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Garage Door Security 101: Twelve Ways To Secure Your Garage

We bolt the front door and install security cameras to feel safe. We check and double check our security features to ensure the safety of both our belongings and loved ones, and then we close the garage door on the way out. Safe! Right?

Wrong.

Unless they’re secured by extra measures, garage doors are the entrance easiest to hack, and what’s worse: some of your most valuable items might be stored in your garage making it an automatic first-stop for ten percent of burglars. 

To help you protect your home, in this article we’ll go through 12 garage security tips you can immediately use to improve the safety of your garage and home against burglary.

#1. Secure the Emergency Release

Burglars can access the garage by pulling the emergency release latch intended for emergency egress. It takes less than ten seconds to slip a hanger into the top of the garage door and locate the cord attached to the latch, and it leaves no trace of entry.

But you can solve this problem in one of several ways:

  • Shorten the cord: Burglars can only take advantage of this emergency feature if it’s long enough to slip through the garage door, but cutting the cord to a shorter length is a free and quick way to mitigate this danger.
  • Secure the cord with PVC: There’s another way to secure your garage door’s emergency cord without sacrificing the length of the rope. Home improvement stores offer custom-cut pieces of PVC tubing. Obtain a piece slightly shorter than your rope, but thick and rigid enough that it can’t be pulled through the top of your garage door, and secure it around your rope. Then the PVC prevents the cord from slipping through the door.
  • Secure the release latch with a zip-tie: More sophisticated intruders can circumvent these hacks by slipping a wire into the crack above your garage door and pulling down on the latch itself (which the cord pulls to activate the emergency release feature). To secure this latch, you can slip a zip-tie through the hole in the latch and the hole in the garage door track above and secure tightly. This prevents a cord from slipping above the latch and pulling it down. 

(Please be mindful that if your garage is an emergency egress, this hack could pose a threat as it could make escape difficult – or even impossible – for those who lack the strength to break the zip-tie.)

  • Purchase a shield lock: If you aren’t the DIY type, there’s a product you can purchase that’s designed to block the crack between the garage door and the home. A garage door shield lock is easily installed and provides a literal shield between a burglar and the emergency release cord on your garage door.

#2. Add Motion Sensor Lights

Something as simple as adding motion-activated lights to the home can deter many burglars. They know you can’t see them in the dark, so lights that turn on when motion is detected deter many intruders.

#3. Update Your Security Cameras

Security cameras are invaluable. Here are some features to consider:

  • Motion-activated recording: This feature enables you to provide a video feed of the incident to both insurance companies and law enforcement.
  • Visibility: Most intruders are looking for an easy steal. They’re easily deterred by home security systems, so installing security cameras that are clearly visible from the ground can send an intruder hiking onto the next victim.
  • Wifi or mobile access: Consider purchasing a security camera system that allows you to monitor your home remotely.

#4. Invest in Smart Garage Door Opener

Smart technology has come a long way – for every feature of the home, including garage door openers. Consider purchasing a garage door opener with remote access and SMS notifications so you know each time the garage door has opened.

#5. Secure Garage Door Windows 

If your garage door has windows, you might want to consider securing those, too.

  • Privacy: Some of your most valuable possessions are stored in your garage. Hello, power tools! If you have clear windows into your garage, these visible temptations can be too much for some criminals to resist. Consider tinted or frosted garage door windows for privacy.
  • Security: Windows are easy to break on a garage door. You might consider garage door windows with panes as an extra way of securing garage doors from burglary.

#6. Invest in a stronger garage door

Another consideration in securing your garage door is its fabrication. While a stronger material might not keep an intruder out, it will prevent damage to the door in case of an attempted break-in. While a wood garage door might have that beautiful stained look, a range of other materials are available that provide more strength. Here are some materials to consider:

  • Steel
  • Aluminum
  • Fiberglass
  • Vinyl

These range in strength respectively. 

#7. Secure Your Garage Home Entrance

As many security measures as you can take on your garage door, don’t forget your home entry. Here are some helpful suggestions:

  • Portable door jammer: When you’re gone for long periods of time you’re extra vulnerable to an intruder who’s noticed your prolonged absence. This barricaded measure can only be disabled from the inside and makes your garage door impenetrable.
  • Door alarm: If your other fail-safes do fail, an alarm will alert you, your neighbors, and the authorities.
  • Door wedge: Since most intruders are lazy, any small step you take to make accessing your home as annoying as possible helps. Try sliding a door wedge under the inside bottom of the door to prevent it from opening.

#8. Install Garage Door Alarm or Security Sensor

Just like your doors and windows, make sure your garage door is hooked up to your home security system. It shouldn’t be an exception. If you don’t have a home security system, sensors are available that can alert you if the door has been opened.

#9. Buy a Garage Door Timer

When thinking about securing your garage door, don’t forget about the potential for human error. You can install every security measure, but the one time you forget to close your garage door you’re leaving yourself open to home invasion. Luckily there’s a fail-safe. Purchasing a garage door timer ensures that if you forget to close your garage door an automated system handles it for you.

#10. Use Door Reinforcement 

Installing a door reinforcement system increases the longevity of your garage door, and installing both horizontal and vertical reinforcement prevents damage during an attempted home invasion. 

#11. Keypad Safety Tips 

Unless you’re careful, an intruder can use one of several common techniques to hack your keypad code. Here are some tips to keep your garage door keypad secure:

  • Keep the keypad clean: Keep your keypad clean to prevent wear from showing on your most-used keypad numbers, hinting at your entry code. 
  • Change your code often: The more often you change your code, the less likely any unwanted parties will gain access to the code.
  • Create guest codes: Most keypads allow you to create a temporary code for a guest who needs entry, so utilize this feature to avoid handing out your personal code.

#12 Use Garage Door Locks

When leaving home for longer periods of time, garage door sliding locks can prove invaluable. You can use these to manually barricade entry (and it’s best to install one on each side) from the inside. You can also purchase a keyed lock and have it installed on the exterior of the garage door.

FAQ:

How to make a garage door more secure?

First, secure your emergency release cord against theft hacks. Second, amp up your garage security system with motion sensor lights, security cameras with recording footage, smart garage door opener. Lastly, install a garage door timer to close your door on autopilot and secure the garage home entry door.

How to lock the garage door from outside?

Garage door keyed locks can be purchased and installed for extra security during prolonged absences.

How to secure the garage door from inside?

Install a sliding bar lock on the interior of the door. Place a lock on the track so it can’t move. Secure the emergency release cord.

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