alarm - dummy closed-circuit cameras or blinking red LED lights near doors and windows can accomplish the same thing (but forget about the insurance discount).* *

    * Make your stuff harder to steal -

    Tools should be secured in heavy, hard to remove/move (and locked) pro tool cases, ideally, cases permanently fixed to hard points such as the floor or workbenches. Locked cabinets bolted to the wall studs work well. Garage doors should have heavy metal lock bars and other such devices to make them extremely difficult to open for an unauthorized user.

    Also: There are several ways to discreetly rig a classic car or motorcycle so that it won't start or is difficult (if not impossible) to move. And you should always mark your vehicles (as well as expensive tools) with a Dremel tool or some such in a not-visible/hard to access place with some identifying marks - so that if the* vehicle (or equipment) is stolen and found later on, you can prove it is yours.*

    These are the "majors" - you can probably think of several others, too. The most important thing of all, though, is to be thinking about protecting what's yours. We live in ugly times - and it's best to be thinking a step ahead of those who might try to take advantage of you.

  2. #2
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    I installed a bolt in the floor of the garage to lock my mountain bike to. (the apartment people can suck it).

    Basically, use a closed-eye bolt of at least 3/8" diameter (10mm) steel. Drill a hole in the concrete not much bigger. Blow out the dust with compressed air (use eye protection), then prepare a gap filler adhesive such as JB Weld. Cement in the eye bolt and wait 48 hours for the glue to set.

    Chip H.

  3. #3
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiph View Post
    I installed a bolt in the floor of the garage to lock my mountain bike to. (the apartment people can suck it).

    Basically, use a closed-eye bolt of at least 3/8" diameter (10mm) steel. Drill a hole in the concrete not much bigger. Blow out the dust with compressed air (use eye protection), then prepare a gap filler adhesive such as JB Weld. Cement in the eye bolt and wait 48 hours for the glue to set.

    Chip H.
    A most excellent plan.

    That would work for a motorcycle, too.

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    Or a tool chest.

    Chip H.

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    Senior Member J. ZIMM's Avatar
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    Ever think of using a motion sensor INSIDE your Garage? Works great. You can set up the motion detector high enough inside to cover the most important areas, (doors, windows,ect). The sensor is then wired into a Ten Amp battery charger which is wired into an after market car alarm. You only need the Speaker part. That's where the modual is for all the weird noises that come from them. I have one Speaker mounted in the shop near the door, and one in my house. You know damn well I WILL WAKE up. Just remember to put a switch on the one in the house to turn it off when not needed, or mother will not be too friendly later on. There have been times when I have stepped in before I have turned on the lights to kill the photo eye. And, yes, I do like my coffee inside my body. Another deterrent is a BFD (big friggin' dog). We are not allowed by law to have a shotgun wired to the door knob anymore, darn it. Oh well, it left a nasty mess anyway.

  6. #6
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J. ZIMM View Post
    Ever think of using a motion sensor INSIDE your Garage? Works great. You can set up the motion detector high enough inside to cover the most important areas, (doors, windows,ect). The sensor is then wired into a Ten Amp battery charger which is wired into an after market car alarm. You only need the Speaker part. That's where the modual is for all the weird noises that come from them. I have one Speaker mounted in the shop near the door, and one in my house. You know damn well I WILL WAKE up. Just remember to put a switch on the one in the house to turn it off when not needed, or mother will not be too friendly later on. There have been times when I have stepped in before I have turned on the lights to kill the photo eye. And, yes, I do like my coffee inside my body. Another deterrent is a BFD (big friggin' dog). We are not allowed by law to have a shotgun wired to the door knob anymore, darn it. Oh well, it left a nasty mess anyway.
    That is a brilliant idea! Love it!

    Similarly: I recently found these tiny, battery-powered "screechers" - comes in two pieces; you mount them in a discreet place on either side of a door jamb. If someone opens the door - screeeeeech!

    The sound by itself is probably enough to unsettle an intruder and make them flee, but the really important thing is that the sound will wake me up and give me all the time I need to get my .45 or Mossberg in hand.

  7. #7
    I have always wondered how hard cheap garage doors are to break in to, even when locked. Mine is some cheap piece of shit made of just foam and thin asteel panels. How hard would it be to cut through the steel and bust the foam? Not very hard I imagine.

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    Depends on how much noise the thieves mind making.

    Easiest way would be to hook onto the bottom of the door, and use a truck to pull it off the hinges and out into the drive. Noisy --- and effective.

    Chip H.

  9. #9
    I'm thinking a pair of tin snips and a fist should do it quietly and rather effectively.

  10. #10
    Senior Member J. ZIMM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dieseleverything View Post
    I have always wondered how hard cheap garage doors are to break in to, even when locked. Mine is some cheap piece of shit made of just foam and thin asteel panels. How hard would it be to cut through the steel and bust the foam? Not very hard I imagine.

    You can JUST drive through them with no problem. Just ask my wife...hehehe

  11. #11
    Senior Member J. ZIMM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dieseleverything View Post
    I'm thinking a pair of tin snips and a fist should do it quietly and rather effectively.

    Ya gotta slow 'em down first so you can catch them. Bow and arrow, or high powered pellet gun. Know what I mean?

  12. #12
    Administrator Ken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiph View Post
    I installed a bolt in the floor of the garage to lock my mountain bike to. (the apartment people can suck it).

    Basically, use a closed-eye bolt of at least 3/8" diameter (10mm) steel. Drill a hole in the concrete not much bigger. Blow out the dust with compressed air (use eye protection), then prepare a gap filler adhesive such as JB Weld. Cement in the eye bolt and wait 48 hours for the glue to set.

    Chip H.
    Wouldn't last too long over here. The preferred option here is to have the bike alarmed and immobilised, then use a very high tensile strength chain, like a high tensile version of the one they use to anchor the USS George H.W. Bush, threaded through the frame as well as the wheel - being careful not to let any point of the chain touch the ground. The chain linked through a high tensile steel ground anchor, with underground spurs, of heavy dimensions embedded at least twelve inches into solid concrete.

    And the villians armed with liquid nitrogen, sledgehammers, diamond cutters and thermic lances will still make off with your pride and joy in a matter of minutes. Do not, however, try to restrain them by force if you catch them in the deed. You will be charged with false imprisonment if you lock them in, assault if you punch them, greivous bodily harm should you actually injure them, whilst they, should they actually be rrested, with the full mercy of our useless ineffectual courts will either be let off with a warning or be given a few hours community service - pah!

    Ken.
    Die dulci fruimini!
    Ken.
    Wolds Bikers, Lincolnshire, England.

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    I would classify those folks as professional thieves. There's nothing you can do to stop them (a shallow grave can prevent recidivism, but that's socially unacceptable in both countries).

    Chip H.

  14. #14
    Administrator Ken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiph View Post
    I would classify those folks as professional thieves. There's nothing you can do to stop them (a shallow grave can prevent recidivism, but that's socially unacceptable in both countries).

    Chip H.
    Sad but very true, Chip. I think the implementation of the shallow grave option should be the automatic right of every property owner.

    Ken.
    Die dulci fruimini!
    Ken.
    Wolds Bikers, Lincolnshire, England.

  15. #15
    Senior Member J. ZIMM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken View Post
    Sad but very true, Chip. I think the implementation of the shallow grave option should be the automatic right of every property owner.

    Ken.
    Over here in my neck of the Woods, we have the Three "S" rule.

    Shoot'em, Shovel'em, Shadup!!!

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