10 Best Ways To Make Your Garage Door Secure
With more of us storing our stuff in garages and lock ups these days, safety and security really ought to be higher up the priority list. If you type, “how can I make my garage door more secure?” into Google, you’ll be met with a plethora of advice. And most of it is written by companies in the garage door security business, who want to sell you their goods and services.
The good news is, we’ve read through PAGES of their wisdom, so now you don’t have to. Here’s our round up of the 10 best ways you can make your garage door more secure for your peace of mind. Starting with…
Garage door security - what type of garage doors are the most secure?
There are four main types of garage doors in the UK, all with potential leverage points for a trusty crowbar. Side hinged with two panels that open (like the lock ups in the Ealing Comedy films), electric roller shutters (tucking neatly away in the roof), tilt-up canopy up and over (seen everywhere in 1970s suburbia), and sectional.
Sectional garage doors are split into sections which fold back into the roof and tend to be a more secure garage door solution. Side hinged garage doors and up and over garage doors security are less resilient. Sorry to all those cats who love an up and over for a sunny snooze (if you know, you know).
How do you secure a garage door from the inside?
There are several ways you can make your garage door secure from inside and prevent intruders from gaining access.
01 – Lock, stock, and barrel
Locks are key (boom) to your home security and garages are often a weak point. Recent research shows one in five UK house burglaries enter through the garage. We’d suggest going for a secure garage door lock that can’t be easily snapped, picked, or drilled. Consider all your other doors and windows' entry points too, and think about multiple locking points:
• Side door bolts – easy to destroy with a targeted kung fu kick to the door.
• Deadbolt locks – extra reinforcement, and a lot of effort to shift without a key.
• T-handle locks - uses a hard-to-snap cylinder-shaped key to operate the handle.
• Mortice locks - locks are fixed to both sides of the door along with a deadbolt locking mechanism - you’d really need a crowbar to shift them.
• Garage door defenders - heavy-duty security and an excellent visual deterrent. A large arm is fixed in front of the door, padlocked to a concrete base which restricts the door movement.
• Electronic locks - uses fingerprint technology instead of keys to operate the lock. A far more costly option though, and perhaps unnecessary if you’re only keeping an old hatchback inside.
02 – The doors of opportunity
Keep any service door from the garage to your home locked. Don’t leave it open when you go into the house or leave your keys or garage door remote inside because then anyone else can get in too. And the access door that leads from inside your house out into the garage? Keep that locked as well.
03 – Zip it up
If you have an electric roller garage door, you’ll also have an emergency release lever or pull cord in case of power failure. Guess what, if you can reach it, so can a burglar. Use a zip tie to hold it back out of reach.
04 – A window to the world
Don’t make it easy to see all your power tools, sports cars, and other high-value items from the outside. If your garage has a window, hide your valuables from view, install some frosted glass, or at least put up a blind to prevent snooping.
How do you secure a garage door from the outside?
So that’s internal security taken care of, now let’s look at garage door security from the outside.
05 – Ground control
Another visual deterrent, some secure garage doors have ground anchors installed at their base, although they’re not a substitute for a good lock. Get them professionally installed and they’ll tell burglars it's not worth their time or money trying to break into your garage because it requires too much effort and risk.
06 – Smarten up your technology and apps
Smart security cameras with internet connectivity can be accessed from anywhere in the world. Some also come with built-in motion detectors that will alert you when something moves, or there's an unexpected item in your garage area. You can even view live video footage on your phone while you're away from home via a smart app.
07 – Shed some light
Motion-activated lights are easy to install, can be wired into the main power supply or battery-powered, and controlled via your home WiFi and an app. Take a tip from architects who know about building secure-by-design houses. Place your motion sensor lights near garage doors and doors leading into/out of the house from outside (including windows). Bonus points if you couple these with a camera since thieves tend not to want their faces seen while breaking in.
08 – The thorns and sharp stones on life’s path
You don’t need to turn your garage exterior into a jungle, but you can certainly make it as painful as possible for burglars to get inside. Planting small thorny shrubs underneath windows and around doors creates an effective barrier, making it difficult for intruders to gain access. Similarly, keeping your hedges trimmed reduces cover for burglars to hide behind, and having a gravel path means you’ll hear them coming.
09 – Alarm it
If a simple motion sensor light has given you a taste of protection, imagine what an entire security system can do for your peace of mind. Whether you go for a device that alerts you via text or email when someone opens the door, or an expensive smart system with multiple sensors and cameras to show you who’s sneaking in or out at any time. Add an alarm system to your house and relax in the knowledge your valuables are protected.
Top tip: 10 – think like a burglar
Despite what comedy films would have you believe, (Home Alone, anyone?) burglars are not stupid, and they know what they’re looking for: easy access with minimal risk. Imagine you were going to break into your home:
Is your garage door secure? Can you see all your expensive power tools through the window? Have those locks seen better days? How long would it take you to force entry and get away with all your stuff?
Your newly secure garage
Whether you own a garage, rent a garage, or are just thinking of renting a garage, there are lots of different ways you can make any garage door secure. Plus, did you know that amping up your security could also lower the cost of your insurance premiums? Suddenly working through these ten tips no longer seems such a pain, does it?
And when you’re done, how would you feel about earning some extra income from your garage? If the answer’s YES, then talk to us about becoming a Stashbee Host and renting out your space to locals who need it - because we think anything that helps pay the bills is going to be welcome right now, no?
9th Dec 2022