How to Prevent Home Invasions Through Your Garage Door

When break-ins occur, intruders often gain access through the garage. With that in mind, here are four simple steps you can take to help keep your garage door (and home) safe and secure.

1. Keep the door shut. This may seem like an obvious one, but it’s so obvious that it’s easy to overlook. Oftentimes, people may forget to shut the garage door (especially if they’re rushing to the airport). Other times they may be in such a hurry to get somewhere they don’t make sure the garage door starts to close when they hit the button on the remote while driving away.

Wait until you see the garage door close before leaving. You may also want to install a timer system to automatically close the garage door after a certain amount of time (you can specify how long). Think of it as a backup system to prevent human error.

2. Take the remote with you. Garage door openers are easy to find in someone’s car—they’re usually clipped to the visor, underneath the driver’s seat, or in the glove compartment. If someone breaks into your car and spies the remote garage door opener, they may swipe it in order to gain access to your home—even if your car is parked somewhere far away. Car thieves often target the remote and they can obtain your home address from your registration information. Experts advise that you should keep the remote with you whenever you’re not in the car. A small keychain remote can go a long way towards preventing garage door opener theft, and many choose that option over a larger, bulkier remote.

3. Reset the code. If one of your remote garage door openers should happen to disappear, be sure to reset the access code as soon as possible, thus making it impossible for anyone who should have the remote to be able to use it. You may want to consider a “rolling code” system, which will automatically change your garage door code each time you use your remote. It makes it incredibly difficult for anyone to use a stolen code to open the garage door, since the code is constantly rotating.

4. Unplug your opener. If you’re going away from home for an extended period of time, and your garage door isn’t on a rolling code system, it’s a smart move to unplug the garage door opener or lock it electronically (or even manually, with a padlock) in a way that disables the remote control (you can unlock it when you get home).

Garage door security is, of course, just one part of an overall security system—but it’s an important one. A few basic precautions can go a long way towards preserving your peace of mind.