It’s relatively easy to break into a garage. Thieves can do it in a matter of seconds, and grab your tools, sports equipment, and other high-value items before you know it. Fortunately, you can take steps to protect your garage from a break-in. Follow these tips to make your garage door more secure.


Tip #1: Light the way.

Thieves lurk in the shadows. Add motion-activated flood lights around your garage. The sudden blaze of light is sure to startle a burglar and could scare him away. It also could alert neighbors or passersby to their activity, which could deter them as well.


Tip #2: Cover your windows.

You probably store high-value items in your garage, including your vehicle. Don’t broadcast that fact to everyone. Use interior curtains or blinds to cover your windows. You also can use an adhesive window film. Windows also are easy to break. Consider garage door windows with panes that are too small to use to enter.


Tip #3: Trim your landscaping.

Make sure there are no bushes near your garage where thieves can hide. You want your neighbors and every passerby to be able to see what’s going on. Pro Tip: Plant thorny shrubs under garage windows to discourage thieves from getting in that way.


Tip #4: Reinforce your service door.

If your garage has a service door that leads to the outside or inside of your home, make sure it’s secure. Most garage service doors can be broken with a well-placed, solid kick. Reinforce your door with a strike plate, using 3-inch screws to secure it.


Tip #5: Add a layer of protection with a lock.

Many garages use keyless locks which open the door with a keypad, fingerprint reader, or remote control. Alternatively, you can use a deadbolt or padlock, which require keys. You can even use a combination of locks, such as a garage door lock bar which stops the door from being raised, in combination with another type of lock for added security. Choose the one(s) that works for your budget and your needs. Pro Tip: Keep the keypad clean. A thief can look at the dirty keys to guess your garage door code.


Tip #6: Update your remotes.

If your garage door remote is old, chances are it is easy to hack. Thieves can use a code grabber that copies your signal. Then they can send it to your garage door to open it. Newer remotes use a rolling code, which slightly changes the signal that your remote sends every time. That’s a good reason to update your garage remotes to a newer model.


Tip #7: Don’t clip your garage remote to your car visor.

It’s like giving thieves a key to your home. They can just break into your car to get your remote. Consider using a smart garage door opener from your smartphone or attach your remote to your keychain so it’s always with you.


Tip #8: Close your garage door.

It may seem simple but sometimes we forget to close our garage doors. Don’t tempt thieves by leaving yours open. Consider an automatic door closer that will shut the door after a specified amount of time. You also may wish to invest in a garage door monitor, which displays whether the garage door is open or closed.


Tip #9: Protect your garage’s emergency release cord.

The emergency release cord is designed to open the garage door in a power outage. Thieves however use it to their advantage. They can push the door inward to create enough of a gap to insert a wire hook. Then they pull down on the cord. There are a few ways that you can protect the cord from this hack. You can pull the cord through a PVC pipe that is too thick and bulky to be pulled by the wire. You can cut the cord very short so thieves cannot easily grab it. You can zip tie it so it cannot be pulled. You can create a door lock shield with a scrap of plywood screwed to the opener’s arm.


Tip #10: Install a security camera.

Security cameras can help deter thieves, especially if they are visible. Make sure that the ones you buy are designed for outdoor use and specifically for the seasonal temperatures in your region. Consider features like motion-activated recording, and WiFi or mobile access via your smartphone or other device. Add a door alarm or security sensor to alert you of a breach. This is especially valuable if you are not home or are on vacation.


Finally, for added peace of mind, you will want to make sure that you fully protect your home with the right coverage. After all, your home is one of your greatest investments.



This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or



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