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Old August 16, 2015, 09:52 AM   #1
Mokumbear
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An intruder in your garage, what would YOU do?

My neighborhood has been practically crime free for some 20 years.

Recently, my next door neighbor left her garage door open and
someone stole a gas powered lawn tool.

I work hard for everything I have so things like this, especially so close to home, really concern me.

A lot of times I like to leave my garage door open to let out some of the built up heat from the day or if I am running my laundry dryer.
I live in a warm climate and, of course, it's the depths of summer.

Here is what I did...

I bought a stand alone motion sensor/alarm.
It also comes with a key fob remote so you can disarm the alarm if you will be in and out of the garage.

A bargain IMHO at $29.
If someone enters the garage, the 100 dB siren goes off and LED's flash.

I also bought a three pack of cable locks.
Very cool because they are keyed to use the same key for all.

My mid-priced bicycle was already kept locked with a cable lock.
I used these new locks to secure an extension ladder, an A-frame ladder and
a nice, compact grill I have.

This way, nobody can grab and dash with my more expensive items.

I don't have my toolbox, small electric chainsaw or drill secured (yet).
Still trying to think about how to do that.
I just have most tools in a plastic tool box and the drill in a plastic case, though out of sight.

Here is where I need feedback from you guys!

Say I am home and the alarm goes off.
What to do?

I know that opening the door from my house to the garage would be a bad move but I also suspect that running out with a gun could lead to a dangerous encounter. I read a case where someone responding to his car alarm ran outside and got shot once upon a time in my County.

What would you do protect your property?
I have some ideas but I would like to know what YOU would do.

Thanks in advance...
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Old August 16, 2015, 10:11 AM   #2
spacecoast
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Is your garage attached to or separate from your house?

Seems like the toolbox and chainsaw could be linked with a cable as well.

Another option - put in a vent for the dryer and keep the door closed more than you do now.
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Old August 16, 2015, 10:20 AM   #3
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Way to go, I'm going to have to look at those censors.
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Old August 16, 2015, 10:44 AM   #4
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Why wait until they get into the garage to trip the alarm? Seems a little late. Security in layers makes more sense to me.

They make drive alarms that use multiple sensors, with different signals for each alarm. They arent all that expensive, and work well.

We have the drive alarms set for the drive, and multiple access areas around the house. You cant get near the house without setting one off.

A couple of big dogs, roaming in and around the house, also make a big difference, especially if they are vocal. They also work 24/7, power or not, and will respond in your favor, if you need the help. If anyone were to make it inside, Id know just where they were.

Cameras round things out. Some blatant, some hidden.
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Old August 16, 2015, 10:54 AM   #5
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Amazing what a couple BIG dog poops in the front yard says to badguys. Lol
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Old August 16, 2015, 11:05 AM   #6
str8tshot
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The reason you state for leaving the door open is to vent the garage; other methods are more secure. A vent above the door, or in a location more suited to you garage layout, may serve the same purpose.
Another layer of deterrent like a fence in the front is also a great way to encourage the would be thief from entering the yard.

I doubt I would run out with a gun if the alarm went off. It doesn't seem like a good idea to me, considering you live in a neighborhood, and children could just as easily wander in.
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Old August 16, 2015, 11:15 AM   #7
g.willikers
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Leaving any doors open can invite trouble.
How about raising the garage door just far enough for ventilation purposes, but less than anyone could crawl under?
Most garage doors will allow hot air to travel out through the top when raised a little bit.
With the alarm on, that should prevent unwanted visitors in the garage.
Another alarm on the door from garage to the house would also help.
As for how to defend yourself from an intruder, that takes specialist training and understanding your local laws.
Especially if you want to survive and stay out of jail.
In most jurisdictions, it's frowned upon to go out of your house looking for trouble, when you're already safe inside.
If the intruder comes in then the rules change.
At least take a look at some of the videos on the subject online or by purchase.
First Person Defender and Personal Defense Network videos on youtube are available for free to start.
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Last edited by g.willikers; August 16, 2015 at 11:26 AM.
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Old August 16, 2015, 11:24 AM   #8
AK103K
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Quote:
I doubt I would run out with a gun if the alarm went off. It doesn't seem like a good idea to me, considering you live in a neighborhood, and children could just as easily wander in.
Another reason for always wearing your gun. Its always along, usually concealed, and in a non threatening manner, until you choose for it to be.

99% of the time (unless youre in a really bad neighborhood), on investigation, its likely going to be a non threatening thing.

The big advantage to doing things in layers is, you have early warning and options, and can choose how to respond. On occasion, we get people at our door at night (mostly due to wrecks), as we are the only house closer to the road, and there is no cell coverage here. I know when they are in the yard, and when they ring the bell, I dont answer that door. I usually yell "just a minute", check the cameras, and then slip out another door, check things out, and come up out of the dark behind them. Works like a charm, and usually scares the crap out them as well. Their focus is almost always on the door.
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Old August 16, 2015, 11:28 AM   #9
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If your garage is attached to your house you could install a wide angle peephole on the door leading into the garage. That way if the alarm goes off you can just look into the garage without putting yourself at risk and make sure it isn't a squirrel or the neighbor's cat before you call the cops. No need to go after some pill head stealing stuff to pawn for his next high when your taxes pay for people to do that kind of stuff for you.

You could also upgrade the door to be more secure then the typical interior type door you find opening into garages. That way if it is an intruder you have something a bit more solid between you and him until the cops get there to give him new bracelets.

Of course if the guy tries to get into the main house where you and your family are I will assume you have the tools to deal with that unfortunate event.
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Old August 16, 2015, 12:26 PM   #10
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Having everything in your garage locked up, is a lousy way to live.
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Old August 16, 2015, 12:27 PM   #11
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If I'm running out at all, it's with a gun, since I always have mine on me. Should my garage get too hot, I open the windows, as keeping the door open promotes ingress of critters, especially chipmunks which are destructive, and skunks which are, well, you know....more scary than bears. In Michigan, stand your ground involves not only everything on your property, but anywhere you have a right to be. Feeling threatened in my garage would pose not a question for me, though I do take other precautions, like security lighting, good locks, locking things up in the locked garage, etc. Next for me is installing my alarm, and a camera system.
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Old August 16, 2015, 12:47 PM   #12
OldMarksman
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Posted by Mokumbear:
Quote:
What would you do protect your property?
The first step is to avoid doing anything that makes the presence of valuable property known to potential thieves.

That starts with keeping your garage door closed or your property out not in the garage, and not having valuables lying around when you have tradesmen in the house.

The next is to secure it.

That starts with keeping doors locked and using strong doors and locks.

The third is to make it risky for someone who knows about the property to try to get to it. Lights, etc.

Now, should all of that fail while you happen to be around and you become aware of it, you would be justified in issuing whatever level of non deadly physical force Smith be required to protect your property, and no more, but that's risky, and the potential consequences are probably not worth it.
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Old August 16, 2015, 03:37 PM   #13
Mokumbear
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So much good info...

I don't know where to begin with replying but feel free to share advice all the same.
"Knowledge is power".

BTW, I live in South Florida so even though my dryer is vented to the outside, it is darn hot this time of the year, even without the dryer running.

I will respectfully disagree that "it's no way to live, locking things up."
I mean, unless you are in a very safe rural area, most people lock their houses and cars, right? I like the idea of someone not being able to stroll away with my bicycle in a minute.

Because I live in a "home owners association", I am strictly limited as far as any architectural changes. For example, a fence is out of the question.

My driveway is short so it's not like I could layer security with a driveway sensor.

Can we agree that in a suburban area with kids, running out of the house with a gun, even concealed, is not a good option? Even with Florida's Castle Doctrine, I wouldn't want to risk the legal fallout over a drill, y'know?

I carry concealed "all the time" but running out to confront someone is a whole different story, IMHO.

I think, if nothing else, this motion sensing alarm serves as a good deterrent to someone tempted into a "crime of opportunity".

Last edited by Mokumbear; August 16, 2015 at 03:49 PM.
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Old August 16, 2015, 03:40 PM   #14
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A closed circuit TV camera attached to a DVD recorder would be a good idea. The camera could be up in the rafters. A small pinhole camera with high resolution could be placed almost anywhere in your garage. While this will not stop a thief from entering it will allow law enforcement to have video proof of the crime. Unless you are specially trained to confront burglars and other bad guys I would recommend that be done by the police. However should the bad guy enter your home then all bets are off in my opinion. My stepson is having a very similar situation with his garage. He has motion sensor lights around an unattached garage he uses for his workshop. Usually when the lights go off it is a rabbit, deer, or other wildlife in the yard. He has found wall panels that seem to have been pried where someone has tried to get into the garage.
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Old August 16, 2015, 04:02 PM   #15
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Quote:
Amazing what a couple BIG dog poops in the front yard says to badguys. Lol
Amazing what a couple of big dogs laying in the driveway say to a couple of bad guys..................................

My garage has a side door - sitting in it right now with the laptop enjoying a PM T storm that has helped cool things down. Garage door is halfway up.

They do make roll up white screen doors for the garage - can't see in, can't just walk in, but allows the breeze to come in. All depends on where you live whether or not that is a good idea
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Old August 16, 2015, 06:13 PM   #16
Mokumbear
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Watch dog...

Even a little "rug rat" that barks is a good extra layer of security, I agree.

Unfortunately, my lifestyle is not well suited for dog ownership.
(As much as I like them.)

<Insert imaginary barking dog emoji here>
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Old August 16, 2015, 06:23 PM   #17
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If danger is outside I am not opening the door to let it in.. I have no intention to use deadly force or risk my life to prevent theft . What I am sure is only (1) badguy can suddenly turn into (3). If someone is in my garage I will shout through the closed door that the cops are coming. I will use my peep hole to see what is happening in my garage and advise the authorities accordingly.
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Old August 16, 2015, 09:08 PM   #18
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"Another reason for always wearing your gun."
Won't do much good against a "grab and run" thief. Not in my state anyway. I can't shoot a runner and he isn't going to stop to discuss it.
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Old August 17, 2015, 03:11 AM   #19
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Quote:
Say I am home and the alarm goes off. What to do?
Stay inside and call the police (not a lot of good). First off shooting or killing someone for robbing a couple of hundred dollars of goods is not a good idea, it will cost thousands to defend yourself in court. Second, your life or that of your family is not being threaten so self defense is not applicably. It is easier to put in an insurance claim than find an attorney to get you out of jail. (and cheaper too)

Keep your door closed and find a way to cool off the garage that does not expose you to risks. Also keep an inventory of the items in there and their serial numbers. (if they don't have a serial number, then engrave one on them)

Good luck and stay safe.
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Last edited by Jim243; August 17, 2015 at 03:17 AM.
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Old August 17, 2015, 08:11 AM   #20
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Hi Mokumbear,

I'm not sure what part of South Florida you're in, but there was actually a home invasion in Gables by the Sea (very nice area) where the intruders entered through an open garage. They held one of the kids at gun point and the other person marched the parents through the house looking for stuff.

An open garage is a pretty good indicator that someone is home. If an intruder is bold enough to enter an occupied home, it is probably not a good scenario. It doesn't really matter if you have a gun or not if they have your kid at gun point. I know that the same can probably occur even if your kids are out in the driveway and the garage door is closed, but the garage is less visible.

I installed an external keypad for my garage door so we can go in and out without carrying a clicker. We always close the garage door and we also lock the door from the house to the garage.
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Old August 17, 2015, 08:47 AM   #21
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Quote:
How about raising the garage door just far enough for ventilation purposes, but less than anyone could crawl under?
Most garage doors will allow hot air to travel out through the top when raised a little bit.
With the alarm on, that should prevent unwanted visitors in the garage.
As a Floridian myself, I can testify that raising the garage door just those few inches really helps with the heat. One of those small high-intensity fans blowing out under the crack bumps the effectiveness up noticeably, too.

Lock the door between the house and the garage, and add whatever alarms and/or cameras are in your budget. You are trying to prevent opportunistic thievery - someone who is willing to snatch something from an open garage and get away quick, but not willing to work or risk much to steal. The noise from an alarm is likely to be a decent deterrent.
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Old August 17, 2015, 09:11 AM   #22
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Tail Gator,

Those couple of inches you leave your garage door open can let in lots of stuff you might not want. I'm not sure what part of Florida you're in, but I'm thinking snakes, rodents, possums, frogs, etc... I'm down in Pinecrest where we have a crazy land crab populations. I've had a few get in when we were pulling the car out of the garage and they stunk like crazy. The worst is probably the mosquitoes though. Those things are brutal where I live!!! I have windows for my garage so I'll probably use that.
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Old August 17, 2015, 10:17 AM   #23
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Not to berate you, but leaving the garage open to the world, with tools and such visible to passersby, is just inviting trouble. Theft, entry into the home, and armed confrontation are not events you should be encouraging, which is exactly what you are doing.

In the event of an armed confrontation, absolutely no one is going to care about your house or garage being too warm. Do you leave your car windows rolled down while shopping on warm days?

Get a squirrel fan setup, roof vents, whatever, and install it, to vent hot air.
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Old August 17, 2015, 10:51 AM   #24
g.willikers
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It's not difficult to route an air conditioning duct to the garage.
We have one, although it's sealed off.
No real need for it since the handler hanging from the garage ceiling leaks enough cool air to accomplish the same thing.
There's always a silver lining.
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Old August 17, 2015, 11:00 AM   #25
Don P
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You could raise the door 4 inches and mark the roller tracks and make holes so you can raise the door and lock it with it open just the 4 inches. It will vent the garage of heat and I seriously doubt someone can gain entry with a 4 inch gap.
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