Homeowners are starting to utilise their garages as an alternative vehicle for more living space. It’s a well known fact that in the UK especially, home extensions have long been red-taped headaches with strict local planning permissions taking huge amounts of time and money for potentially nothing. In this climate, many have started to transform garage spaces into gyms, offices, screening rooms and in some cases bedrooms.
This means that behind every UK garage door there is a trove full of valuables. Even though the majority of UK garages are not converted, lots of them still contain valuable tools, bikes and machinery all of which are very attractive to any thief. From an intruder’s perspective, the door of an adjoined garage is an easier route of access to a house as opposed to the more direct and risky points of entry like doors or windows.
Coming up to 2020 we are in a predicament when it comes to garage door security. The issue is that garage doors tend to sit quite far down the priority line for homeowners when it comes to home improvement. It’s very common for people to have the mindset that garage doors are for life and that they rarely need to be changed or upgraded.
Modern Rolling Code Garage Doors
Automated garage doors operate through using a rolling code – in simple terms, this is when the transmitter remote emits a frequency that is set uniquely by the receiver box which sits in the garage and controls the opening. Every time the remote is pressed, the receiver sends back another unique signal frequency which will be used to trigger the receiver when the remote is pressed next. In short this system “rolls” and prevents potential intruders from capturing and duplicating a static code in order to gain access to the garage.
Pre- Rolling Code Technology
Rolling code is a pretty secure system compared to previous technology such as fixed-code which was being used as recently as 25-30 years ago. This mode of door opening technology is very insecure as it relies on using a limited number of frequency signal combinations to open the door. There have been many instances where criminals have adapted children’s toys to the point where they can quickly cycle through thousands of code combinations and unlock a garage door in minutes.
Legacy Fixed Codes Systems Are Still Out There!
In the UK right now there are plenty of automated garage door systems that are still using unsecured fixed code technology. This is partly down to the fact that most owners don’t know about the difference between fixed and rolling code technology and assume that because their garage door is “doing the job” the day-to-day, it doesn’t require attention.
As a company that’s primarily focused on security this is very concerning. We have personally come across two cases whilst installing roller shutter garage doors in Southampton where clients had been using a fixed code system for years. One client had even created a woodworking shop in his garage which contained some very expensive bandsaws, sanders and carpentry tools all of which were at the mercy of a very unsafe automated door system.
How To Tell If You Have A Fixed Code System
When was the last time your automated garage door was replaced? Have you always used the same one since you lived at your property? It’s worth getting in contact with your local garage door company to arrange a health check. Trained specialists will be able to find this out by inspecting your transmitter and receiver box. We would strongly advise against trying to do this yourself because although there are probably many “how to” guides on the internet, receiver boxes are wired to the mains electricity and can cause fatal electric shocks if handled improperly.