If you’re looking to improve garage security and make your garage harder to break into, then these 25 simple tips will improve the security of your garage and make it less likely that a criminal will break in.
There’s no magic wand when it comes to the security of anything these days. If someone wants to break in and they are determined to do so, then they will. What these tips will do however, is make it harder for them to do so, and make it a not so attractive proposition even for opportunist criminals who want an easy ride.
Remember: Don’t make it easy for them.
A criminal will nearly alwasy choose the path of least resistance, and the path that is the easiest. That means, 9 times out of 10, criminals and opportunist thieves will choose to break into the garage that barely has any security features, over one that has many security features.
Below you’ll find 25 ways to improve garage security. Some of these are easy to implement, some not so easy, and some are free and some have some cost attached to them. Work your way through them, and see what is feasible for you and your home.
You’ll find a handy table of contents below, and the content is split up into two main sections: integrated garages, and external garages.
Table of Contents
Improve Garage Security – Integrated Garages
We are going to start with integrated garage security.
Integrated garages (they usually sit flush with the front of your house and offer access into your main property via a side door inside the garage) are notoriously difficult to add additional security measures to, because they are already quite secure.
An integrated garage usually means it’s a newer type of UK house build – where the garden isn’t fenced off at all, and everything is ‘open plan’.
Believe it or not, one of the reasons for this open plan layout (apart from reduced developer costs) is security.
Walk down any newer development in the day time, and the chances are you’ll be able to see every door and window as far as the eye can see – generally they are free from obstruction of fences, trees and shrubbery.
And in hours of darkness, because of the narrow street design, street lights will light up most areas of the street, leaving very few areas without light.
Having this open plan design is a major benefit security wise, and this obstruction free layout is one of the 75 ways we discuss in this article here to improve general security of your property.
But no matter how secure it was built, there’s always room for improvement – so here are a few additional ways to improve the security of your integrated garage.
Your Actions To Improve Garage Security
- 1. If you have an up and over front garage door, consider adding extra security to it like this Garage Defender Lock.
- 2. Add additional lights on any paths or driveways that lead to the garage. Motion sensor lights are a great deterrent.
- 3. Install an ‘always on’ light above the up and over door – hard wired is the better option here, and we recommend getting an electrician in to do the install.
- 4. Does your integrated garage have an internal door that leads into your house? It should at the minimum, be a solid door with a mortice lock. Additionally, consider adding a deadbolt on the house side of the door, and installing a basic contact alarm on the door that will alarm when the door is opened.
- 5. If you have an expensive motorbike or road bike, at a minimum use some sort of locking system for those items. Ideally, lock them to a ground anchor or wall anchor.
- 6. Expensive power tools? Consider a tool safe to lock them away.
- 7. Remember, don’t whet appetites. By this, we mean don’t let people see what is in your garage. Keep your garage doors closed so opportunists don’t notice that £2k roadbike you’ve got leaning against the wall, or that selection of power tools lining the wall all in their carry cases.
There’s one important thing to remember with integrated garages, and that is fire safety.
If you have an internal door in your house that leads directly into your integrated garage, and it’s part of your fire escape plan, just make sure that you are making it hard for people trying to get in, but not too hard to get out of in the event of a fire and needing to use it as a fire escape route.
Want to improve the security of your garage even more and have more living space?
A lot of people choose to convert their integrated garage into more internal living space. It means getting rid of the up and over door and replacing with a window, and getting rid of any rear or side single access doors.
External Garage Security
As you can see, there isn’t a huge amount of things that you can do to improve garage security for integrated garages. They are designed to be security aware out of the box.
But external garages are far more vulnerable.
They are usually built away from the main dwelling, and are usually older and more prone to being broken into. Usually, they will have older wooden double doors, or an older, less secure up and over. They’ll also maybe have a side window, and at night, they can feel isolated in the dark away from the main house.
In other words, perfect conditions for a thief.
Start From Your Street
To improve garage security, first we need to forget about it. What we need to look at and improve first of all is the access to your garage.
The security of your garage and property starts from the street, because if we can limit access to your property and outbuildings, or at least make access as hard as possible for unauthorised persons, then half the battle is already won.
You see, these thieves want an easy life.
And they will almost always choose the path of least resistance to commit their crimes.
So we need to make that path as difficult as possible for them, until they decide that there are easier targets and pass up on your property.
So, how easy is it to get to your garage door from the street? Can you simply walk up your path, down the side of the house, and you find yourself at your garage door?
Take a look at the image below, and see just how easy it would be for anyone to access this garage (and indeed the rear of the property), with this sort of layout.
If that’s the case, then we need to look at basic, physical measures to stop that happening.
- 8. If you have any gates that secure your property (like path or driveway gates) always remember to use them and secure them every night.
- 9. If your garage is located towards your rear garden, secure and block off any paths down the side of your using gates and fencing.
- 10. Use fencing to outline your perimeter. This will be costly if it’s anything like the image above, and you may need permission and consultation with any neighbours, but physical barriers are a huge obstacle and highly effective.
- 11. Already got fencing and gates that restrict access to the back of your house and to your garage? Great. Additionally, consider using anti climb paint or even fence spikes.
- 12. Signs. Add a cheap sign to your fence or gate with warnings of CCTV or dogs.
If your garage is offset to the rest of the house, either towards the side or rear of the house, you’ve probably neglected the lighting.
- 13. If you have a side path to your garage, like down the side of your house for example, consider using motion sensor lights all the way down the path. Avoid it being unlit and dark.
- 14. Install lighting above entry doors and any windows. You can use solar powered motion sensor lights, or if you prefer, use wired, always on lights that are plugged into your mains socket.
These steps are really simple.
The cheaper option is to use solar powered lights that come on when motion is detected (these ones are fantastic and light up until movement is no longer detected). All that is required is a step ladder and a drill, and 10 minutes of your time.
If you don’t want to go solar, you can buy lights that you plug into a socket – hopefully from the garage itself if you have power there. These Spotlights are a great choice.
The alternative is to get an electrician in to install lights that you can operate with a switch from inside your home. This option is considerably more expensive and could potentially annoy your household and any neighbours with bright lights on all night. If you do go this route, get spotlights installed that illuminate the building, rather than floodlights that make it look like a football stadium lit up at night.
Well placed spotlights can be a huge benefit for security, but they can also bring pleasing aesthetics to your property.
Garage Door Security
Garage doors do not have the same security built in as your front door, and that’s a fact. And when we really think about that, it’s a really bizarre thought, because why wouldn’t a door that leads to your garage not have the same level of security?
People use garages for all sorts of things these days, and there’s usually items of value inside, so lets see how we can improve the security of a garage door.
- 15. Bolster the security of your wooden double entry doors by using a hasp and padlock. Alternatively, a security bar.
- 16. Up and over door? Consider using a garage defender lock like this one.
- 17. Consider using a contact alarm – when the door is opened unauthorised, an alarm will sound. Cheap, effective and very loud.
- 18. If you missed the part about lighting, install lighting above the garage entry door.
Using all of the measures above (padlock and hasp, a contact alarm and some lighting above the door) will cost you about £30-£50 and 30 minutes of your time.
Those three things help deter, detect and delay any person trying to get into your garage through the door.
Garage Window Security
Some garages have a small side window that usually faces the garden.
A window is possibly the biggest pain point in a garage, because if a thief gains access through the window, they can help themselves to whatever is in your garage and then simply open the front door of the garage without restriction.
Here’s some tips to improve garage security by securing your garage windows.
If your garage doesn’t have a window, you can move to the next section.
- 19. Keep windows covered. Don’t let someone walk up to a garage window and see exactly what is inside. Use some cheap net curtains, old blinds, or make the window ultra trendy by using one way privacy mirrored glass film.
- 20. Don’t make your garage window look like a prison by any means, but an inside window bar is a good solution and highly effective at making a window opening smaller. Great solution if you have high value items in your garage.
- 21. If you missed the part about lighting, install motion detector lights above the window, so you can see if anyone is there in times of darkness.
Securing Garage Contents
So they’ve defeated all your security measures, and have gained access to your garage.
Are you simply going to let them jump on that £1500 road bike and ride it away? Are you simply going to let them pick up the cases for your DeWalts and other power tools, and simply walk out of there?
Or are you going to stick two fingers up at them, and secure the hell out of your equipment that lives inside your garage?
Yes, not all equipment and possessions can be secured. But if you work to secure your most valuable possessions, then the perpetrator may well leave empty handed.
- 22. If you have expensive power tools, consider investing in a safe designed specifically for tools. These tool safes are locked closed, and bolted down to your garage floor in most cases (see: Best Garage Safe For Tools: Top 3)
- 23. Other equipment, such as bikes, mopeds, scooters etc, should be locked in the normal way, and then secured to either a wall or ground anchor.
- 24. Mark your equipment. The worst has come to the worst, your garage has been broken into and items stolen. The thief tries to sell your items, or the police recover the items, but have no idea who they belong to. Mark them up.
Things like a wall or ground anchor with a bike attached to it is so easy to install (and very cheap).
If your garage was broken into, it would be nearly impossible to steal that bike unless they came equipped with specialist equipment.
It’s really important that you check over your home insurance contents documentation, to make sure that your garage and its contents are covered.
Tip number 25 then, is to check your insurance, update your cover, and also declare expensive items that are stored in your garage, so if the worst does happen, you are covered from a monetary point of view.
Final Words, and Comments
Remember, none of these tips in isolation will prevent your garage being broken into on their own.
A fence can always be climbed over. A door lock can always be broken off.
Our main goal here is always to create a path of resistance to any criminal intent on breaking into your garage.
And we do that through physical barriers, but more importantly, psychological barriers.
Don’t underestimate the psychological part of all the tips and products mentioned above.
A criminal seeing lighting, signs, cameras, physical barriers, locks and all the other little things we have discussed here, is going to be thinking that this household has actively taken steps to secure their property, and this is going to be difficult to gain access and break in.
And they know that the chances of them being caught in the act greatly increases.
And at this point, this is when they choose not to attempt to break into your garage, and instead choose a softer, less secure target.
And it’s you and your garage 1, thief 0.
I’m interested to hear interested to hear what you think about the article 25 Ways To Improve Garage Security, and what you think about the tips included in the article
Let me know in the comments below, and if you haven’t already, you really should read our mammoth 75 Ways To Improve Home Security article to help improve the security for the rest of your property.
Stay Safe. Stay Secure.