Most home designs prevent intruders from coming through the front door, first-floor windows, or the back door. That being said, most homeowners don’t think about their garage door security which leaves the garage a place of vulnerability.
What would happen if your garage door was compromised?
Having a high-quality garage door is not a guarantee that you’ll be keeping the bad guys out. Intruders may still find their way into your garage and there’s a good chance that the interior door leading to your connected garage comes equipped with a simple doorknob lock and you may not have a security mechanism on that entryway at all. Although an automatic opener does provide a reasonably strong security profile for your garage door and home, there are some ways that you could still be vulnerable right now.
Could your current garage door setup prevent these potential attacks?
Push and Probe Method:
A garage door opener that comply with the industry’s safety regulations comes equipped with an emergency release mechanism which disconnects the opener’s trolley from its carriage. If this feature wasn’t present, you wouldn’t be able to disengage your garage door from the automatic unit and switch it to manual mode. While this feature allows you to open a garage door if something happened to the motor, intruders may try to place an inward pressure on your garage door by placing a wooden wedge or firm doorstop to create a gap at the top section. Then they can use a wire hook (often a hanger), to fish around for the garage door emergency release cord.
Therefore, as part of your regular garage door safety inspections, see if there is any exaggerated movement at the top section of your garage door when placing pressure there. If you are able to press the top section of your garage door inward and create a gap, speak with a garage door repair service provider about the security options available for your garage door make and model.
Remote Control Method:
Older automatic garage door opener units using dip switch technology and trigger when a command is given to it over a specific binary value. If someone is using the same binary value on their remote, for a similar garage door opener make and model, then they would be able to open your garage door. Instead of playing a guessing game, some thieves just choose to break into your vehicle to steal your garage door remote.
How to Secure your Garage Door?
Consult with a reputable garage door repair company, and find out how’s your garage door opener operates. Newer garage door openers feature Rolling Code technology which have an algorithm that transmits new code (out of 100 billion possible codes) every time you use a remote-control device. Also, you may want to take the garage door remote out of the vehicle, even with the doors locked, a thief could smash open your window to steal the garage door opener remote control. Then they can break into your garage at their convenience.
Automatic Garage Door Lock:
Some models of Chamberlain and Liftmaster are lock capable garage door openers and can be you integrated with an automatic garage door deadbolt. Using MyQ technology, the automatic deadbolt allows you to lock/unlock your garage door from your smartphone and get alerts if it’s been compromised.
Manual Garage Door Lock:
Consider an installation of a manual garage door side lock. This lock will allow you to secure your garage door from the inside and will prevent anyone from opening the door, manually and/or automatically.
Newer garage door openers feature lock button on their wall console. When on, the lock feature aka vacation mode will prevent the operation of the garage door opener with hand-held remote controls, however, the automatic unit will still work when using the wall button and/or wireless keypad (if present).
If the price of a more secure garage door opener isn’t in your budget, there are some steps you can take right now that will improve your security like using a zip-tie to lock the garage door opener’s emergency release mechanism, wrapping it around the connection location. Keep in mind that this option is not recommended because you’ll be unable to disengage the automatic unit from the door in an emergency as well. Use the zip-tie idea only as a temporary stop-gap security measure until you can adequately protect the security of your garage door and home without compromising your safety.