While automatic garage door openers provide great convenience, they can also pose a security risk for your garage. Most garage door openers come with an emergency release lever that is typically connected to a cord that hangs down. Although this lever is often ignored, it can become useful in situations where you lose power and cannot operate the garage door automatically. By pulling the lever down, you can manually raise the garage door.
In case you wish to enhance the safety or security of your garage by making it more difficult for unauthorized access or eliminating it completely, consider the following suggestions for improving garage security.
- Take off the emergency release cord handle. The emergency release cord handle, which is attached to the cord that operates the emergency release lever, can be a vulnerability in your garage security. While it does offer a small convenience when you need to trip the lever, it also provides an easy target for someone trying to gain access to your garage from outside. By removing the handle from the cord, you can significantly increase the difficulty of this kind of break-in attempt. It will require more effort and time for an intruder to find another way to activate the lever without the handle, making your garage more secure.
- Cover the windows. Having frosted windows installed in your garage can improve security by making it more difficult for intruders to see what is happening inside. This can deter potential burglars from attempting to break in. Additionally, the frosted windows still allow natural light to enter the garage, which can be important if you use it as a workspace or need to see clearly while working on a project. With frosted windows, it will be harder for someone to break in and gain access to your home through the garage, giving you greater peace of mind.
- Forget the automatic garage door opener. By disconnecting the automatic garage door opener, you eliminate the possibility of someone hacking into the opener’s wireless signal or stealing the remote from your car. With a manual latch, you are in full control of who can enter your garage. However, this method requires you to manually open and close the garage door, which may not be practical for some people. It is also worth noting that this method will not work if your garage door only has an automatic opener and lacks a manual latch.
- Install a wireless keypad. Installing a wireless keypad outside of your garage can be a great addition to your security system, as it can allow you to enter your garage without the need for keys or remote controls. Instead, you can simply enter a unique code into the keypad to open the garage door. A wireless keypad is easy to install and can be quite affordable, and it can be especially helpful if you frequently need to access your garage without entering your home. However, it’s important to choose a strong, unique code for the keypad to ensure that unauthorized individuals cannot gain access to your garage. Additionally, while using a wireless keypad can be convenient, it’s important to remember that disabling the emergency release lever can pose a safety risk in the event of an emergency, so you should carefully consider whether or not to take this step.
- Install motion sensor lights. Installing motion sensor lights can be an effective way to enhance the security of your garage. These lights are designed to turn on automatically when they detect motion within their range, illuminating the area around your garage door. This feature can be particularly useful at night or when you are away from home. By installing motion sensor lights above your garage door, you can reduce the risk of someone attempting to break in through the garage without being noticed. The bright light that the motion sensor activates can make it difficult for an intruder to work under cover of darkness and may discourage them from targeting your home altogether.
- Secure the entry door to the house. The door that connects your garage to your home can be a vulnerable point of entry for intruders. Many people don’t even bother to install a lock on this door since they assume the garage door provides enough security. However, if a burglar gains entry to the garage, a well-secured door can make it much more difficult for them to break into the house. Therefore, it is crucial to treat this door as you would any other exterior entry point in your home and ensure that it has a sturdy deadbolt lock installed. By doing so, you can significantly increase your home’s overall security and provide an extra layer of protection against potential intruders.
- Don’t leave the garage door remote in the car. Leaving your garage door remote inside your car is not a good idea as it can be easily stolen by burglars. It is crucial to make sure that the car doors are locked, and the remote is not visible from outside to prevent unauthorized access to your garage. Even if the remote is clipped to your visor, it can still be a tempting target for burglars. To avoid this, consider using a smaller remote that you can attach to your keychain, so you can always carry it with you. You can check the manufacturer’s instructions or the user manual for your garage door opener to see if they offer a keychain remote option. By taking these precautions, you can reduce the risk of a break-in through your garage door.
- Turn off the power. Turning off the power to your garage door opener is an easy and effective way to improve the security of your garage. Burglars cannot open the garage door without electricity, so cutting off the power source is an excellent way to deter them from attempting to break in. You can unplug the garage door opener or flip the switch on the wall that controls its power source. Keep in mind that some garage door openers may have backup batteries that can still operate the door even if the power is cut off, so it’s essential to check your specific garage door opener’s user manual or contact the manufacturer to ensure that it is entirely disabled.