Most home security centres on the actual home. You hear about metal security doors, broken glass sensors, and security monitoring.
Yet, one major security weak point gets overlooked in homes across the nation: the garage.
While you might not think of the garage as part of your home, burglars view it as an easy access point. The doors and windows get left unlocked or open. Many garages aren’t included in the alarm system.
This is especially surprising because many people store second vehicles and expensive tools in the garage.
Let’s dive in and look at some garage door security tips to help you keep your home more secure.
Upgrade to a Keychain Garage Door Opener
As garage door security tips go, don’t leave your garage door opener in your car.
If someone breaks into your car, they get easy access to your house. Even if it happens at a store or while you’re at work, your address is almost certainly in the vehicle somewhere.
Addresses appear on insurance or registration paperwork. Loose mail on the passenger seat will show it as well. A thief might well drive straight from your car to your home.
A keychain remote goes wherever your keys go. Unless you lock your keys in the car, your garage door remote goes wherever you go.
Lock the Garage Door
It doesn’t matter if your garage door is some no-name brand or you ordered an insulated one from Cookson, you can put a lock on them.
This isn’t one of the daily application garage door security tips. When you’re planning an out of town trip, though, it’s a big security plus.
Getting a garage door open when there’s a lock on the inside isn’t a fast or quiet process. It’s an easy way to make breaking into your garage more trouble than it’s worth.
Let’s say that you’re dropping the kids off at school before work, and you oversleep.
In the rush, you drive off without closing the garage door. It happens to people every day. It’s also like a free pass for thieves.
There are two main options for self-closing systems.
Option one is an independent timer that triggers the garage door to close after a set period of time. This is ideal when your existing garage door opener still works well. It lets you extend the life of the garage door opener and improve security.
The other option is a garage door opener with a built-in timer. The timer gets programmed at installation and you never think about it again.
This option is best if you’re installing your first garage door opener or replacing a malfunctioning garage door opener.
Upgrade Your Garage Access Door and Hardware
A lot of garage door security tips focus on keeping burglars out of the garage itself. What happens if your burglar manages to bypass those measures? Will the access door between your home and garage work as a deterrent?
In many homes, the answer is no. Most people opt for heavy, solid front and backdoors. The access door to the garage is often a hollow core interior door.
A few good kicks or a couple blows with something heavy can destroy a hollow core door. You want an exterior grade door between your home and your garage. It’s much more difficult to break down exterior doors.
Replacing the door isn’t enough. If someone breaks into your garage, that access door must prove as secure as the front or back door.
That means you need a solid deadbolt with a 1-inch throw bolt. Consider upgrading to a deadbolt strike box, which makes kicking a door in much more difficult.
Cover Your Garage Windows
Keeping garage windows covered makes it harder for thieves to know if they want to break into your house. They’ll pick a place where they can see valuables over one where they can’t know for sure.
Installing privacy blinds is the simplest solution.
There is a decision-making process for choosing privacy blinds. Is it a pure security solution you want for the lowest price? Do you want blinds that look the same as the rest of house?
If you can’t install blinds for some reason, consider a film covering for the windows. The film will still obscure whatever is inside.
Did you install a security system in your house? If yes, then you’re halfway there already.
You can extend most security systems so they include garage entry points. Make sure your garage access door gets included. The upshot is that many modern security systems include alerts that go straight to your phone.
If your house didn’t come with a security system, consider adding one. You can always opt for a professional installation service.
If that’s not in your budget, you can install a DIY system. You must plan out the system ahead of time so you get enough transmitters.
If you live in a city, you’ll probably need a permit for a DIY system. Most cities maintain an office that handles home alarm permits.
Parting Thoughts on Garage Door Security Tips
The garage is a security weak spot in many homes, but you can take steps to secure your garage.
Switch over to a keychain garage door opener. Lock the garage from the inside when you leave town. Set a timer so your garage closes automatically.
Attach your garage doors to your security system, or install a security system on your own. Put up privacy blinds to keep thieves from window shopping in your garage.
Replace that hollow core garage access door with an exterior door. Then beef up the locks. If a thief gets into the garage, that access door is an exterior door for all intents and purposes.
Looking for other ways to protect your home? Check out our post on garage door repair scams.