When you think about keeping your home safe and secure, you likely focus on doors and windows, and for good reason – these are common entry points for burglars. But are you paying the same attention to your garage door? Are garages easy to break into?
Unfortunately, the answer is “yes,” garages can be easy to break into if they aren’t secured. According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, approximately 9% of break-ins happen through the garage. This is why it’s so important to consider garage door security when you work on securing your home. You need to understand how thieves break into garages, then come up with a plan to keep your garage door secure.
Here are our 10 best tips and suggestions for how to secure your garage door.
- Add garage security devices to your security system.
- Install motion-activated lights near the garage.
- Remove landscaping near your garage that could provide cover.
- Keep your garage door closed when you aren’t using it.
- Add privacy to garage windows or doors.
- Don’t leave your garage door opener in your car.
- Secure the emergency release and maintain your garage door.
- Secure service doors and doors to your house.
- Be smart about what you store in the garage.
- Be a good neighbor.
How to Secure a Garage Door & Keep Your Home Safe
Add garage door security devices to your security system.
At CPI Security, we offer a variety of products that can be added to your whole home security system to make your garage more secure. For example, an outdoor security camera allows you to monitor your garage door from anywhere, and our Smart Garage Door Controller let’s you open and close your garage door from afar.
Install motion-activated lights near the garage.
Dark shadows around your garage door make it easier for burglars to sneak around at night in search of a weak entry point. Add motion-activated flood lights near your garage doors and windows to shine a literal spotlight on anyone scoping out your home with the intention of breaking in. And for that matter, go ahead and add motion-activated lights in other key areas around the perimeter of your house as well.
Remove landscaping near your garage that could provide cover.
Landscaping can improve your home’s curb appeal, but tall shrubs and trees can also provide cover that hides suspicious activity. Keep your landscaping around your garage and other exterior entry points trimmed to a reasonable height so that it can’t be used as cover for a burglar.
While you’re trimming the landscaping around your home, examine the entire exterior and identify any vulnerabilities by considering how you would get into your own home if you were a burglar. Then, you can make a plan to mitigate the risk of a burglary and fix these weak entry points.
Keep your garage door closed when you aren’t using it.
You wouldn’t keep your front door wide open, so why would your garage door be any different? If you aren’t using your garage, keep the door shut so that would-be burglars can’t check out your garage contents or look for easy ways to gain entry.
Add privacy to garage windows or doors.
On a similar note, using interior curtains or blinds in your garage windows and doors provides added coverage so no one can peer in and see whether your car is parked in there or what other items you have stored in your garage. You can also add a translucent or frosted film over windows to conceal your garage’s contents without sacrificing light.
Don’t leave your garage door opener in your car.
If your car is accidentally left unlocked in your driveway or in front of your house, a thief can easily reach in and take the garage door opener, giving them access to your garage and perhaps even your home. Always keep it safely with you, in a bag or your pocket. You can also put a remote opener on a keychain to streamline everything you need to access your house without giving access to a stranger.
Secure the emergency release and maintain your garage door.
A quick, easy way to secure a garage door is to zip-tie the emergency release. This release allows the door to open even without power, and burglars can use a coat hanger to reach in and pull it even with the door shut. Using a zip tie prevents this from happening, but in an emergency you can easily cut the zip tie to use the release as needed.
Garage doors should also be well-maintained to keep them in safe, working order, and to keep all seals tight.
If you’re heading out of town, consider taking an extra step and unplug your automatic garage door opener or add a locked padlock to one of the tracks.
Secure service doors and doors to your house.
Make sure that all other doors are secure as well, especially service doors and the door from the garage to the house. Add a deadbolt if you don’t already have one, as well as a reinforced strike plate installed with 3-inch screws. Always lock your deadbolt for extra security. While you’re making these changes to secure your garage, you can go ahead and secure other exterior doors the same way.
Be smart about what you store in the garage.
When possible, store high-value items inside the house rather than in the garage. If you have expensive items that need to be kept in the garage, such as high-end tools and other items often used there, use locked garage cabinetry to add an extra level of protection and security.
Be a good neighbor.
Forming relationships with your neighbors goes a long way towards keeping your whole neighborhood more secure. Take the time to get to know your neighbors, so that you can begin to recognize what’s normal activity and what may be suspicious. Arrange with a neighbor to pick up each other’s newspapers and mail when you’re out of town. When neighbors know each other and look out for each other, the whole neighborhood is much better off.
For more tips on keeping your garage – and your home – secure, get in touch with the experts at CPI Security today.