Best Garage Door Security Tips

You’ve heard of home security systems, but have you heard of garage security systems? Okay, that’s not a thing. Still, your garage is just as worthy of protection as your house is.

Let’s talk about how you can keep your garage and everything in it safe.

1. Close your garage door

Do you shut your garage door? Or do you sometimes leave it open while you’re napping or running errands? Leaving your garage door open may not seem like a big deal at first, but at second look, it’s a huge security problem.

An open garage door makes it easier for thieves to steal your cars, bikes, and power tools.

An open garage door makes it easier for thieves to steal your cars, bikes, and power tools. And, if your garage is attached to your house, it becomes a huge safety risk. It’s practically inviting people to try their luck with the door connecting your home to your garage. Pretty scary if you ask us.

To keep your garage and home safe, close your garage door when you aren’t around to monitor it.

2. Smarten your garage up

It’s easier to protect a smart garage than a “dumb” one. Responsive technology that you can access remotely makes it easier to control garage access.

Smart opener

A quick way to make your garage more secure? Use a smart garage door opener.

When you use a smart garage door opener, you can control the door from your phone. That means you can open and close the garage remotely. That’s super useful if you forgot to shut it when you left the house or need to let your kid in to grab their bike.

Heads Up icon
Garage door openers in cars
One other benefit of switching to a smart garage door opener is that you don’t need to keep the remote in your vehicle. If a thief steals your car, they can find the address on your auto registration and take the door opener there. That’ll turn a simple car theft into a home burglary. Controlling your door through your phone means you can leave the opener at home.
Top home security systems with smart garage door openers
ProviderGarage door opener imageGarage door opener priceLearn more
Vivint Smart Home Garage door opener VivintCall for quoteView Plans
ADT Garage door opener ADTCall for quoteView Plans

Data effective 04/27/2020. Offers subject to change.

Even if you don’t want to invest in a smart door opener, you might be able to put your everyday garage door remote on a timer. The timer causes the door to close after a set amount of time.

If you aren’t sure whether your opener has this feature, check with the manufacturer.

Smart sensors

If you add sensors, you’ll know anytime someone else opens or closes the garage. You can even receive an alarm through your phone when there’s unauthorized activity.

Some home security systems offer special tilt sensors. These are different from your typical entry or open/close sensors because they account for the way some garage doors tilt while closing.

Top home security systems with smart garage door openers
ProviderGarage door tilt sensor imageGarage door tilt sensor priceLearn more
FrontpointGarage door sensor Frontpoint$24.99View Plans
BrinksGarage door sensor Brinks$39.00View Plans

Data effective 04/27/2020. Offers subject to change.

3. Keep things locked

It may seem like a no-brainer, but locks are a surefire way to secure your garage.

Deadbolts

If your garage has a side door, put a secure deadbolt on it. Do the same with the door that separates the garage from the mudroom or kitchen.

We recommend a deadbolt over a non-deadbolt lock because a deadbolt can’t move from a locked position unless there’s a key in the cylinder. That makes it far safer than your typical lock mechanism.

Top deadbolts
DeadboltDeadbolt imageDeadbolt priceLearn more
Kwikset 980 Single Cylinder Deadbolt$37.97View on Amazon
Kwikset 991 Juno Entry Knob$47.97View on Amazon

Amazon.com List prices as of 04/27/2020 9:30 MST.

Garage Shield

Several years ago, the web was full of videos of people opening closed garage doors in six seconds or less. All it took was 1) a wedge to open a gap between the weather sealing and the door and 2) a coat hanger to reach the emergency release.

To keep this from happening to you, we suggest using a garage door shield, such as the Garage Shield. This shield protects the area near the emergency release mechanism, making it impossible to jimmy open.

Info Box icon
Will a Garage Shield work for me?
The Garage Shield is compatible with all modern overhead garage door openers. But it doesn’t work with older styles of garage doors like roller doors, canopy doors, or side-hinge doors.

4. Protect your windows

Did you forget about the garage windows? They’re easy to overlook. But they need protection, too.

Window sensors

If you have garage windows that slide open, put sensors on them. You can buy window sensors on their own, but we generally recommend a full security suite.

Top home security systems with DIY window sensors
ProviderWindow sensor imageWindow sensor priceLearn more
FrontpointFrontpoint sensor$19.99View Plans
Link InteractiveLink Interactive sensor$22.00View Plans
AbodeAbode sensor$32.00View Plans

Data effective 04/27/2020. Offers subject to change.

Window film

If your garage windows don’t slide open, you can still protect them by making them shatter-resistant. The quickest and easiest way to do this is to buy some window film. You can get window film in pre-cut pieces or cut off a custom-sized piece from a big roll.

Window film is relatively inexpensive.

Best of all, window film is relatively inexpensive, especially when compared to sensors or cameras.

Amazon.com List prices as of 04/27/2020 9:30 MST.

5. Add cameras

Aim cameras at your garage door and/or garage interior to ward off potential mischief. The mere presence of a camera deters the type of criminals and busybodies who misbehave only when they know they won’t get caught.

Top home security systems with cameras
ProviderOutdoor camera imageOutdoor camera priceLearn more
Vivint Smart HomeVivint security cameraCall for quoteView Plans
Frontpoint$169.99View Plans
Link InteractiveLink Interactive security camera$220.00View Plans

Data effective 04/27/2020. Offers subject to change.

If you’d like to learn more about security cameras, take a look at our security camera review.

Recap

When you act on one or more of these garage security tips, you decrease the chances of someone breaking into your garage.

If you’re looking to reduce garage security-related anxiety, you should be all set. You can also check out our top home security systems if you’re looking for whole-home protection vs. just garage protection.

Garage security FAQ

Why do I need to secure my garage?

We touched on this earlier, but most garages are full of valuables: cars, expensive tools, the Tollhouse cookie ice cream sandwiches in the deep freezer. When you leave your garage unsecured, you make it easy for people to walk in and take or vandalize whatever they want.

Also, if you have an attached garage, then the adjoining door is an easy entrance to your house. That puts your in-home valuables—and your family—at risk too.

Can I use zip ties on my garage door?

Some people use a zip tie to prevent people with coat hangers “fishing” the emergency release. We don’t recommend that.

Zip ties interfere with the emergency release mechanism. They also violate several federal regulations as well as UL Code 325 (which lays out standards for door and gate safety). Plus, using a zip tie could cause your insurance company to deny your claim after a garage intrusion or accident.

Are garage keypads safe?

Some garage doors open by keypad rather than by a remote. We’d say these keypads can, in some instances, be safer than a physical garage door opener—but they aren’t infallible.

For instance, someone can observe you entering the passcode. Or figure out what your code is by the most worn-down keys. Most importantly, you either have to keep switching the password or get a keypad that allows throwaway guest codes. Otherwise, keeping it a secret could be difficult.

And yes, to keep your garage secure, the code must be secret. You shouldn’t give it to houseguests or your kids’ friends, even if they’re trustworthy. They might let the code slip to someone else who isn’t trustworthy.

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Location switch
You can also try putting your garage keypad on the side or back of your house. That makes its purpose less obvious and gives you more privacy when you enter your code.

Is a universal garage door opener safe?

The problem with universal garage door remotes is that they’re universal. If you and your neighbor ended up buying the same remote and using the same access code, you could get into each other’s garages.

Still, it isn’t blatantly unsafe to have a universal remote—as long as you change the access code upon purchase and have a newer model. A potential burglar can more easily hack an old opener. Newer devices have more protections in place to prevent unauthorized access.

How secure is a detached garage?

A detached garage is safer in the sense that it doesn’t offer ready access to your house. But if your garage doesn’t adjoin your home, it could be a more inviting target for car thieves and drifters. After all, you aren’t as likely to hear an intrusion in a separate building.

Overall, we’d say that merely keeping the door shut won’t be as big of a deterrent for a detached garage. Ideally, you’d add some sensors or cameras to make it easier to check on.

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