Two Letters Re: Electric Garage Doors as a Point of Entry for Burglars and Home Invaders

Jim –
I read with interest Dave in Oregon’s letter. This happened to a friend and co-worker: He had parked his pickup truck on the street, locked. Thieves broke into his truck, accessed the garage via the opener he had above the visor in the truck. Thankfully, this was in the morning when all were home, and the thieves were scared off by family members, but not before they stole his truck.
I would also add that many electric openers have a rope attached as a release if the power fails. However with a larger overhead door, say a standard two-car garage, when the door is down, thieves can push the door in far enough at the top to slide a hand in, grasp the release, and open the door.
Needless to say, if our vehicles are left on the street, the opener goes with the driver, whether in a purse or pocket. And I removed the release rope years ago.
Regards, – Dave in Colorado

Regarding Dave in Oregon’s letter on Electric Garage Doors as a Point of Entry for Burglars and Home Invaders: Every electric garage door opener I have seen has a lock button on the control mounted in the garage.  Engage it (with some, you must press and hold it for three seconds) and it becomes impossible for someone to use a remote to open the garage.  There is a reason it says lock.  You can tell when the system is locked as a small light will begin to flash on the wall-mounted controller.  With most designs, you can still open and close the door using the main opener in the garage even with the system locked.
As for turning off the main breaker that powers the door opener:  I’d be real careful about doing that before finding out what other electrical items would be affected by shutting off the breaker–like a freezer full of food. – S.M.