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Old August 17, 2015, 01:28 PM   #26
TailGator
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snakes, rodents, possums, frogs, . . land crab[s]
Yep, we have played host to them all. The only one that will hurt you is a poisonous snake, and they are not very common in my neck of the woods. A land crab got hold of my dog's lip once and the dog made an awful racket while backing up rapidly across and around the yard. My ribs were sore for several days from laughing so hard. Critters will go back out the same way they came in, even if you have to encourage them a bit. We have been cracking the garage door for cooling for decades in a semi-rural area of coastal Florida and we haven't had any problems of any significance.
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Old August 17, 2015, 02:00 PM   #27
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Yep, we have played host to them all. The only one that will hurt you is a poisonous snake, and they are not very common in my neck of the woods. A land crab got hold of my dog's lip once and the dog made an awful racket while backing up rapidly across and around the yard. My ribs were sore for several days from laughing so hard. Critters will go back out the same way they came in, even if you have to encourage them a bit. We have been cracking the garage door for cooling for decades in a semi-rural area of coastal Florida and we haven't had any problems of any significance.
No rattle snakes, water moccasins, or coral snakes I hope!
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Old August 17, 2015, 02:42 PM   #28
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Lots of good suggestions.

To sum up my favorites -
1. I agree with never going outside to confront an intruder. It's better to call the police and wait inside your locked home.
2. I like the idea to minimize opening the garage door - either vent it another way or only open it a few inches.
3. I like the proximity alarm to alert you to a potential intruder.
4. Once the alarm sounds, you need a way to see what's going on in the garage without putting yourself at risk. The peep hole is a good idea. Even better, get a camera with which you can monitor what's happening in the garage from the safety of your home and that will also record events in the garage for the investigation later.
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Old August 17, 2015, 06:11 PM   #29
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Make a chain link gate. Throw that door open wide close that gate and let the air flow.
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Old August 17, 2015, 08:51 PM   #30
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I don't have any reason to leave my garage open if I'm not out there. Attached garage with a steel entry door between the house and garage. There's nothing in my garage that can't be replaced by my homeowners insurance. Theoretically someone could break into my car on the driveway and use the opener to open the overhead door (I would hear that), but by the time they got into the house, they'd find me in my favorite chair, shotgun trained on the door, having already called police.
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Old August 18, 2015, 02:16 AM   #31
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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.
I concur. Close the garage. Leaving it open invites crime, and also invites in rodents and snakes and other unwanted critters.

You're also giving passerby's intel. Intel on how many cars are there. How many people live there. Your habits when you are home versus away (door open or closed). The contents of your garage (I was at a garage sale recently and the homeowners had a gun safe sitting in plain view in their open garage! I politely suggested they should cover it up so as to not advertise - and they did).

We no longer live in the quiet safe 1950s. We live in a world where violent desperate people roam about looking for soft targets. Your neighbor got hit - and it takes a lot of courage to go into someone's garage to steal a mower.

You have thieves lurking about. Maybe they are violent.

I live in a middle class suburban area. In my neighborhood a purse was stolen out of the car from under the seat from my driveway. My neighbor has had gas siphoned from his vehicle. You never know how desperate these people are.

I keep all doors closed and locked at all times while not in use.
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Old August 18, 2015, 04:12 AM   #32
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Install a game camera, $50 at wally world. My yard is surrounded by them so i have good vantage points and shots from different angles. I check the SD cards weekly to see who has been snooping around.
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Old August 18, 2015, 11:46 AM   #33
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I used to leave my garage door open a few inches so the kitty could get in and out of shelter. No need to drill the floor and insert bolts, you can drill the jamb and insert long bolts or rods through the side rim of the door into the jamb and studding. Put the rods high enough so no one can reach up and pull them.

A couple years later I roofed over the front steps and walkway, made a nice porch. Kitty had shelter and the garage door stayed shut.

The neighborhood was very nice, and considered quite safe. Still, gasoline thefts, car prowls, loss of yard tools left outside, occasional burglaries, and 'reconnaissance drive-throughs' were common enough to cause concern.

No violence, but no homeowner confrontations, either. That would change as soon as a homeowner stood between a thief and his way out.
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Old August 18, 2015, 12:44 PM   #34
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My garage was too hot in summer, and the attic was too, so I killed two birds with a small exhaust fan in the ceiling of the garage. I got it cheap at Lowe's and it has a thermostat that goes in the attic. I put it all on a switch in the ceiling. I reach it with a broom handle. I turn in on in April and off in November.

When it's on, I put a small piece of 2x4 under each end of the garage door and adjust the opener to match. The gap at the bottom is 1.5".

When the attic gets hot the fan draws air from under the door (also over the door), through the garage, and into the attic and out the roof vents. Lowers the AC bill.

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Old August 18, 2015, 04:02 PM   #35
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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.
In Florida, most homes' garages have either sliding or roll up screen doors to keep the critters out while you let a breeze in
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Old August 19, 2015, 06:53 AM   #36
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I as a Ex Brit, back my Jeep in to the Garage, you know, mirrors on the side LOL.

Remote open, remote close, remote alarm, off/on. No Car ever on drive, visitors park in Street.

I am in house, Glock 19 and Cell Phone on me. Gets hot in Garage, gun safe covered in a white sheet! Blends into painted wall. But never ever leave door up.

There has been one break in, in our neighborhood in the 10 years we have lived here. We knew who that was, the kid moved out.

Some one in Garage? Only way in, lift up door? Call 911, wait for Deputy's, only called them once since being here? ten minutes response, 6 of them, a convention? I said. They laughed, checked, "Good Night Mike"

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Old August 19, 2015, 08:00 AM   #37
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When I was a kid we would leave the garage up slightly in the summer while doing clothes. We just shoved a screw driver in one of the holes on the garage door rail. it wouldn't knock it off its tracks but kept the door from going higher than a few inches, to let air in.

It also meant the dog had free range into the garage too without being concerned she would get out.
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Old August 19, 2015, 08:55 AM   #38
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As an added precaution, you might unplug the power to the garage door opener at night.
Also neutralize the catch that releases the door opener from the door itself.
There's lots of other ways into any house, but every little bit helps.
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Old August 21, 2015, 11:36 PM   #39
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Good tips...

The Home Depot sourced motion sensor/alarm I purchased has proven prone to false alarms.

I think the extreme garage heat meeting the cooler outside air is causing this.

I will be returning the motion sensor/alarm tomorrow.

I like the idea of just cracking open the garage door a few inches to vent heat.
This will prevent entry and also not allow criminals to view what items I have stored in my garage.

Thanks for all the good advice, guys!
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Old August 22, 2015, 12:55 PM   #40
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Close your door unless you are up and around. Anyone who would shoot someone over a chainsaw is an idiot.
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Old August 22, 2015, 03:40 PM   #41
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1st world problems. As others said, install a vent or learn to live with it.

The upside to keeping the door open is trivial compared to the downside of a possible break in or assault or worse... someone dying, a shooting, poisonous snakes, rat infestation, etc.
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Old August 22, 2015, 04:58 PM   #42
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Agree. Keep the garage door closed, and just vent the area to reduce the heat gain. No matter how safe your neighborhood is, it is always good to keep things buttoned up. I miss having a dog, so I will get another one soon. They detect the slightest noise, and vibration well before you can, and hearing that low growl when they hear/feel something different is reassuring.
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Old August 25, 2015, 05:02 PM   #43
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My garage door is open at least mid way a good portion of july and august. I try not to have a noticeable routine but I am not going to worry about or guard against tool theft like its a hyper priority, its not. I will use common sense and just live my life. I think what is important is that you are not trying to figure out what to do if something bad does happen.. I think its a good idea to think about it, have a plan, and stick to the plan.
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Old September 1, 2015, 10:27 AM   #44
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My Garage gets hot, but not that hot, the door (lift up) is never in direct sunlight (Trees) good door into house, seems to block heat pretty good.

In doing the Patrol, marked Jeep, at first lots of Garage doors left open, but as I spotted the owners over a period of time, now less and less.

This is not so much a tool theft problem, but an access to house problem. I do not think we have poiseness snakes here, but if my Wife saw a black snake?

She would move!

A couple of subdivisions over from ours, 4 young men climbed out of a Jeep, driver stayed in it, they rang doorbell, 10-30pm. Cameras showed rapid egress as inside lights came on. No weapons seen, but all had back packs on.

One thing we have going for us, one way in, same way out.
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Old September 3, 2015, 01:28 PM   #45
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As an added precaution, you might unplug the power to the garage door opener at night.
Also neutralize the catch that releases the door opener from the door itself.
I do this whenever I'm going to be gone all day, or for more than a day, without fail.
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Old September 27, 2015, 12:58 AM   #46
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Beware of Dog . . .

When I lived in San Diego I put a "beware of dog" sign on my back gate. It had a snarling doberman as an image. Did it work? Well the meter reader always came to the front door to see if the dog was out. We didn't have a dog.

Live well, be safe.
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Old September 28, 2015, 01:04 PM   #47
9x18_Walther
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My father once left his garage door up for about thirty seconds to a minute at around 4:00 in the morning. This is an excellent neighborhood with no crime.

Came back after a minute, someone was searching the garage for valuables. He must have been driving around looking for people who accidentally left their garage doors up overnight.

You can't give anyone even a second of extra time because a criminal will take advantage.
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Old September 30, 2015, 10:26 PM   #48
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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.
Depends on the state, but at least around here it is explicitly written into the law that it's legal to use deadly force on someone illegally in your home who is committing or that you believe is about to commit some crime beyond trespass (including but not limited to burglary).

I'd use a long gun, I'd confront, and at the slightest provocation or sight of a weapon or commission of any crime on the intruder's part including picking up or holding any piece of property I'd shoot.

Burglars don't deserve to live, and I've got no problem sorting it out.
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Old September 30, 2015, 10:51 PM   #49
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Burglars don't deserve to live, and I've got no problem sorting it out.
Best to never give the state evidence that could be used to indicate state of mind, lest that become important in the aftermath.

And best to avoid shooting someone in your house if you can.
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Old October 1, 2015, 12:11 AM   #50
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Depends on the state, but at least around here it is explicitly written into the law that it's legal to use deadly force on someone illegally in your home who is committing or that you believe is about to commit some crime beyond trespass (including but not limited to burglary).
That's not what TX law says at all.

What the law says is that if a person breaks into an OCCUPIED house then it is presumed that the use of deadly force by the occupants is justified.

1. It doesn't explicitly allow deadly force, it just says that the defender doesn't have to prove that the deadly force was justified--instead the state has the burden of proof to show that it was not.

2. If you come home and someone has broken into your house/attached garage in your absence, that particular law doesn't offer any protection if you decide to go in after them because the house wasn't occupied when the break-in occurred.

3. Although the law says that deadly force is presumed to be justified if some breaks into an occupied house, that doesn't mean that the homeowner's actions and/or words can't destroy that presumption. In other words, if you do or say something that makes it clear that deadly force was NOT justified then you just provided the state the evidence it needs to show that the presumption was false and that deadly force was not justified. Examples of how that might be done are:
  • The burglar was very obviously fleeing/trying to escape and posed no threat at all but the homeowner fired on them anyway.
  • The burglar was very obviously not any kind of a threat (perhaps disabled or very physically unassuming and unarmed) and the homeowner could clearly see that was the case.
  • The homeowner had repeatedly made public comments before the shooting that he/she would shoot any burglar on sight regardless of whether or not they posed a threat. e.g. "Burglars don't deserve to live, and I've got no problem sorting it out."
  • The homeowner stated after the fact that he/she was well aware that the burglar posed no threat but that he/she shot him/her anyway.
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