The garage and garage doors are one of the most commonly overlooked areas when it comes to designing and building a home security system. With many garages having direct access to a house, this can be a major flaw with the security system.

As you can probably guess, this is a favorite entry point for many of today’s burglars and robbers because of its weaknesses, areas of concealment, and unlocked cars parked inside of the garage.

As we have been seeing in the recent news stories, more and more burglars and robbers have been targeting garages not only for a quick entrance inside of the house, but for the unlocked parked cars. Right now England has been dealing with a rash of burglaries were people are breaking into homes only to steal car keys so they can take the car or get inside of the car for certain items.

Other cases are where people break into the garage just to gain access to the home. Many people don’t realize just how unsecured and unprotected their cars are and just how easy it is to break into the house through the garage.

And the garage itself is a place full of large areas of concealment. It’s very easy for a robber to sneak around and work with cars in nearly total concealment, which is perfect for those who are there to remove expensive items like car stereos and GPS navigation systems.

They can sit down there all night and work without any distractions. It’s even easier for the robbers if you have a natural noisemaking device in the garage such as a furnace. You will not hear a thing as they break into your garage and do whatever they please.

Garage security is only important if:

A.) You have an attached garage with direct access to the inside of your home (as opposed to a completely separate garage or just an opening parking area next to the house), and

B.) If you keep anything valuable inside of your garage, including car stereos still inside of cars.
There are two main flaws with garage door security: the garage itself and the remote control that activates the garage doors.

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Garage security:

For most people, the garage has one or two main garage doors for the cars and a side exterior door. Those side doors are commonly locked with only a simple door lock that could easily be picked or forced open. It’s surprising how many people today do not even use deadbolt locks on their doors in the garage. You may as well have a “Break in through here” sign on that door.

Take a look at your garage from the outside. Can you easily see inside through the large glass windows on the door? If you can, so can the burglar. They can easily see not only what type of vehicle and how many that you own, but also if you are home or not. Expensive power tools and other items are most likely also quite visible. If they’ve been casing and observing your home, they will instantly know if you’re home or not when they choose to strike.

The best way to handle the windows on the garage doors is to remove them completely and just have solid garage doors. If new solid garage doors are not an option, find a way to cover the windows with some type of glazing, paint, or even by covering the inside of the windows with black trash bags or pieces of a tarp. Try to match the paint on the outside of the door so it doesn’t look as tacky to the neighbors.

Removing or at least covering the glass windows will make it that much harder and more inconvenient for the robbers to break through the window, reach inside, and unlock the large doors. However, just because you may have made it harder to go through the windows doesn’t mean that they still can’t quickly break into the garage through those main doors.

The main garage doors are commonly flexible and designed to bend from occasional impacts from cars. Little did the designers know that the bending would expose a major security flaw.

All a burglar has to do is take his own car and put the bumper against the door, apply a little bit of force, and pop the long metal security rod out of place. The door could then be easily opened from outside.

The best way to protect against that type of a security flaw is to use an automatic garage door opener. The robber will have to make it inside of the garage and disconnect the door from the opener’s drive system before the garage door could be opened by hand. But as we’ll see next, having an automatic garage door opener doesn’t mean that your garage door is secure.

Garage door openers and remote controls:

Automatic garage door openers are great for their convenience. They can keep your garage relatively secure and you don’t have to waste time getting out and manually opening and closing the door. That is especially useful when it rains, snows, is freezing cold or just nasty weather conditions. But don’t get too comfortable because the main flaw with automatic garage door openers is with the remote control itself.

Most of the automatic doors operate on their own special frequency. The frequency doesn’t change and is unique to the motor and remote(s). With the use of a code grabber, an intruder can steal your frequency and open your garage door with their own remote. All it takes is for the code grabber to be near your home and scanning the frequencies next time you use your remote to open or close the door. The device will remember your frequency number and the intruder can easily open your garage door next time you leave home.

A way to protect against that problem is by using an automatic garage door with a rolling code. The rolling code keeps changing the frequencies used between the motor and the remote(s). The code grabber still can find out what frequency you’re using (at that moment), but by the time they have a chance of using it, it will have changed.

If your automatic door does not have a rolling code, it’s possible to purchase a code encrypting device. That’s an add-on device that works similar to automatic doors with the rolling code.

Ultimately, the best way to protect your home and garage is with a home security system that has a motion detector in the garage and a door contact on the door going inside the home. You can spend the extra money and put door contacts on each of the garage doors, but that usually isn’t necessary for most people. The main concern is protecting the inside of the home and its occupants, while the secondary concern is protecting the cars in the garage. A visible motion detector will keep away most of the robbers. The motion detector can be used when the security system is in the NIGHT or AWAY modes, while the door contact can be used in those modes along with the HOME / INSTANT mode.

So how secure is your garage?

Is your garage secure and difficult for a robber to break into without seriously exposing himself through efforts and noise, or is your garage one that rings a dinner bell to call all of the local robbers to your house?

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