Front door is locked. Check. Windows closed. Check. Alarm is set. Check. Security cameras are working. Check.
When going down the mental checklist of whether or not your home is secure upon leaving or going to sleep at night, you might easily rattle off five or so items that readily come to mind.
But more often than not, securing the garage door falls low on the list—or might not even be popping into the mind of many at all.
Why isn’t securing the garage door top of mind?
So first, why is that? The garage door is typically the largest entry way into a home, and by far, and the items sitting on the other side could be the most valuable—and that’s only talking about what is stored in the garage, and not even taking into consideration everything that can be accessed from the garage.
So, again, why is that?
There isn’t a knob or handle
As we think about home and security, we first think about knobs and latches. The obvious, right? We ensure the mechanisms that are in place to protect are in fact being implemented—locks are locked, latches latched. Perhaps it stems from what we see in the media, on TV, etc…that is, someone entering through the front door, or ducking in through an open window.
But the garage door? It’s not as visible of a concern. And, because there might not be a handle to turn or lock to latch, we might fall into thinking it’s always secure.
The garage door is far too big
As mentioned above, the garage door is the largest entryway into the house, which might also cause us to think, “well, if the door is closed shut, how can one person possibly “break in” and lift it on their own?” It might seem like something most wouldn’t want to physically mess with.
Not to mention that one might think that anyone trying to break in through a garage will be easily seen by neighbors of passersby, so there isn’t any way they would chance that, right?
In reality, a criminal opening and entering through the garage door can happen just as easily as you do it when you’re leaving or returning home. All a thief needs to do is reach the garage door red pull cord, and up the door goes; and quickly.
The garage door is separate from the house
When it comes to home security, we think of the two big buckets—one, the safety of our family and loved ones inside the home, and two, protecting our valuables. When you leave the house, it’s basic human nature to think of all the valuables inside of the home, from electronics to collectibles, etc. So, we lock our front and back doors, and secure our windows.
But what about all of those priceless memories stored in the garage? Or those things that do have a price tag like tools, and more? We might not immediately think of these things because the garage is a “separate” entity, either literally as detached from the house, or just in theory because it’s not a high-traffic area.
Opening requires “the clicker”
Last, we dread the thought of leaving our keys somewhere, and rightly so. If someone has our keys, they can easily run away with the car. Or, if someone has our keys, they can easily waltz into the house. We apply that same idea with our garage door clicker—if someone doesn’t have it, they can’t easily enter.
But as shown time and again with “the 6-second break-in” getting into the garage isn’t all that difficult, and only requires a criminal to push in the garage door top panel enough to fit in a coat hanger, and then stick in a coat hanger to pull on the garage door emergency pull cord.
Securing a garage door
So, in prioritizing garage door protection, there are a number of ways to secure a garage door. Some better than others, but most of that depends on each person’s unique circumstances.
Garage door locks
Perhaps the most traditional of the garage door lock options, manual locks like a t-handle lock and release or sliding lock mechanism are popular choices. While these options offer much in terms of security, one might find them to be less convenient upon regular “coming and going.”
Garage door keypads
Of course, there isn’t much that isn’t backed by technology these days, so there are automated solutions. One, a garage door keypad can be a convenient option, allowing one to not worry about keys or clickers, etc.
With that said, just having a keypad installed doesn’t add an additional layer of security in terms of securing the door itself. Sure, it helps guard against a remote getting into someone else’s hands, but it’s not “locking” the door in any manner.
While not a lock itself, video doorbells and similar systems provide “security” in the sense of being an extra set of eyes keeping lookout while one is away from home. There are of course pros and cons to having a video doorbell, but you might be able to say having one is better than not having one.
The Garage Shield
Going back through the above, manual locks provide security, but might not be convenient for those who “come and go” often. Then, a keypad is convenient, but doesn’t offer additional physical security from the installation itself. Video doorbells and home security cameras might deter someone from thinking about breaking and entering, and will help identify a thief in the event that something does happen.
An alternative solution that offers convenience and security is a garage door anti-theft device like the Garage Shield—which blocks the ability of something like a simple coat hanger hook from reaching the garage door release mechanism and/or emergency rope on the garage opener track assembly.
Prioritization and action
As you can see, garage security is multi-faceted, and can come in different shapes and sizes. The first step, though, is keeping the garage door top-of-mind, and prioritizing it as the entry point that it is.
From there, it’s selecting one or a few of the different security measures at your disposal to achieve the peace of mind – and protection – you’re looking for.