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6 Must Know Ways to Make a Garage Door More Secure, Inside & Out

Garages are a primary target for break-ins. They are usually vulnerable, insecure, and offer direct access to a property.

Keep reading to learn how burglars break into garages, and how to make a garage door more secure.

How Secure are Garage Doors?

Garage doors are only as secure as the material they are made of and the locking mechanism protecting it. The most secure types of garage door are sectional or roller doors made from galvanized steel

Modern electric garages are more secure than manual garage doors.

Aluminum door panels are also secure, but not as sturdy as steel garage doors. Vinyl is durable and offers a more pleasant aesthetic for garage doors, but it’s better for protection against the elements rather than brute force.

How to Secure a Garage Door from the Outside

To make a garage door more secure means tackling the problem from both sides: inside and outside. 

Below, discover the essential ways to make your garage door more secure from the outside.

1. Upgrade the Door

Upgrading the garage door is by far the best way to secure a garage door from the outside. It’s expensive, but significantly improves garage security, aesthetics, and property value. Try the following:

  • Replace the door outright, using materials like steel, sectional, or roller doors that are more resistant to break-ins.
  • Install an automatic opener to add an extra layer of security with unique passcodes and remote access control.
  • Strengthen the strike plate, which is the weakest part of the garage door, by replacing it with a reinforced one. Use 3-6 inch screws to secure it.

2. Add Extra Locks

If upgrading or replacing the garage door is way too expensive, the next best way to secure it from outside is to introduce additional locks, like the following:

  • Anti-snap lock: regular locks with anti-snap lines on the cylinder locking system. When excessive force is applied, it snaps at the line and not the cylinder, leaving the locking mechanism intact.
  • A heavy-duty steel security bar: installed externally across the width of the garage door to prevent it from opening.
  • A garage door defender system: metal T-bar locked into place at the base of a garage door exterior to prevent opening it.
  • A garage shield: plate installed over a garage door’s emergency release cord, preventing burglars from overriding the emergency opening function and accessing the garage.

3. Install Flood Lights

Light up the area outside the garage to improve visibility around the garage door. Flood lights are superior to spotlights in this area, since a garage door is fairly wide. 

Aside from helping you park better at night, there are several benefits.

  • Visible light is a strong deterrent to burglars and trespassers.
  • Security cameras are more effective because the subject is illuminated.
  • Motion activated lights visually alert you to motion outside the house.

How to Secure a Garage Door from Inside

While securing a garage door from the outside is likely your priority, there are also some important measures to take to improve its security from the inside. 

1. Install Security Cameras

Surveillance protects the garage door from both inside and outside, though it might be of more benefit installed inside because it’ll be closer to the action if anything happens.

AlfredCam Plus used to monitor a garage.
AlfredCam Plus being used to monitor a garage.

That way, it captures greater detail.

  • Use motion detection so that the security camera triggers if someone messes with the garage door.
  • Activate infrared night vision so you don’t have to keep the lights on all the time.
  • Mount the security camera high up on the wall, preferably in the far corner of the garage, so it has a clear view of both the garage door and everything inside it.
AlfredCam Plus mounted on a black water pipe outside a house.
AlfredCam Plus in action.
Use AlfredCam Plus to monitor the front yard and driveway.

2. Hide Valuables

The inside of garages are home to a treasure trove of pricey goods—electronics, power tools, and not least of all, vehicles. While some things are clearly impossible to hide, take stock of what’s in there.

  • Keep high-value items out of sight, especially when the garage door is open.
  • Conceal safes and never place them on the ground floor to prevent attracting attention.
  • Avoid turning the garage into a dump for all your unused belongings.

3. Cover Windows

Generally, garages with windows either in the garage door itself or the surrounding structure aren’t a good idea unless it’s a converted living space. 

Don’t give opportunist burglars the chance to scope out the loot.

  • Apply a tint to the window to darken it, so that it appears black from the outside but is visible inside.
  • Fix shutters to the interior or exterior of the window.
  • Fit curtains or blinds if you want some light during the day. 

Can someone else’s remote open my garage door? 

Modern garage door opener remotes are unique to the garage they are paired with, meaning someone else’s garage door opener cannot be used to open your garage.

This might not be the case for garages over 30 years old. 

Can Burglars Open Garage Doors?

Here are the most common ways burglars open garage doors:

1. Using a coat hanger

Most burglars break into garage doors by forcing the top corner of the door open and accessing the interior release mechanism using a coat hanger. This method is quick, inconspicuous, and leaves little trace. 

2. Finding your remote

Remotes are unique, so burglars need to find the specific remote to open the garage door. They may break into your home to do this.

3. Hacking your security system

Digital access codes can be hacked, especially if an electric garage doesn’t use a rolling code. Special software can guess combinations through multiple attempts or record codes when entered. 

4. Manually breaking in

Burglars also attempt to break into a garage by manually picking the lock or damaging the door (like cutting out the lock).

5. Hiding and waiting

Hiding in nearby shrubbery and simply waiting for when the garage door is open is a way opportunist burglars get in unnoticed. 

Can someone open your garage door without a remote?

Garage doors can be opened by someone without a remote because all electric garages have a manual override system. This enables access without a remote in an emergency.

To open an electric garage door without a remote, the automatic opener chain must be deactivated. This is usually done with a small key.

The manual release (where the key goes) is usually in the corner of the garage door or next to the locking mechanism.

How are Garage Doors Hacked?

Garage doors with access codes are ‘hacked’ using a blocker that prevents the door from opening after the first attempt and records the code. When the code is entered again, the door opens. 

If the garage door opens by itself, never assume it’s caused by a glitch. Change the code immediately.

Extra secure garage doors have rolling access codes which change every few weeks.

Electric garages also have a manual override system, which is intercepted by disconnecting the opener chain. Installing a garage shield (a metal plate) over the emergency access prevents intruders from accessing the override function.

More Garage Related Questions, Answered

How do you stabilize a garage door?

Stabilize your garage door by:

  1. Cleaning and tightening all hardware, including rollers and tracks, bolts, and screws.
  2. Adjusting spring tension to make it more balanced.
  3. Lubricating the rollers, hinges, tracks, etc. to improve movement.
  4. Replacing worn out parts, including rollers, cables and springs.
  5. Getting a professional to inspect the garage door if you’re unsure.

What holds a garage door in place?

A garage door is held in place by many different components:

  • Torsion and extension springs, which balance the weight of the door and contract to lift it.
  • Cables, which also help lift and lower the door.
  • Track and rollers, which enable the garage door’s movement as it opens and closes.
  • Hinges, which lets the door fold as it opens.
  • Panels, which are the main structure of the door made of a sturdy material like steel or aluminum.
  • Latches, which hold the door in place when it’s closed.

Why does my garage door bend in the middle when I open it?

Garage doors bend in the middle for a number of reasons. It could be a sign that:

  • The springs are imbalanced or uneven.
  • The rollers and tracks are worn out and need replacing. This can occur if they aren’t lubricated frequently. 
  • The door is taking on too much weight.

The panel itself (the main part of the door) could be damaged or weakened depending on what it’s made of, causing it to bend in the middle.


Impulse crimes happen when someone walks past an open garage, spots valuables, and takes the opportunity to steal items when they can.