How to secure your garage against thieves
If a thief really wants my bike, he’ll get it won’t he?
Any form of theft deterrent is a big step towards keeping hold of your bike, especially when it’s locked in a garage. Yes, it’s true to say out of sight is out of mind... especially if it’s at night – you can’t see it and, chances are, you may not be able to hear a triggered bike alarm because you’re unconscious after being on the lash all night. Which is a bummer because night time, when it’s dark, is when a bike is most likely to be stolen.
But what about the expense?
What expense? Thirty quid for a tough ground anchor isn’t dear. Nor is £60 for a similarly tough chain (1.5 metre length) and padlock. Now fortify the front garage door with an approved door defender system (£65) and the side door with a motion triggered alarm (£40) and Securicor would be proud of your labours. The total cost will probably be a lot less than the loading on next year’s insurance premium if you have to make a claim for theft.
What tools do I need for the job?
A heavy-duty hammer drill is a must is you intend to make a dent in your garage’s concrete floor. Ideally, use a percussion SDS drill as they have a stronger method of holding the drill bit and they’re considerably more powerful so as to drill through even the toughest concrete. They can be hired from tool hire shops complete with drill bits from as little as £25 a day - well worth the cash. Use a large hammer to wallop the ground anchor’s fasteners into the drilled holes, and Allen keys (8-12mm) or combination spanners to tighten those fasteners. A hand-held drill and ordinary flat-bladed screwdriver is all you need to mount the motion sensor.
1. The idea of this lock is simple: to prevent the garage door from being opened by blocking its swing. When buying this type of lock look for features like a hardened steel lock body, pick and pry resistant lock and anti-corrosion coating.
2. Ideally the door lock should be positioned in the middle of the door – with two locks at either side of the garage door to prevent the corners from being prised up. Before buying, check the floor surface leading to the door isn’t tarmac or block paving as the fixing anchors won’t be suitable – alternative lock bases are available.
3. Once you’ve got the right door lock for the job line it up so, with the door lock removed, the garage door opens cleanly – it doesn’t hit the lock’s retaining stay. Hold the lock’s floor plate in place with a booted foot to use it as a template. Drill marker holes with a small drill piece, followed by the correct size.
4. Blow any dust from the holes (use a piece of hose pipe) to ensure the holes are deep enough and knock in the supplied fixing anchor bodies. Replace the base plate and screw down the anchor bolts. Close the door, attach the lock and retire to bed for a peaceful night’s sleep.
5. A ground anchor is a device made from hardened, attack-proof steel and is fixed to the garage floor by special bolts which screw solidly into concrete, or placed in a hole and concreted in. The ground anchor provides an immovable lump to which you can attach your bike with a heavy duty lock and chain.
6. Careful positioning of the ground anchor is important. Placed in the middle of a garage means it’s open to attack from all angles by disc cutter, large crowbar, hammer etc. Placed in a corner of the garage means the bike is effectively hiding and protecting the anchor. Again drill marker holes before drilling the main anchor fixing holes.
7. This top of the range ground anchor has concrete fixings that fit within the anchor and are protected by a wall of hardened steel. They also come with anti-tamper bearings. With the anchor screwed to the floor these bearings are then hammered into the Allen key key-ways, so an Allen key will never ever fit again.
8. Thread the approved locking chain through the ground anchor. Push your bike against the wall on full lock with the steering lock applied, and thread the chain through the bike’s front wheel. Attach the padlock, lock it and spin the chain so the lock’s out of sight. Never store keys near your front door or anywhere visible from outside your house.
9. A motion sensor works by detecting the movements of undesirables... and cats and dogs, so don’t go and leave them in the garage. If it picks up movement an inbuilt siren will blast out 130 decibels of brain and ear numbing noise. While the sensor (pictured) and its remote activating key run on batteries, some are 240v mains powered.
10. With the main garage door protected by the approved lock, the only other way in to the garage is by the side door. Even though it may be locked with a massive padlock, if the door’s made of wood it will give in easily to attack. A motion sensor inside the garage is, therefore a must. But don’t mount it…
11. …In the most accessible spot. Attach it to a piece of wire and hang it in different areas to find the best location – the higher and further away from the door the better. This way if a thief manages to get in it’ll take longer for him to mount an attack on the sensor. Check nothing blocks its detecting beam, like toolboxes, old paint tins etc.
12. Check it works by activating the alarm, leaving the garage and then walking back in. Did it sense you straight away, or did you get halfway into the garage before the alarm sounded? If so, reposition the sensor until it’s right. Only then mount it permanently.
* Thanks to PJB Security Products (0117-965-9240 or www.pjbsecurity.co.uk)