Garages are a great addition to any home, but what are the risks involved with owning one?
Authorities in Austin, TX, are currently urging residents to make extra efforts to secure their garages after a string of break-ins. Thieves actually stole and used garage door openers to gain entrance, reports KVUE NBC.
Over the span of a few weeks, there were over a dozen reported break-ins just in the Wells Branch Neighborhood in North Austin.
One of the victims, homeowner Michelle Quintanilla, was sleeping when the culprits broke into her garage and caused damage to her car while attempting to get inside.
“They tried to hit it a couple of times, I don’t know if they were trying to break into it to hit it,” said Quintanilla, pointing out several large scratches on the window of her car.
Fortunately, around 2:00 a.m. a neighbor heard noises coming from the garage. Once they turned on their lights, the thieves fled the scene, leaving behind their flashlight.
However, the culprits were still able to break-into Quintanilla’s husband’s car with enough time to steal a gym bag full of exercise equipment. The Travis Country Sheriff’s office has increased the number of officers paroling the area.
Fortunately for homeowners, some new technologies are hitting the market that may be able to offer more garage security.
According to Geekdad.com, technology company Belkin has introduced a new feature to their WeMo smart home system that will give homeowners the ability to operate and track their garage doors from their phones.
Remote controls are already one of the biggest problems functionally speaking for garages. A solution might be as easy as replacing the batteries and checking the terminals, but some may have to go as far as reprogramming the remote. Belkin’s WeMo may be about to remove all of that from the equation.
With the press of a button, a garage door can be opened and closed from any location with access to wireless data, even if WiFi is unavailable.
As an extra bonus, magnetic sensors can be installed on the door that can even send text messages or emails to smartphones, alerting the owner whether their garage door is open or closed, thus offering 24/7 security.
The WeMo service costs $80 as compared to the average of $20 for standard garage remotes.