Two ways your garage door makes you vulnerable to burglaries

Garage Door Opener

Burglar garage door tactic #1: Thieves are often breaking into cars not to steal the car, but to steal the garage door opener. If thieves spot a garage door opener in your parked vehicle, they steal it, harvest your home address from the car registration or other identifying material in your glove compartment, and break into your garage while you are still out and about. And unless your garage is a free-standing unit, getting into the garage will offer easy access to your entire house.

The solution is simple – keep garage door opener on your key chain so you can take it with you in your purse or pocket when you exit the car.

Burglar garage door tactic #2: Most people feel pretty safe if they have their garage door closed, but in just a matter of seconds, experienced thieves can break in to your garage with a simple wire hanger by hooking the release valve. This short video shows how – it;s pretty scary — and the clip also offers a solution to deter this by using a cable tie.

You should test breaking the cable tie from the inside to be sure that the door could still be used as an emergency exit. Here are two alternate products that can help to secure your garage from Garage Shield.

Your garage is an entry point to your entire home – and as the article above notes, if burglars get in your garage and close the door, they have good cover for wreaking havoc. All too often, the door between the garage and the home is unlocked or insufficiently secure. Here are some ideas to increase your defenses: Top 10 Garage Door Security Tips to Prevent Break-Ins.

‘Tis the season

Portrait of Santa Claus carrying huge red sack with presents


It’s Friday afternoon in the middle of the holiday season, a perfect time to offer a seasonal serenade – a medley of songs and carols for your amusement!

If you’ll be shopping on or offline this weekend, be sure to check out our post from last year on seasonal fraud: Scam-apalooza! Don’t let fraud ruin your holiday

10 most and 10 least reliable cars

new car for Christmas

If you are asking Santa to bring you a new car this year, you probably have a particular style, a color and certain features in mind. But before you put your final request in that North Pole letter, we’d suggest that you take a look at the Consumer Reports’ list of 10 Most Reliable Cars from their recent Annual Auto Reliability Survey. They also name this year’s picks for the 10 Least Reliable Cars.

In their survey, Consumer Reports gathers data on 300 models and a half million vehicles. This is what they look for:

“Our survey takes a deep dive into the numerous things that can go wrong with a vehicle. We study 17 trouble areas, from nuisances—such as squeaky brakes and broken interior trim—to major bummers, like out-of-warranty transmission repairs or trouble with four-wheel-drive systems. We weight the severity of each type of problem to create a Predicted Reliability Score for each vehicle. That score is then combined with data collected from our track testing, as well as our owner-satisfaction survey results and safety data, to calculate each test vehicle’s Overall Score.”

Of course, if you are car shopping, we’d also recommend that you factor safety ratings in your purchase decision. For safety. we recommend the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety / Highway Loss Data Institute ratings. They test a vehicle’s crashworthiness — “how well a vehicle protects its occupants in a crash. It also rates vehicles for front crash prevention, systems that warn the driver or brake automatically to avoid or mitigate a frontal collision.”  You can check out their Top Safety Picks by year from 2006 through to 2017.

See more results of the CR Reliability Survey, along with some general trends. They also offer a great Guide to Car Reliability with more useful information, such as reliability by car type, used car reliability and owner satisfaction. Some of the information is freely available but some requires a subscription – and if you don’t want to subscribe for a full year, they also offer a month by month option, which could be handy if you are researching a car, home electronics, or any other pricey purchases this season.