You’ve made a big investment in a new garage door, so it’s important to keep your home and garage space safe. Although only 9% of invasions happen through the garage door, that still makes up 225,000 break-ins each year, one of which could be yours. That’s why we’ve provided garage door security ideas and tips to ensure you feel safe and protected in your home.
Why Invest in Garage Door Security
Recent FBI statistics show that a burglary occurs in the U.S. every 26 seconds. That’s an alarming rate. Most of us want to believe that we live in a safe and idyllic neighborhood, but the reality is that the risk of home invasion is present anywhere.
Consider familiarizing yourself with these additional crime statistics before taking action with our garage door security tips.
- Most burglaries take place between 10 AM – 3 PM when homeowners are at work.
- 74% of all burglaries target a residence.
- In 2019, the FBI reported 290,909 daytime burglaries compared to 195,884 nighttime burglaries.
- Approximately, 28% of burglaries happen while a household member is at home.
Garage Door Security Tips: Outside Your Garage Door
There are four different types of garage door security devices you can use on the outside of your garage door: garage door openers, lights, cameras, and home alarms. We’ll discuss each in-depth and how you can use them to your advantage.
Garage Door Openers
One of the first ways to make your garage door more secure is to have a remote-controlled door opener or key code to open your garage door. If you can manually open and close your garage door, that means an intruder can too.
With your garage door opener, here are a few tips we recommend following.
- Regularly change your garage door opener code. For example, when you’re going on vacation, change it to something new so watchful eyes can’t get in.
- Don’t keep your garage door opener in your car. It makes sense to bring the garage door opener with you when you leave the house, but make sure it’s in a safe and secure place when you aren’t using it.
- Turn off the power. When you know you’ll be away for an extended period of time, turn off the power so the garage door opener will not work.
How Often Should You Change Your Garage Code?
If possible, it is best to assign each person in your home a different lock code. This will help you keep track of who is coming and going into your garage door. This is also useful if you need a guest, like a house or pet sitter, to watch your home while you’re away.
Just like computer passwords, it’s important to change your code every so often. It is recommended to change the code every six months unless you are noticing there are frequent failed entry attempts to your garage door. Remember, don’t use a code that’s already been used in the past.
Motion sensors or outside lighting can help deter a potential intruder from breaking into your home. Motion sensor garage lights will turn on as soon as they detect movement in the garage area. Automatic lights mean the intruder has a harder time hiding in the shadows and not getting caught.
Incorporating interior lights will be beneficial as well. Anything that will illuminate an intruder and potentially bring attention to them will cause them to stay away from your house. To use lights to the best of your ability, place them around the garage door and windows.
You may also opt to purchase a Spotlight, which can be synced to your phone so you have control over when the light is on or off. We recommend setting it to turn on anytime your garage door opens so you can be aware of any unwanted activity.
Installing a security camera near your garage can help deter crime by 50%. Studies have shown that even having security signs in your yard can help discourage an intruder. Just like lights, cameras can be beneficial inside and outside your garage door.
Some cameras can connect with your phone so you can get real-time access to what’s happening at your home. This means you can get notifications or alerts when there’s motion within the camera’s field of view.
Setting a home alarm will help alert you and possibly your neighbors if someone is trying to get into your home. This alarm is especially useful for times you’re away or during dark hours of the night when everyone is sleeping.
You can find a wide variety of garage security devices with different capabilities to match your surveillance needs. A majority of systems now can be easily synced with your phone so you can feel protected even when you’re away.
Make Your Garage Door More Secure
Now that we’ve outlined some garage security devices, it’s time to highlight some additional things you can do to protect your home. Although the garage door is not usually a burglar’s main point of entrance, secure and protected garages could eliminate over 110,000 burglaries each year, one of which could be yours.
- Think Like a Burglar. Take some time to inspect your garage and the surrounding area to see what access points would be easy to break into. This will help you indicate where you need to add some garage security devices.
- Use a Timer. If you often forget to close your garage door in the hustle and bustle of hectic mornings, you can install a timer that ensures your door closes at a predetermined time each day.
- Lock Your Doors. Make sure all exterior doors and windows are locked as well as any access points between your garage and the rest of your home. This is important because if an intruder would get into your garage, locked doors will restrict access to the rest of your home.
- Don’t Leave Your Garage Door Open. Be conscious of when your garage door is open and unaccompanied. Even in broad daylight, this could help someone see disadvantage points in your security and plan their attack.
- Keep Tools in a Secure Area. Things like ladders, hammers, and hedge cutters can become useful resources to an intruder. Tools that can easily break windows and locks should be kept secure either in your garage or an outside shed with a lock.
- Install a Shield. All these garage door security tips are made to create roadblocks in an invasion plan. Installing a simple shield that blocks your door’s emergency release, could deter an intruder from following through with their plan.
- Use Specialty Windows. Windows can be a beautiful addition to your garage door, but they also allow people walking by to look into your garage. They may be able to spot valuable items and start planning on an intrusion. A way to keep a beautiful look and be more secure is through specialty windows that obscure the interior of your garage.
When the garage door is the point of access in a home invasion, it’s a very swift process. In under ten seconds, a burglar can wedge a gap at the top of your garage door, between the weather sealing and door, and then use a long wire or a hanger to reach your door’s emergency release.
Although all these steps help secure your home, there still won’t be a 100% guarantee that an invasion won’t happen. As a safety precaution, make sure other structures are covered by your homeowner’s insurance. This should include a garage or shed that is disconnected from the rest of your home.
Tools or equipment that may have been stolen in your garage during a break-in should be covered under personal property coverage, not your homeowner’s insurance. Also, if your car is damaged due to a break-in, this would fall under your car insurance.
This blog was originally published on March 22, 2017, and was updated on September 27, 2022.