A garage door is one of the most vulnerable points in your home. It’s often left unsecured and can be opened with a simple push, leaving your valuables exposed to unwanted visitors. But there are ways to make it more secure!
There are a lot of things to consider when it comes to garage doors. First, of course, we want them to look beautiful, seeing as a garage door is an essential part of any home’s curb appeal.
We also want them to work correctly. What could be worse than coming home in the rain with a trunk full of groceries, only to find your garage door won’t open?
If we have children or pets, we want to feel confident that our door’s safety features are up to par, as a malfunctioning garage door can cause significant injury. Garage Storage Solutions features an innovative wall system with heavy-duty sliding wall components such as hooks, garage shelving and stylish, durable steel cabinets designed to hold your gear securely and neatly in place.
Start With A Home Security System
As burglars have become more sophisticated, so too have home security systems. But you’d be surprised how often the garage door is left off of a security system installation.
If your garage door has not been included in your security system, now is the time to change that. If you currently don’t have a security system, don’t skimp on features when selecting one.
Newer security systems have pretty exciting connectivity features. Now you can control them with your smartphone. You can even check in on your garage door while you’re away on vacation.
Finally, you can integrate your security system into your garage door lift mechanism, giving you great control over how you activate your lift.
With a simple tap on your phone, you can raise your garage door or, perhaps, more importantly, close it if you realise it’s accidentally open!
While you’re at it, you also want to make sure to include the interior garage door — the one that connects your garage to the rest of your home — in your security protocols as well.
While it’s tragic to have someone break into your garage, you can put another layer of defence between a burglar and your family if you secure the interior door.
True, you may suffer property loss if someone breaks into your garage, but no one will likely be sleeping in there. It’s essential to protect your property, but your family is priceless.
Be Mindful Of Garage Windows
People are taking the interior and exterior designs of their garages more seriously these days. Gone are the dusty, windowless, utilitarian garages of yesteryear.
However, there’s a downside to having rays of natural light entering your garage. All of those windows give would-be burglars a glimpse into what you have stored in your garage.
If you do have exterior windows in your garage, consider adding blinds. These can easily be opened if you’re working in your garage and then closed when you want to hide your belongings from prying eyes.
Don’t forget about any windows included in your garage door. While blinds may not be possible for these mostly decorative window panels, you can add treatments that make them opaque.
That way, you can keep the attractiveness of this design element while making it impossible for burglars to get a peek at your personal belongings.
Use Motion Detector Lights — Both Inside And Outside Of Your Garage
It’s common practice to mount a motion detector light on the outside of your garage door. That way, if anyone approaches your garage door, they will be bathed in light, both startling them and making it hard for them to break in undetected.
However, you should also install motion detector lights inside your garage. These offer several benefits.
By having a light that constantly turns on when someone enters your garage, you’ll be making the garage safer for your family.
With so many potential hazards often stored in a garage, this is a great way to ensure that a child or other family member doesn’t suffer an accidental injury.
That being said, considering how standard exterior motion detector lights are, many burglars are prepared and have come to expect them.
However, if they do breach your garage door, another motion detector light within your garage is likely to be more effective. It will give the appearance that the burglar has been detected.
Treat Your Interior Garage Door Like An Exterior Door
We already mentioned that you should include your interior garage door in your more extensive electronic security system.
But it would help if you didn’t stop there. When you’re making sure your garage is secure; you want to take the same care with this door as you would your front door.
To start, make sure this door is a heavy exterior door. Not only will this improve insulation, but these doors are also much harder to kick in or break down.
You then want to make sure these doors have the same type of heavy-duty deadbolt mechanism you have installed on your front door.
And while it’s a mild inconvenience when you’re entering your home from your car, be sure to lock that door with the same consistency as you do your front door.
Finally, make sure the interior door has a wide-angle peephole. If someone does breach your garage door, but your interior door is well-secured, you may find yourself with the opportunity to investigate the commotion in your garage.
You want to have a view of what’s happening without risking contact with a scared burglar. That way, you can be sure you’re the victim of a garage break-in and not a wild-animal intruder before you call 911!
Install A Modern Garage Door Lift Mechanism
While early remote-controlled lift mechanisms were convenient, they had significant security flaws.
Remotes could be easily hacked, allowing burglars with a universal remote to open a garage door without ever touching it.
To address this issue, garage door lift manufacturers have created rolling code technology. Every time you use your remote, the remote and the lift make a brand-new security code.
Imagine changing your email password every time you used it. While that would be quite the headache for you, that’s essentially what these new lift remotes are doing.
This is crucial garage security technology, and you should sincerely consider upgrading your garage door lift mechanism to include this feature if your current lift doesn’t have it.
Don’t Leave Your Garage Door Remote In Your Car.
While rolling code technology is a great way to ensure your home isn’t vulnerable to universal or hacked remotes, none of that will matter if your garage door remote is stolen.
Consider this hypothetical situation. You’re shopping at the grocery store, and you forget to lock your car door. A sophisticated burglar notices the garage remote on your sun visor.
When you get home and notice your remote is missing, you have too many other things on your plate, so you resolve to call for a replacement later in the week.
Unbeknown to you, as you wait to get a new remote, someone can use it to gain access to your garage without ever picking up a crowbar.
While it may be inconvenient, you must never leave a remote in your car. Some newer vehicles come with a garage door opener button installed near the rear-view mirror.
These cannot be stolen and thus are a great feature. If you don’t have that type of feature in your car, you can also opt for a keychain remote rather than the more old-fashioned visor remote.
That way, any time you go into your home or a store, you’ll take your garage remote with you!
Put In A Garage Door Security Timer
These security features help ensure that your garage door is always closed and secure, even if you’re a little absent-minded.
Door timers automatically close your garage door if it’s left open for an established length of time.
That way, if you do drive off for a long weekend and forget to close your garage door, you don’t have to worry about your home being open and exposed all weekend long!
Secure Your Emergency Release
Your garage door lift motor comes with an important feature: the emergency release. This dangling pull-cord, which often features a red handle, allows you to disengage the engine from the garage door.
This is essential if you ever lose power and need to lift your garage door by hand. Unfortunately, however, this release has also become a security vulnerability.
There are a couple of ways to address this vulnerability. First, newer garage door openers often place the release at such an angle that it’s nearly impossible for a burglar to pull it using a wire hook.
However, if you don’t want to invest in a new door opener, you can also solve the problem with a more DIY security solution.
Lock The Manual Garage Door Lock When You’re Away
While locking the manual garage door lock (usually a handle in the centre-lower portion of the door) all the time defeats the purpose of an automatic garage door, you must activate this security feature if you’re ever going away for an extended period.
If you are planning a vacation, make sure to locate the key to this lock. Because so many homeowners only use this particular lock sparingly, it’s not uncommon for people to lose it.
If you do find that you need to have a new key made or you need to have the lock changed, you want to make sure you have time to do so and are not scrambling the morning you’re supposed to fly to the beach!
You will rest easier knowing that your garage door is secure while you’re away on vacation.
Stay Up-to-date With Maintenance
A poorly maintained garage door is more easily breached. Things like rusting bolts and hinges make it easier for a burglar to physically break through a door’s defences.
Furthermore, regular maintenance will allow you to implement the latest garage door security features, keeping your door even safer.
Finally, keeping up with regular maintenance is a great way to extend the life of your garage door. Not only does it improve security, but it also increases the overall value of your door.
Invest In A High-quality Garage Door
If you want your garage door to be secure, you want to invest in a door that’s made with high-quality materials.
A cheap door made out of low-grade aluminium will be easier to break into manually. However, if your door is made with high-quality wood or metal, it will be much more difficult to pry open.
This investment will also add value to your home that extends far beyond security.
Higher-quality doors wear much more gracefully, meaning your investment will last longer and not require costly repairs.
A higher-quality door will also go much further in increasing your home’s curb appeal.
Easy Ways To Increase Your Garage Door Security
Obscure The Garage Interior By Frosting The Windows.
Windows liven up the look of a garage door and let in natural light. Unfortunately, potential thieves are apt to peer in the windows, scoping for expensive tools and to see if all the cars are gone—a good sign that nobody’s home, which may prompt a break-in.
Adding a layer of frosted film, such as Window Whirl’s Privacy Film, to the windows will keep crooks from seeing what’s inside while still allowing light to filter through.
Monitor Activity With A Smart Garage Door Opener Or Other Device.
Openers add a measure of garage door security because they lock the door when it’s in the down position.
But a determined burglar may still be able to force the door open—or hack the code. With a smart opener, such as the Chamberlain Smartphone-Controlled Garage Door Opener, you can monitor the status of your garage door and receive an alert on your smartphone if someone opens it, which allows you to notify law enforcement immediately.
You needn’t have an opener to keep tabs on what’s going on at your garage door. With a Wi-Fi-connected monitor, you can receive alerts on your smartphone when the door is opened or closed, even without a garage door opener.
The device attaches to the garage door frame and syncs with your smartphone via its app to let you know when someone opens the door.
Don’t Leave Your Garage Door Opener Remote In Your Car.
While it’s convenient to clip a remote to your car’s sun visor or toss it into the glovebox, those are the first places a burglar will look.
Make a habit of keeping the remote in your purse or coat pocket, or carry it into the house and stow it with your car keys.
Install Motion-detecting Flood Lights To Increase Garage Door Security.
Many thieves operate under cover of darkness, so a sudden burst of light is often enough to deter them.
Solar-powered floodlights are the most accessible type to install because no electrical wiring is necessary.
The best motion sensor lights have a wide-ranging detection base; the BNT Motion Sensor Floodlights can detect movement up to 26 feet away, directing a bright beacon to send robbers running.
Consider A Garage Door Lock.
If your garage door opens manually via a handle, consider installing a locking handle. You can also deter burglars by putting a lock on the inside of the garage door.
It attaches to the inside of the door and the frame, and the locking bar must be manually slid into place from inside the garage.
Lock it behind you before entering your house to prevent anyone from opening the garage door until you unlock it. Garage Storage Solutions features an innovative wall storage system with heavy-duty sliding wall components such as hooks, garage shelving and stylish, durable steel cabinets designed to hold your gear securely and neatly in place.
Lock The Door Between Your Garage And Your House.
Many homes have attached garages that make it handy to get in and out of the house without having to walk through inclement weather, but that connecting door is a significant security risk if you fail to lock it.
Once a burglar gains access to your garage, he can walk right into your home. Always keep the connecting door locked, and for greater garage door security, install a steel security door with a deadbolt in this spot.
Reduce Garage Break-in Risk With Security Cameras.
Security cameras are a huge deterrent to would-be burglars who know the cameras are recording their facial features, clothing, and other physical attributes.
A motion-activated camera starts recording as soon as a car pulls into the driveway or someone approaches on foot—even at night.
How To Prevent Garage Break-ins
Shed Some Light
Burglars like the cover of night and many of them rely on the dark shadows around your garage to hide their shady attempts to get into your home.
Installing motion-activated floodlights near the garage windows and doors will make burglars think twice about attempting a nighttime break-in.
Motion-sensing lights are beneficial for keeping detached garages out of the shadows.
Check Your Landscaping
More brazen burglars don’t mind creeping around your home in broad daylight, but they’ll still take advantage of the cover provided by a well-placed tree or bush near your garage door or window.
Make sure neighbours and passersby can see everything going on near your garage by clearing away large trees and shrubs and keeping entry points visible from the street.
Planting small thorny shrubs under ground-floor garage windows can discourage burglars from breaking in that way.
Close The Door
We know this seems like a no-brainer, but drive through any residential neighbourhood, and you’re likely to see a few wide-open garage doors with no residents insight. An open overhead garage door is an open invitation to burglars.
One homeowner’s association made a rule that homeowners had to keep their roll-up garage doors closed, and burglaries in the area decreased by 50%.1.
If you’re guilty of leaving your garage door open, consider installing a garage door sensor or an automatic garage door closer.
A sensor can tell you if your overhead door is open or closed, and closer will automatically close the garage after a certain amount of time.
For even more protection, consider installing an automatic garage door lock to deadbolt your garage door every time you close it automatically.
Hide Your Stuff
Not all thieves go in blind for their steal. Instead, most scan your home for clues that they’ll hit a payday.
An uncovered window showing all your high-value garage goodies can be just the motivation a burglar needs to settle on your house for their next score.
Interior curtains or blinds work well, but consider using an adhesive window covering material if you want to let light in (and not have to worry about remembering to close the blinds).
Rethink Your Remote
Don’t keep your automatic garage door openers clipped to the visors in your cars. Thieves know that a garage door opener remote is basically like another key into your home, and they won’t hesitate to use it if they find it.
Consider treating your garage door opener more like a key by replacing it with a keychain remote that you can keep with you at all times.
Another option is to get an intelligent garage door opener to open and close your garage door from anywhere via your smartphone.
If you’re worried about yourself or another family member getting locked out of the house, try one of our favourite security tips: leave an extra key with a trusted neighbour. Even if your chosen friend doesn’t live very close, it’s better to have an emergency key there than nowhere at all.
Shield Your Lock
Thanks to YouTube, we now know how easy it is for a thief with a coat hanger to open your garage door in under a minute. Some security tips recommend using a zip tie or cutting your emergency release cord to eliminate the threat, but that dramatically reduces your garage door safety.
Fortunately, there’s a better solution. A Garage Shield covers your garage door’s emergency release cord, making it impossible for a thief to use it to break in.
It’s inexpensive and easy to install, but it increases your garage door security while still keeping the release cord accessible in case of emergencies.
Protect Your Service Door
Burglars love an excellent side door where they can do their breaking and enter away from the prying eyes of neighbours. Most exterior garage service doors with standard locks can be defeated with a solid, well-placed kick, but a few simple changes can keep a burglar out.
Toughen up your exterior door security with a deadbolt, and remember that your door’s weakest point is the strike plate, where the lock meets the entry. So replace the strike plate with a reinforced one, and use a minimum of 3-inch screws to secure it.
When you’re shopping around for locks, consider a single-sided deadbolt. These locks have either a thumb turn or keyhole on the inside and a solid plate on the outside so they can’t be picked.
Secure Your Home Entry Door
As you’re beefing up your garage security, don’t forget about the door that leads from your attached garage into your home.
Losing power tools and sporting equipment is terrible enough, but once a burglar gets access to the rest of your house, you run even more significant risks.
First and foremost, always remember to lock this entry door. A fancy deadbolt or sensor won’t help much if your door isn’t locked, to begin with.
We recommend reinforcing the door’s strike plate and hanging a solid core door with a deadbolt to secure this door further. Your garage entry door is also the perfect spot for either a standalone door sensor or one connected to a top home security system.
If you want to make your garage door more secure, start with a home security system. These are easy ways that can increase the security of your garage door and prevent break-ins altogether. Follow these tips for peace of mind today! Are you getting frustrated by your clutter and garage organisation? Here at Garage Storage Solutions, we offer extensive professional organising and declutter service.