Garage Door Security Guide

garage door securityGarage door security. Your garage is more than just a shelter for your vehicles—it’s an extension of your property, and one that may even store some valuable possessions. You might be aware of some ways that your garage can be broken into or invaded by unwanted animals or insects, but we’ve got more you haven’t considered. Learn more about the different ways your garage could be compromised, along with tips on how you might avoid these issues in the future.

Threats to your garage door

Thieves
Even if a potential burglar isn’t able to break into the main house, an unsecured garage might present itself as a good consolation prize. Even so, once hidden inside your garage a determined intruder can take his or her time to defeat the locked door into your house if the garage is attached. Securing your garage door from burglary should be a priority.


Weather
The roof and siding of a garage is just as prone to damage from the elements as the main house, and might leave it prone to rodent infestations. Garage doors are not immune to high winds or flooding either.


Wear and tear
This is a particular concern if the garage was built a long time ago, or if substandard materials were used. Even if built to high standards, the best materials and design give way to years of use as parts wear out and give an opening to critters or thieves.


Old or malfunctioning remotes
Perform regular checks to ensure that the remote for the garage door opener is in good working condition, and invest in replacements as needed. Older models are definitely less secure than newer ones with rolling code technologies and other methods of preventing unwanted access.


Pests both large and small
While rodents are often the main concern, a garage is also prone to damage by termites, ants, or other insects. How do you secure your garage against rodents or insects? There are proven techniques and measures to take.


Fire Safety
Garages often contain flammable chemicals like gasoline for lawn mowers, paints, and so on. Ignition sources are also present in many garages, for example, pilot lights on heaters, or motor startup mechanisms.


With a focus on intrusion, here are some of the latest best practices when it comes to keeping your garage door secure.

What makes a garage door opener secure?

When it comes to preventing garage door break ins, your first line of defense against most of the threats listed above is a superior garage door opener. Of course you want the most secure garage door opener you can find, but not all of these handy tools are created equal, however, so keep an eye out for the latest developing technology.

How do thieves defeat an unsecured garage door?

Your garage door has an emergency release handle that can be easily reached from the outside, by using either a coat hanger or some other long, thin piece of wire. If they can catch the handle and pull it, the door opener drive is disengaged and the door can be opened manually from the outside. While meant to make garage doors operable in the case of a power outage, the emergency release handle has also made it possible for thieves to access any garage they can see into and insert a wire through the seal at the top of the door.

Hacking garage door remotes

Some older garage door openers used the same code to open the door every time, and these codes could be hacked by anyone who can manipulate radio frequency signals in the area. Newer models, however, utilize “rolling codes,” which change each time the device is used. Investing in one of these models is another effective step toward preventing break-ins.

What are some simple things homeowners can do to protect their garages?

While it’s important to learning about a garage door security system, or how to secure a garage door against intruders, theft isn’t the only threat your garage might have to guard against. All are prone to damage from the elements, and older buildings in particular are a haven for unwanted multi-legged creatures.

Newer vs older garage door openers

You might be surprised to learn that garage door openers were invented way back in 1926 by an Indiana entrepreneur named C.G Johnson. Obviously, the technology has seen significant advances since then, but some changes came about more swiftly than others. In 1993, in an effort to alleviate the risk of pets or children becoming trapped under the automatic door, legal action implemented a requirement that every garage door opening system should feature a built-in safety reversing mechanism. If your device is older than that, it’s definitely time for a replacement.

Innovations in newer models

The newest garage door openers are noticeably quieter than the pre-1993 models, and they have advanced safety features–like the one listed above–that make them less likely to cause harmful accidents. With the help of technology, some of the most advanced models can even aid in preventing break-ins. Garage door security sensors have been a welcome addition to the sensors that serve in a safety capacity.

Best practices in securing your garage against animals and insects

Begin by giving the area a thorough cleaning, sweeping every inch of the floor, right into the corners. Next, inspect the walls–particularly where they meet the floor–for any cracks or crannies where insects can come crawling in. Seal any problem areas with a caulking gun. Don’t forget the windows–patch up any tears in the screens, or replace the panes of glass wherever needed. The idea here is to inspect for entry pathways and seal up or modify any places where bugs can get in.

Termites usually need cover when traveling in search of their next hangout. They may build “mud tubes” to move through as they access wood and moisture. Inspection of your garage walls both inside and out could reveal an infestation.

Be on the lookout for any holes and cracks in the walls. They don’t even have to be big ones, as you’ll know if you’ve ever witnessed a mouse crawling under a door or refrigerator. Stuff steel wool into the holes before applying the caulk, to make it harder for them to chew their way in. Additionally, be sure that there are no potential food sources–such as birdseed–stored in the garage.

How can I secure a garage door against break-ins?

There are several steps you can take to ward off the possibility of a break-in. First of all, keep the remote for your garage door opener in the house or on your person, never in the car. If someone breaks into your car and manages to get away with your opener, they’ll have full access to your garage. Even if you’re not at home when your car is broken into, the thief could easily learn your address from your vehicle registration.

Another way to deter thieves is to invest in an alarm system. When burglars hear an alarm go off, they’re more likely to give up and run for it, as they know the police are probably on their way. Some alarms will automatically notify the authorities as soon as the device is tripped. If you’re routinely away for long periods of time, it’s a good idea to select one of these models.

Why do thieves like to break into garages?

Many homes can be accessed through the garage, and potential burglars know this. They may also expect the garage entrance to have weaker security than the front door, and this may well be the case. Even if the thieves don’t make it all the way into the house, many homeowners store tools and yard equipment in their garages–not to mention the vehicles themselves.

What are some features of garage door security systems?

There are many devices that will deter thieves, some expensive and some simple and cheap. Depending on what you have to protect, choose the appropriate setup for your home and garage.

Garage door security cameras

As part of an overall home security system, cameras that link to wi-fi allow homeowners to see what’s going on and record any suspicious activity if there’s a need to pursue a suspected burglar. They can be small or large and act as deterrents either way. Some homes and businesses even use dummy cameras to make it look like the area is under surveillance.


garage door securityGarage door security locks and latches

Outfitting the door with an interior latch will make it that much more difficult for intruders to get through the barrier. Garage door security latches and specialized and robust devices that will deter any attempt to gain entry regardless of the use of the emergency release break-in technique. They are usually bolted to the interior walls or floor of the garage and when engaged, they send burglars off in search of an easier door to pry open.

Exterior keypads

Choose a number that you’ll be able to remember easily, but stay away from obvious combinations like your address or phone number in case a proficient bad guy does his homework.

Garage door sensors

When motion sensors are paired with cameras, it becomes even easier for you to keep track of any suspicious activity. Infrared or laser-based detectors are used by high security system operators, and alerts can be handled by alarm system agencies or set off an audible alarm and flash the lights to scare off an attempt at entry.

Garage door security phone apps

Many security systems for both the entire house and your garages give you peace of mind wherever you go. Simply log into the app to check on everything, get alerts, and make whatever changes you’d like to your security settings.

Garage and exterior lighting

Keeping the area around your garage well-lit should act as a deterrent for anyone who’s looking to break in. This is also true of sensor-triggered lighting and lights that you can set to turn on and off at regular or random times.

All Four Seasons Garage Doors is committed to helping our customers maintain their garage systems, whether they need security or curb appeal. We’re big enough to serve and small enough to care and we’ve been serving the Atlanta and Nashville areas since the 1990’s. Contact All Four Garage Doors for any and all of your garage needs.