Garage Door Security – Top 8 Tips to Make Your Garage Safer
Garage Door Security
While we typically recommend a professionally monitored home security system, we are often asked… Is it really necessary to cover the garage with a security system? If I don’t have a security system…what can I do to fortify the garage on a budget?
Your situation and budget will likely determine the answer to that. But, in addition to our vehicles, many of us house expensive bikes, sporting equipment, tools, snowblowers, generators, and lawn maintenance tools as well.
Moreover, a dark, unprotected garage can serve as a hiding spot for an intruder.
And finally, the garage can be a dangerous source of fires. The garage is a common storage area for flammables such as gasoline, propane tanks, and paint thinners. Given some of the risks, if the budget allows, it may make sense to invest in some additional protection.
While a monitored home security may be the ideal solution, there are a number of steps you can take to enhance garage door security that don’t require it.
Some people feel that the automatic garage door opener affords sufficient protection…but, after viewing the following YouTube video you may want to consider taking additional precautions.
Do I Need to Take Steps to Enhance Gage Door Security?
“But, I already have automatic overhead doors with no windows…and they can only be opened with my remote. I’m all set.” ….or are you?
This popular YouTube video shows how easy it is to gain access to your garage, in a matter of seconds. The following video shows how anyone how the subject opens the door using a coat hanger.
Overhead Garage Door Security Vulnerability – 6 seconds and in…
Another popular tactic used by teams of burglars is to slowly back up and gently “bump” the garage door with the tailgate of a pickup truck so it bows the door open enough for an accomplice to reach in and unlatch the emergency release. No broken glass…kicked in doors- silent and effective.
That’s right, thieves can actually use the emergency door release to gain access right through your overhead garage door.
Now they have access, undercover, to the contents of your garage….or, worse – easy access to gain entry into your home if it is an attached garage.
A Simple Tip to Fortify Garage Door Security
One cost-effective measure that is available to thwart bold intruders from brazen entry attempts such as this tool from Garage Shield.
It is a simple solution that prevents access to the overhead garage door emergency release.
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.
Types Of Garage Doors
When it comes to garage security, securing the garage doors is the first step. Of course, garage door security devices will depend on the type of garage door in your situation.
- Sectional Garage Doors (or Roller Garage Doors) are very common. They are best protected by a keyless automatic door lock (wireless overhead garage door openers) with a sliding deadbolt lock as a backup.
- Up and Over Garage Doors used to be fairly easy to defeat by manipulating the release lever. These have improved over the years and can be secured with defender-type locks for extra protection.
- Entry Garage Doors can be effectively secured with a reliable deadbolt.
Overhead garage door security is a subject which we will soon be exploring in greater detail with an in-depth comparison of the top smart-home overhead garage door openers.
For those with existing “dumb” garage door openers, check out the Chamberlain MyQ Hube we have described below. This is one of the most cost-effective ways to enhance garage door security without breaking the bank!
Lighting – Where Garage Security Begins
Potential intruders operate best under the cover of darkness.
Using motion activated lights to properly illuminate areas around the walkways, overhead doors and any other garage door entries, will deter thieves.
Additionally, this will make it much safer for your family and visitors at night time.
This top-selling motion-activated floodlight is an example of a cost-effective lighting solution that will illuminate your driveway and discourage potential intruders from targeting your home.
- Wattage: 45W
- Lumens: 4500LM(whole light fixture)
- Color Temperature: 5000K
- Sensing Angle: 180°
- Detection Distance: 0-72feet (stepless adjustable)
- Lighting Time: 0-10mins (stepless adjustable)
- Certification: FCC & ETL Listed
- Voltage: AC 120V (110V-130V)
- Material: Durable aluminum(except motion sensor head)
- IP65 Waterproof
It’s not just about Garage Door Security…
Take a Closer Look at Your Landscaping
Prospective intruders like to operate in areas that are hidden from your neighbors’ view.
Do you have overgrown shrubbery where one might be concealed while attempting to gain entry through a window?
Well, now is the time to trim those hedges and eliminate these potentially vulnerable areas.
You can make it even more difficult by planting thorny or prickly bushes or shrubs where intruders might attempt to gain entry.
Close the Garage Doors
This may sound like a no-brainer, but we are all probably guilty of leaving the overhead garage doors wide open as we drive away or retire for the evening. And don’t forget to secure the garage entry doors as well.
If this sounds like you, you may want to consider taking advantage of some technology that lets you know whether, the garage doors are open or closed right on your mobile phone.
The MyQ Smart Hub works with most garage doors produced after 1993. It can even be programmed to close the doors automatically at night.
About the Chamberlain MyQ Smart Overhead Garage Door Control
- “Did I shut the garage?” No more worrying!
- Open or close your garage from anywhere. Simply download the free myQ app.
- Give access to family or friends while on the go
- Never worry if the garage is closed at night by setting a close schedule
- Receive real-time notifications to any garage door activity for added peace of mind
- Conveniently get your Amazon packages delivered inside your garage with Key by Amazon In-Garage Delivery. It’s FREE for Prime members!
- Compatible with all major branded openers manufactured after 1993 with safety sensors. Control a second door with an additional sensor (sold separately)
Conceal the Contents
When it comes to garage security, it is best not to advertise that you keep a classic ’68 Corvette, your high-end Snap-On tools, Kubota lawn tractor, sporting goods, and a portable generator tucked away in your garage.
This can be an invitation for would-be criminals to target your home.
Burglaries are not typically random, spur-of-the-moment events. Thieves will typically scan neighborhoods looking for easy targets with big payoffs.
Open garage doors and uncovered windows can reveal the treasure trove that may be tucked away in the garage.
And if there are no cars, it also lets them know that no one is likely home.
So, make the burglar’s job as difficult as possible. You could install window blinds or curtains specifically meant for use in the garage. Or, you could put a translucent film over the garage windows. It might make sense to opt for an adhesive window covering material like this Artscape Etched Glass Window Film
Wireless Garage Door Security
Rethink the Remote
Don’t leave your garage door opener clipped to the car’s visor or in the glove compartment.
If the car is stolen or broken into, the thief will have your address on the registration. If it’s in the car, they will also have your garage door opener remote. If you have an attached garage, this is basically like another key into your home.
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.
- Universal Wireless Programming: Universal wireless programming means easy setup with no cutting into garage wiring or installation of an unsightly receiver.
- Two Button Universal
- Easily attaches to backpack, car keys, or dog leash.
- Offers enhanced control of up to two different garage door openers.
- Works with over 90% of all garage door openers.
Garage Safety – Preventing Fires
Break-ins aren’t the only concern when it comes to protecting your home, garage, and loved ones. The garage can quickly become a tinder box that can spread quickly to your home.
According to FEMA, every year, there are 6,600 garage fires in homes that result in an average of:
$457 million in property loss.
Properly Store Flammable Items
While not always practical, most experts recommend storing all flammable liquids in a shed completely separate from the house and attached garage. This includes products like gasoline, oil, paint, paint thinner, and varnish.
At the very least, be certain that these kinds of highly flammable products are stored in tightly closed, approved containers, and keep them as far away as possible from appliances and workshop areas where a spark could ignite them. In addition, it is important that recyclable paper and cardboard, rags and cleaning supplies, and boxes of stored belongings are not next to appliances, tools, or batteries where heat or a spark could set them on fire.
Installing a Heat Alarm
In the garage, fire safety experts recommend a heat alarm, rather than a smoke detector. Fumes from a vehicle or someone working on a project in the garage can set off a smoke detector. There are battery-operated heat sensors available at the hardware store, or they can be hard-wired into your electrical system.
While this will alert you of problems when you are home…what happens when you’re not? This leads us to the next section…the advantages of monitored Garage Security …
Garage Door Security – Does Monitoring Make Sense?
In the world of social media, telecommuting, wireless networks, streaming media, mobile phones…we are bombarded 24/7 with the chirps, buzzes, beeps, ringtones alerting us to status updates for Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, IMs, DMs, VMs, E-mails, Texts, and even old-fashioned phone calls. Frankly…at times it isn’t difficult to become overloaded or desensitized to the constant barrage of notifications competing for our attention.
Not to mention the fact that there are times when we just can’t pick up the phone. Meetings, Airplanes, Out of service areas…and, even the few hours that we need to hit Do Not Disturb for some well-deserved sleep or downtime.
Yes…there is a strong case to be made for investing a dollar or two a day to make sure there is a trained professional available 24/7 when it comes to handling a critical emergency involving your home and family.
It is doubtful that many would make that investment for protecting just the garage…but, most of us would agree that, if the budget allows, spending a few dollars more in one-time equipment upgrades is well worth the investment.
Advantages of Including the Garage in a Monitored Home Security System
Professional Grade Quality Equipment
Consolidate Home Security Products
Compatible with Other Components
Professional / DIY Tech Support
Quality – First of all, if you are buying components from your home security provider, you know that they have been tested, tried, and proven in the field. The best home security providers aren’t going to use shoddy equipment that will result in complaints, service issues, and lost monitoring customers.
Service – If you do have service or support issues, it is best to consolidate those issues with one provider. It affords you additional leverage and prevents you from having to track down support numbers and deal with multiple providers.
Selection – Most of the top home security providers will wide selection of security and home automation equipment that is compatible with their equipment and home automation platforms. You won’t have to worry about getting devices that won’t play well with your other equipment.
Installation – Depending on what company you are working with, they may offer professional install. If not, you may be able to get it pre-programmed by your security provider. Additionally, you will have an experienced support team that can ensure that everything is working the way it should.
Upgrading an Existing Alarm System to include Garage Door Security
We recently upgraded our Link Interactive Security system to include the garage. In our experience, each of these items came into play.
While we ran into some technical issues regarding our home network, the support team at Link Interactive was outstanding and provided us with the equipment and expertise we needed to get the job done. The ADCV722 Camera synced up easily to the Alarm.com platform. Sensitivity and range were easily adjusted to provide the visibility and notifications we were looking for.
While we hoped to utilize the Chamberlain My Q Smart hub shown above, we were unable to…as our ancient, but, still working, garage door openers were not compatible.
We moved on to Plan B – installing tilt sensors. This was simply a matter of enrolling the sensor to the system and mounting it to the inside of the overhead garage door.
While we can’t control doors, we at least don’t have to brave the cold New England weather to go outside to check if we remembered to shut the garage door at night.
Now we can see the status on either the panel, the Link Interactive App, or at any desktop with internet capability!
Garage Door Status – Panel
Overhead Door Status – App
Garage Status – Desktop
Top 6 Ways to Enhance Garage Security with a Home Alarm System
Outdoor Video Camera – Keep an eye on who approaches your garage doors and monitor activity. Most outdoor security cameras offer 1080P HD resolution with motion detection and night vision.
Overhead Door Monitors – Always know whether the largest entry is open or closed. Tilt sensors use an inclinometer to detect the angle of the garage door. They send a signal to the control panel whether the overhead garage door is in an open or closed position.
Garage Door Openers – Allow automation and remote management of the overhead doors. With a wireless connection to the main home security system control panel, the doors can be controlled and even automated from the panel or right through the alarms system App.
Indoor Video Camera – Monitor activity within the garage when access is gained. In our household, we have shipments and grocery deliveries inside the garage. With an inside camera, we can keep an eye on things remotely.
Exterior Door Contacts – Keep all vulnerable garage doors protected. Exterior and/or home entranceways should be protected.
Heat Detectors – Not affected by smoke and fumes…a heat detector senses rapid rises of temperature due to fire. This is especially important in homes with an attached garage.
So, if the budget allows…updating or installing a home security system that includes garage door security can be well worth the investment!
Thank you for visiting our post on garage door security…please feel free to share with those you care about and leave comments and your ideas on securing garage doors in the comment section below.
Garage Door Security FAQs
How do I improve security for garage doors from the inside?
Enhance the Security of Garage Doors From the Inside
There are a number of cost-effective DIY ways to improve the security of garage doors from the inside.
- If it is for a prolonged period, one can prevent the overhead door from being opened at all, by unplugging the garage door opener and using a padlock along the side rail.
- In addition to the Garage Shield mentioned earlier, one can zip-tie the emergency overhead door release. If you need to use it during a power outage, you can just clip it and replace it.
- For a few dollars, you can install a garage door inside slide-lock.
The Overhead Garage Door Deadbolt
How to lock garage doors from the outside?
Secure Garage Doors From the Outside
Looking for an extra layer of garage door security while you are away?
There are garage door deadbolt add-ons to most of the major wireless overhead door openers.
But, if you are a DIYer looking for a cost-effective way to secure the garage door from the outside, a T-handle lock might just do the trick.
How to secure a door from being kicked in?
Securing a Door from Being Kicked In
Most garage entry doors have very basic locking doorknobs. If you are concerned with garage door security and how to prevent thieves from just kicking in the door, the best place to start would be to reinforce the locks.
Have deadbolt locks installed with a one-inch throw and reinforced strike plates.
If you really want to secure the door from being kicked in, look into professional-grade door jamb reinforcement kits.
Thank you for your interest in garage door security. If you have garage door security tips you’d like to share, please don’t hesitate to leave them in our comments section. Don’t forget to share this article with those people you care about!
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Last Updated on December 17, 2021 by The Home Security Advisor