Securing your garage


When reviewing the security in people’s garages, one of the most common problems that I see is the requirement for an incredibly long delay time. This delay time is needed to allow you to drive in, park your car, get out, get to the keypad and then disarm the alarm. As discussed in a previous post about delay times, you need your delay to be as short as possible…. A long delay time virtually eliminates the potential value that your alarm can offer.

I have been in many garages where the delay time is two minutes or more. Given that it will take a standard alarm up to 45 seconds to send an alarm signal, you could be giving a crook a very long head start. Two minutes may not sound like a lot, but just try timing yourself in your garage to see how much value you can grab and throw into a car in that time. Especially in a garage where the bicycles, hockey and golf gear is all stacked up and ready to go!

The solution is to connect your overhead door controller to your alarm system so that your alarm keyfob can be programmed to both turn
off your alarm AND open your garage door, with one button. The security advantage that this offers is that this allows you to completely eliminate any delay time for your alarm. Should your garage overhead door get opened any other way other than using your Provident keyfob, the alarm will sound and we will get an immediate signal to respond. A very short delay on the pedestrian door leading into the garage will allow you to get into the garage and use a keypad to disarm the garage.

As mentioned in a previous post about keyfobs, should you ever lose your Provident keyfob, we can remotely disable it so that it cannot be used.

A complete alarm installation in a garage will include at least one motion detector, contacts on any windows as well as overhead door contacts. The overhead door contacts will ensure that your alarm will trip the second the garage door opens, rather than waiting until a crook is inside to trip the motion detector.

One important decision that you will need to make is to decide whether your garage should be a part of your main home system, or separated as its own partition. A partition is a group of zones that are controlled at once… most homes are configured with just one partition so that when you arm or disarm at a keypad you are turning the security on or off for the entire house. By adding a second partition, you are creating a separate group of zones that can be armed or disarmed independently.

Incidentally, creating apartition is typically just a programming issue and can be done remotely from our office (as opposed to requiring a site visit for any wiring).

The main advantage of having your garage programmed as a separate partition is that we can program the alarm to automatically arm the garage only every time the overhead door closes. If the garage is on the same partition as your home, this integration is typically not a good idea because of the risk of auto-arming the alarm while people are still in the house. This will require you to separate the tasks of closing the door and arming the alarm.

On a side note about partitions, our recommendation is that any area of your home that has a different pattern of use, should be isolated to its own partition. Basement suites, garages and separate areas of very large homes should all be programmed as independent partitions.

Keep in mind that your goal is to five-minute proof your belongings. In your garage, that means keeping your bicycles and other valuables locked in the same way you would if you were leaving them outside.

Of course, the cheaper option would be to not keep anything of value in your garage.
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