4 Ways to Burglar-Proof Your Garage

Updated: May 22, 2024

With a few simple tricks, you can burglar-proof your garage.

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Is Your Garage Door an Easy Entrance?

Most homeowners close the overhead garage door and assume they’ve locked out bad guys. And they’re mostly correct; a garage door connected to an opener is pretty secure. But there are a few ways that crooks might get through your door. We’ll show you how they do it—and how to stop them.

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Prevent Fishing

Every garage door opener has an emergency release that disconnects the door from the opener. Without it, you wouldn’t be able to open the door when the opener is on the fritz. But some clever crooks have turned this essential feature into a security risk. Here are some ways to prevent garage break-ins. 

“Fishing” a garage door isn’t exactly easy, and in some situations it’s almost impossible. Some openers, for example, have a release mechanism that must be pulled straight down and won’t release if the cord is tugged at an angle toward the door. Others are a bit easier to fish, especially if your garage door has a window that allows the crook to see what he’s doing.

By pushing the door inward to create a gap at the top, a crook can insert a wire hook and fish for the release. Some use a wedge to hold the gap open.

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Don’t Forget to Close the Door

Lots of times garage security is undermined simply because someone forgot to close the door. A garage door monitor is a good reminder. Just stick the sensor to the door and set the monitor in a conspicuous spot like your nightstand. To find a monitor, search online for “garage door monitor.” The brand of your door or opener doesn’t matter; any monitor will work.

An automatic door closer provides even more security, since it closes the door whether you’re home or not. Installation requires some simple low-voltage wiring and takes less than an hour. To find one, search online for “automatic garage door closer.”

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Don’t Keep the Clicker in Your Car

Keep your opener with your keys. It’s simple: If you take your garage door opener with you, thieves can’t steal it from your car. A keychain remote just makes sense. You can easily take it with you every time you leave the car. Home centers stock only a small selection of remotes, but you’ll find more online. Start your search by typing in the brand of your opener, followed by “remote.”

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Lock Up the Overhead Door

Some people “lock” the door when they go on vacation by unplugging the opener. That’s a good idea, but physically locking the door is even better. An unplugged opener won’t prevent fishing, and—if you have an attached garage—it won’t stop a burglar who has entered through the house from opening the garage door from inside, backing in a van and using the garage as a loading dock for his plunder. Make a burglar’s job more difficult and time-consuming by locking the door itself.

If your door doesn’t have a lockable latch, drill a hole in the track just above one of the rollers and slip in a padlock.