Garage Security: A Burglarproof Door

How to beef up security for your garage—and your family.

To get real-world garage-security advice, I’ve spoken with cops, insurance adjusters, even burglars. But one of my most interesting security talks was with a firefighter who routinely busts through doors to do his job. When I asked him about garage security, he told me two interesting things:

Securing a garage service door

Secure wood-panel service doors to keep your garage – and everything stored or parked inside of it – safe.

1. Lots of garages still have old, wood-panel service doors. The panels are thin and easy to break through. And once a panel is broken, you can reach inside to unlock the door. The simplest solution is to screw a ½-in. plywood panel over the inside of the door as shown. Cut lengths of 2×4 and slip them into the brackets. Place one bar about 26 in. from the floor, the other about 52 in. from the floor.

2. A good dead bolt and a strike plate secured with beefy screws make a door difficult to kick or ram in. But for the ultimate garage security, the firefighter recommends barring the door. Steel brackets sized to hold 2x4s are available for a few bucks apiece at home centers. One bar is great; two are even better. Screw plywood strips to the framing to form a mounting surface that’s flush with the inside of the door. Mount the brackets with screws or lag screws that are long enough to penetrate the framing by at least 1-1/2 in.

Attaching the brackets to bar a door

For the ultimate level of exterior door security, bar the door.

— Gary Wentz, Senior Editor

Try these other DIY home security projects:

How to Reinforce Doors: Entry Doors and Lock Reinforcements

Home Theft Protection: Secure Your Garage

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