Your garage is an important part of your house and often a storage place for valuables like tools, bicycles, and of course, our cars.
Add in the fact that many of us purposely or accidentally leave the door from the garage to the house unlocked, and it’s easy to see why securing your garage is one of the most important steps in securing your entire home.
As home security technology improves, so do high-tech ways to protect your garage. Before purchasing any fancy new equipment, evaluate the simple and free or cheap ways to protect your garage and make it less of a target for burglars. This list covers a range of solutions for all budgets.
10 Tips For a More Secure Garage:
The best thing you can do to improve your safety by simply remembering to never leave your garage door open. It’s easy to forget to close it behind you, or to leave it open when you’re casually working outside or going in and out of the house.
If you habitually forget to close the garage door, consider installing a timer that will close the door automatically after a set amount of time, even if you drive away or go to bed and forget to manually close it.
Another easy way to prevent break-ins is to never keep the garage door remote inside your car, whether you're at home or when you’re away. A stolen garage door remote is a simple way for someone to access your home.
Purchase a keyfob remote that’s convenient and easy to keep with you, just like your other important keys.
Keep a radio on at low volume in the garage, especially when not home. This may seem like a simplistic trick, but many burglaries are crimes of opportunity that rely on simple indicators that a house is empty and vulnerable.
A burglar will often move on if they even suspect someone might be home or doing something in the garage. Keeping a small radio on low gives the illusion of activity and might just be enough to make a potential burglar move on.
Does your garage door have windows? If so, covering them with a frosted film or curtains is an easy way to prevent burglars from seeing inside and can reduce the likelihood of a break-in. Overall, the less visibility a potential burglar has into your home, the better.
Secure the emergency garage door release. It’s as cheap and easy as a couple of zip ties and a quick internet search for a how-to lesson.
Most garage doors have an emergency release located on the inside of the door which, though useful in an emergency, also create a vulnerability by allowing burglars to activate the release with a wire from outside the door, much like breaking into a car door.
After securing this emergency release with zip ties, it can no longer be opened from outside, but will still function from the inside as the zip ties can be easily broken.
Install motion-detecting lights. Lighting that turns on when someone approaches your driveway and garage door is convenient for you and provides an added layer of safety in case someone is prowling around. Motion-activated lighting can deter potential burglars and alert you that someone is nearby.
Don’t use an exterior keypad, if possible. Many garage doors feature a security keypad on the outside of the house that can be used to open the garage door with a code. If you have one, do you know how secure it is? Can someone easily guess the entry code? What if it’s destroyed or the batteries are removed?
As with keeping a remote in your car, it’s safest to avoid the exterior keypad and just keep a garage door remote in your bag or on your keys.
Install a peephole or camera with adequate lighting in your interior door. In the event that you hear noise in your garage, having a peephole or a camera gives you the ability to see what’s going on and make informed decisions about taking further action.
Remember that if the garage is dark, you won’t be able to see much, so this is where motion-sensing lights also play a role. Being able to see your garage clearly at a glance gives you added time and information in case of a break-in.
To protect the rest of your home in the event that someone does access your garage, treat the door from the garage to the house like any other exterior door. Lock it behind you, and make sure it’s connected to your alarm system.
Install a secure deadbolt lock and don’t make a habit of leaving this door open or unlocked. This will also help better insulate your home in the colder months.
Secure your interior door against break-ins. If the door opens inward toward your house, consider installing a security device like Door Devil or Armor Concept's Door Armor that will prevent a door from being kicked in.
Just like keeping this door locked, this will ensure that the garage is your home’s first line of defense, but not the last.