When it comes to home security, we often spend our time worrying about the doors and windows of our homes but forget about the garage.
Garage doors are in most cases pretty weak and they can give thieves easy access to your home. They take very little effort and virtually no time to force open.
Even if the garage is not actually attached to the property, if there is items of value stored in there, follow our garage security tips below to keep any unwanted visitors out.
With a little common sense, some vigilance, and a few proactive security measures, you can protect your garage from break-ins.
Zip Tie the Emergency Latch
The emergency release is often a piece of cord with a red handle and can be used to open the door should you get trapped inside.
Thieves can use a coat hanger to reach the emergency release handle from the outside of the garage in order to gain entry. A simple zip tie can combat this but you should use with caution.
When connected to a loop in the emergency latch, a zip tie keeps thieves from disabling the automatic door and gaining entry.
Watch the video tutorial below:
As I mentioned, you should use this method with caution. If somebody was to get caught under the door and for some reason it doesn’t reverse properly, the emergency release can be used to disconnect the door from the operator, thus removing the operator from putting downward pressure on the door.
By using a zip tie you basically remove this safety feature from the door putting yourself and others at risk as the safety function may not work when it is needed.
If you have clear glass windows on the garage, it isn’t hard to see exactly what is in there before making the decision to break in.
You don’t need to completely replace any windows with frosted glass but you should consider using a frosted spray paint to increase the privacy, or install shades to prevent anyone from peeking inside.
Install an Alarm
Garage door alarms such as the SABRE alarm operate much like ordinary window locks. If somebody was to start messing with the garage door and the alarm senses motion, it will emit a loud alarm.
Motion Sensor Lighting
A good way to deter thieves and making sure anything they do is seen, you should consider motion sensor lighting.
There are lots of different ones available from basic motion detection to alerting you through an app when its light flicks on so shop around and find the best one for your needs.
Lock Your Doors
If you have to manually open and close your garage doors, it may be a pain to keep locking and unlocking them but be sensible and always keep them locked.
It’s also a good practice to keep your exterior garage service door and interior garage access door always locked.
I am sure you have seen it before when in the yard. Neighbor’s leaving their garage doors wide open with no sign of them for long periods of time. This is just an open invitation for anyone to enter the property.
Upgrade the Door Opener
The older your garage door opener is, the more vulnerable you are to a break-in. Certainly more than it would be with a modern automatic door opener model.
There are just too many tools and gadgets around that thieves can use to scan and figure out an older opener’s access code.
With the newer garage door openers, they use “rolling code” technology that generates a new code every time the remote button is pressed.
Install a Garage Defender
The idea of a door defender lock is simple: to prevent the garage door from being opened by blocking its swing. This means that, even if the locks are compromised, the door will not open.
When buying this type of lock look for features like a hardened steel lock body, pick and pry resistant lock and anti-corrosion coating. If you can, go for a model which is fitted with a padlock which would resist bolt cutters.
Keep the Opener in the Home
Many people leave the garage door opener in the car but you need to get into the habit of keeping it with you at all times.
Use a small key ring garage door opener, which allows yours to stay with you all day.
You need to install a strong deadbolt and door strike plate on the door that goes from your house into the garage that will prevent easy entry by kicking in the door.
Strong, reinforced locks and doors make it much more difficult for anyone to break in.
If you have a side door that leads into the garage from the outside, make sure it is equally secured with locks and a strike plate.
A garage door left open is an open invitation for others. There are times when we may just forget to close the door so instead of relying on memory, use a timer that signals your garage door opener to close the door after a set amount of time.
You decide how long you want it to be before the door closes. In most cases, timers are easily installed on the garage door track and the keypad that connects to the opening/closing control.
Other steps you can take to enhance your garage security include:
- Putting steel mesh on any windows
- Using a smartphone app to tell you whether you’ve left the garage door open
- Installing GPS trackers and etching serial numbers on expensive equipment
- Disabling vehicles to make them difficult to move
While the tips above may not turn your home into a fortress, it should certainly be enough to make any thief move on to an easier target.
Be sure that you make it a habit to regularly update any pictures and a detailed inventory of your valuables for your insurance company, including the date of purchase, brand, model, serial number and current replacement cost of each item, in the event of theft or damage.