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Security Tips

For Garage Doors, Windows and Openers

Protect this popular break and enter point of entry into your home.

Police Investigators:
The Garage is a Common Entry Point Into Homes  

If you garage is not well secured and is connected to your house, it offers a convenient entry point into your house. After gaining entry into your garage, a burglar can take his time to find a way to open the garage access door into your house because he is no longer in plain view. In some cases, if the burglar is able to enter your garage without using force (see below - coat hanger, scanned code, your garage remote, door left open), he can break in through your garage access door, trigger a monitored alarm, disable the alarm then hide in the garage to wait for the police arrive. The police would see no signs of forced entry then leave. Now they have full access to your home.
Image of York Region Police Media Release on Common Garage Entries

Garage Doors

If your garage is connected to your house, the single most important aspect to secure is the internal garage access door leading into your house. Replace it with a security door or add a gate and always lock it to create a secure choke point to keep  burglars out of your house even if they manage to get into your garage. PD Secure Doors & Metalex Security Products have excellent options - check out our doors section. If you have an outswinging side convenience door leading outside, install a deadbolt, an interior latch, or screw it permanently shut. The internal access door should be very secure to defend against sustained attack because once inside your garage, burglars are out of plain view and any noise they make is muted. 

Image of a security door leading into the garage

Your big overhead roll-up doors can be breached by simply using the weight of a car to push the panels off the tracks to allow someone to sneak in. It is better to invest in securing your garage access door than to try to strengthen roll-up doors to fight against the power of vehicles.

Image of an overhead roll-up garage door pushed in by a car gaining access

Garage Door Openers

Protect yourself from the coat hanger attack. Your overhead roll-up garage door can be easily opened in seconds! Use a relatively thin zip tie to secure the safety release against coat hangers and test it to make sure you can still activate it with your body weight.

Check if you have a more vulnerable ‘fixed code’ garage door opener where your signal can easily be hacked. If you do, then upgrade your opener to one with a more secure ‘rolling code’ technology that randomly sends a different code each time. Watch the video to find out how to determine this.

Even with a ‘rolling code’ opener, it isn’t totally secure because there are advanced ways to still steal these codes. A secure access door from your garage into your house will stop burglars.

Image of a car with passenger side window smashed in

Park your car inside the garage. If your door opener is in the car it can be easily accessed. Also, this will reduce your exposure to car theft and avoid creating an observable pattern of your car on the driveway advertising when you are away. It’s better to not leave your opener in your car and instead, get a keychain remote. If someone steals your car and they find your registration, they would know your address and can enter. 

Garage Windows

Avoid having windows in the garage. This includes the walls, convenience entry doors and the overhead roll-up doors. Windows look great and let in light but they also help burglars. If you do have windows, use window coverings or obscure them with opaque film to prevent burglars from seeing valuable items, if your cars are at home or not, and visibility to make it extra easy to perform a garage door opener coat hanger attack.

Image of overhead roll-up garage doors with windows

A Few More Tips

1. Always lock the inner access door between the garage & house.
2. Don’t leave the garage door open, even when doing yard work or walking the dog. 
3. Double check the garage door has fully closed before driving off. Doors can get jammed and reverse, the signal from your opener was not received, the button not correctly pressed or you simply forgot.
4. Include the garage as part of your security system’s coverage with switches and an interior motion sensor.