When the topic of home security comes up, one of the things you need to think about is how to secure your garage and garage door. Watch the news for a moment, and it crosses your mind that the security measures that you have in place for your home are far from enough.
And while most homeowners would go to great lengths to secure their homes, the need for ensuring enough security for the garage is usually overlooked.
But you will be shocked to learn that while all you might be concerned about is someone kicking in your front door, the door to your garage is every bit as likely to be targeted.
In most cases, it only takes common, everyday measures to keep your garage door safe. But sometimes you need to dig deeper to ensure more security.
One thing for sure is, thieves and burglars are usually opportunistic. So here are a few ways on how to ensure you don’t give them the slightest chance to make their way into your garage.
Keeping the door shut, always
It’s practically the easiest and best option at your disposal, yet some homeowners leave their garage doors wide open, granting burglars an easy way in. Ensuring you close your garage door is one way to stay on the safe side. If you do this every time, it could become a part of you within months if not weeks.
However, the chance of forgetting to shut the door in the morning rush is always too real. Not to worry though, you can always ensure the safety of your garage by adding technology, which could make a world of difference.
One of the best options to go for is getting a remote monitor for your garage door. This lets you keep an eye on the stage of your garage door from work or on a vacation.
Make the right choice when getting garage door material
It might sound like a no-brainer, but the material you choose for your garage door plays an irreplaceable role in its safety. A garage door built with flimsy cheap materials would be a soft target for thieves.
So consider digging deeper into your pocket and go for a solid metal or robust wooden door. The last thing you want on your garage entrance is a door that would give in after the first kick.
Secure the emergency latch
Most modern garage doors feature a fancy automatic function, which is a great thing. But this comes at a cost, as thieves are also smart enough to take advantage of the emergency latch and compromise the safety of your garage.
Within as low as six minutes, thieves can use a wedge to create some space at the top of the door, and insert a coat hanger and release the emergency handle. Freaky, right? Well, don’t panic just yet.
There are two ways to secure your garage door from this type of attack. One such way is using a zip tie, which is a cheap option. Simply connect this to a loop on the emergency latch, and the tie will ensure thieves can’t easily disable the handle and gain entry into your garage.
The other viable option is using an emergency latch garage shield. This one-off purchase option attaches to your garage door’s emergency release bar. Besides, this shield doesn’t need any tools to install, so you can simply add it with ease.
One problem with this shield, however, is that most of them are made of plastic rather than metal, which still won’t offer enough peace of mind for most homeowners. However, the good thing is that it gets the job done.
The right timing is crucial
Sometimes you might want to leave your garage door open, such as when cleaning out your garage or working nearby. Sometimes you can get a false sense of security and forget the door open once you get home.
In this case, what you need is an automatic closer for your garage door. These gadgets help eliminate the aspect of human error by closing the door automatically after several minutes. You can set the device at several minutes, and it will close the door once those minutes elapse even if you are gone.
Better yet, these devices also feature an “Off” button that you can’t miss as it’s easy to spot. So you can use this one to disable the mechanism if you want your garage to stay open once you are inside.
Secure doors that open to the side
A side garage door can be easier to compromise than a rolling one. The only problem with this type of door is that thieves would have an easy time kicking it in. But you still have a way of ensuring that doesn’t happen if this is the type of door you have installed in your garage.
You can always turn to doorstep screws such as Door Devil, which help strengthen the door enough to withstand quite a beating without giving in. The last thing a thief wants is to struggle for several dozen minutes to gain entry. So such an addition could be enough to frustrate a thief to a point of giving up.
Use an alarm
Just as they do in any other entry point into your home, alarms can work wonders on your garage door. You have several options from different brands at your disposal, so it’s just a matter of personal preference here.
A motion sensor alarm would be a great addition to the security of your garage. You can even hook it with your home security system so that you will be able to arm it with the other components.
Ensure the garage opener stays with you
It’s one of the most commonly overlooked aspects of garage door security. Most people tend to leave their garage door opener openly displayed in their cars even as they care so much about their car and house keys.
Well, since you most likely have doors leading from the garage into the house, and you will be parking the car in the garage, such a mistake could mean putting even your car and house’s safety at stake.
Thus, make sure to get an opener that can attach on your keychain with ease. And always make sure to keep the opener in a safe place, away from the prying eyes of thieves and burglars.
Locking it in the glove compartment of your car, for instance, could keep it safer than leaving it in the open.
Take care of the windows too
Windows are an ideal natural light entrance into your garage. They also create great ventilation for fresh air, but this efficiency has a downside to it.
Here’s the catch, if burglars and thieves can see into the inside of your garage, their chances of intending and trying to break in could skyrocket easily.
This is because one will be able to see if there are any things worth looting, and most importantly if there’s anyone inside the garage. So stay safe by adding a layer of privacy to your garage by blocking the windows.
You can use spray paint to keep them frosted. Or, you can use shades or curtains to keep anyone from sneaking up and peeking into your garage while still letting some light into the garage.
More importantly, make sure the windows are every bit as robust and securely fitted as the doors too.
Light up the area near your garage
If there’s one thing thieves don’t like, it’s being detected. And nothing gives them away like a well-lit compound. As such, by keeping your compound well lit, you can significantly reduce any chances of thieves sneaking into your garage door.
You have several options in this case. One is getting floodlights for the entire area outside the home, and especially in the area leading to your garage. Again, you could consider getting motion-sensing lights if you want to save on energy bills.
The latter helps ensure you never have to keep the lights on through night or having to turn them off manually each morning. So it’s a more viable option.
The good thing about motion sensing lights is that some go beyond merely lighting up the area around your garage and deterring the thief, to sending you an alert once triggered. This is a good thing as you can get to know in real-time when someone wanders too close for comfort.
Install security cameras is also crucial
Another essential measure that you can take to ensure the security of your garage is installing security cameras around. Just the sight of these cameras would be enough to deter a potential thief or make them think twice about taking any chances.
Besides, a camera will let you know if someone was near your garage. And you will be able to see such details as the face or type of vehicle the person was using along with its license plate.
These could prove invaluable in the case someone stole anything from your garage.
Securing the doors leading into your house
Besides ensuring that your garage door and its surrounding are secure, you also need to make sure the entrance from your garage into the house is secure. If anyone manages to get past all these lines of defense and into your garage, they could make an easy entry into your house.
An intruder who was only interested in taking something from your garage could be tempted to break into the house too if they notice such an entrance is easy to compromise.
You need to give these doors the same attention as you would with the other main entrances into your house. Make sure they are solid strong, lock them, and keep on checking them frequently.
A remote control device could come in handy here. But always make sure this door is far from an easy target for any intruder who might think of using it as an entry into your house through the garage.
And so should be the care you take for any other side door leading into or out of the garage.
In a nutshell
Let’s recap these steps, shall we?
Always keep the garage door shut. It helps keep any potential thieves from seeing it as an easy target. It also makes it hard for anyone to figure out if there’s anyone inside the garage, which could significantly lower their chances of encroaching.
Make sure to get a strong garage door made of sturdy and durable material. If the door seems to be wearing down, consider replacing it in time. Don’t wait until it starts falling apart or insist on doing repairs that might not make any significant difference.
If you opt for a door with an emergency release function, make sure you secure the latch to avoid giving thieves an easy way in. Remember, it only takes about 6 minutes with simple tools as a coat hanger for professional thieves to compromise this feature.
Getting an automatic garage door closer could mean all the difference as far as security of your garage goes. You can get this for a few dollars, but it will save you a whole lot of struggle and eliminate any potential mistakes.
If the door opens to one side, go that extra mile to secure it for a more robust, reliable barrier to keep burglars and thieves off your garage. A door devil could help add that extra line of defense to your garage door.
An alarm could help scare away any intruder as well as alerting you and the neighbors over the attempt to compromise the security of your garage. So yes, consider this option as well. You might need it.
Always keep your garage opener in a safe place. Keep in mind that this opener to your garage door is as important as your car as well as house keys. So treat with the same importance too.
Ensure the windows on your garage are robust, securely fitted, and obstruct any sight from the outside. Don’t let everyone passing by your garage see what stuff you have inside.
Always keep the area around and in front of your garage well lit. Thieves don’t like the idea of targeting well-lit areas, so this could keep them at bay. And a motion sensing light is sure to startle them and send them on the run.
Have security cameras in the area around your garage to let any potential intruders know that they are being watched, and they better consider changing their mind. Most won’t be so bold after seeing the lens staring down at them.
Always keep the doors leading from your garage into your house or the backyard tightly safe and solid. If anyone manages to make their way into the garage, don’t give them an opportunity to wander off any further into your home.
My Final Thoughts
Hearing someone in the garage in the middle of the night can be every homeowner’s worst nightmare. Even worse, coming home from work or holiday to find your garage (and perhaps the house) ransacked and your valuables stolen is the last thing anyone wants to live through.
And while the cases of burglary and break-ins are on the rise, the best you can do is to stay a step ahead of the thieves by securing your home and the garage. Even if it means spending a little fortune, it’s worth it rather than ending up losing even more expensive valuables.
Then there’s always the aspect of the safety of your family. So taking chances is not an option. You need a secure home, and the garage is a part of that, so you need to go an extra mile to secure it too. And with any or all of the measures we’ve listed here, securing your garage doesn’t have to be a riddle anymore.
Go ahead and pick the one that you are yet to put in place and stay safe. If you have any questions or ideas about garage security, please share them in the comment section below.