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How to Secure an Up and Over Garage Door

Many people fail to apply the same level of security to their sheds, garages and outbuildings as they do to their homes. In this latest blog post we look at what you can do to bolster up and over garage door security.

Research has found that non-connected buildings, including sheds and garages, are especially vulnerable to theft with 19% of garage owners and 24% of shed owners acknowledging that they don’t take additional security measures. Burglars know that sheds and garages are often full of valuable, resalable items with 18% of garage owners storing between £5000 and £10,000 worth of possessions in their outbuildings. Tools and valuable work materials along with garden furniture are the most commonly stolen items from non-connected buildings.

Why Garage Door Security is Essential

Its worth taking a good look at everything you store in your garage and assessing how much it would cost you to replace items if they were stolen. Its also a good idea to take a good look at your home insurance to make certain your garage and its contents are adequately covered.

Local crime reports routinely highlight thefts from garages and outbuildings. In one recent case thieves broke into a residential garage by forcing the garage door bolt. They then stole the catalytic converter from the owner’s vehicle.

In another recent case thieves made off with a chainsaw and meat products from a detached garage near Salisbury. And in another case thieves burgled valuable fishing equipment that was stored in a private garage.

UK police forces are very aware that people don’t make their garages anywhere near as secure as their homes, often using flimsy locks or failing to routinely use the locks they already have. Thieves know these unattached buildings are often very easy targets which is why police forces encourage people to pay attention to their outbuilding security.

How to Keep Thieves Out of Your Garage

Police forces, security professionals and insurance providers offer some excellent recommendations to help keep thieves out of your garage. Here are nine top tips that will help make your garage much more secure.

Think Like a Thief

Take a good look at your garage and consider how you would break in if you were a thief. Is your main garage door always closed and locked? Does your garage have a side door and is it always closed and locked? What can be seen by peering into your garage windows?

Assessing your garage from a criminal perspective can highlight security weaknesses that should be prioritised.

Maintain Your Garage

When assessing the security of your garage take a good look at the locks you currently use along with the hinges on the doors and the state of your window and door frames. Burglars will often gain entry by removing or levering weak hinges so it makes sense to ensure these are all robust and secure. Use high quality locks such as 5 lever mortice locks and high security closed-shackle padlocks. If your outbuilding or garage doors use hasps and staples you should make certain these are high security and in a good state.

Conceal Contents and Protect Your Windows

If your garage has windows these can often present a security weakness. Not only can they reveal the valuables stored inside they can often be more easily overcome than the main garage door.

Would-be thieves can be less inclined to attempt to break in if its unclear whether there are any valuables inside. Tinted security film over the windows will obstruct their view while still allowing light into the garage. And window security bars are another valuable security enhancement. These are low cost, easily installed and highly effective in both deterring and preventing garage and shed break-ins.

Install a Security Alarm System

If you already have a security system for your home make certain the garage is included. Alternatively, consider using a dedicated garage door security alarm. There are a variety of very low cost, easily installed magnetic door sensor alarms that don’t require any complicated wiring and are easy to activate and disarm, as required.

Reinforce Your Garage Door Security

If your garage has both an up-and-over door along with one or more side doors its important to ensure all of these entrances are as secure as possible.

Side door security can be strengthened using a shed door locking bar. These bars fit across the full width of the door, locking in position to prevent the door from being opened.

Up-and-over garage door security can be usefully bolstered using either a Garage Door Protector or Garage Defender.

squire ga5 garage door protector
Squire GA5 Garage Door Protector

Up and over garage doors swing outwards and the GA5 Garage Door Protector is designed to block this swinging action and thereby prevent unauthorised entry.

The popular Squire GA5 Garage Door Protector has achieved Sold Secure Domestic Bronze approval. Its made from hardened steel and features an anti-drill, 5-pin tumbler lock mechanism. Its very easy to both install and use and comes with all the required fixings. It robustly blocks the up-and-over garage door, when locked in place, and when unlocked and folded down the unit can be safely driven over.


garage door defender
Up-and-over Garage Door Defender

The PJB Garage Defender works in a similar way to block the outward swinging action of an up-and-over garage door, but the removable top section of this blocker is locked in place with a high-security Disc type lock. There are two base-plate options with this up-and-over garage door defender. The standard bolt-down base plate requires 4 to 5 inches of good concrete to be attached. If this isn’t available then the concrete-in base-plate is recommended. This requires the excavation of a hole to a depth of 250mm (10 inches) to allow the base-plate to be set in a good 3-2-1 concrete mix.


roller shutter door lock
Roller Shutter Door Lock

For Roller Shutter garage doors we recommend our Sold Secure Silver approved Roller Shutter Door Lock. While most modern roller shutter doors are electronically operated this physical security barrier adds a valuable extra layer of anti-burglar armour. 

Install Lights with Motion Sensors

All police forces and home security professionals recommend the installation of motion triggered external lighting. When installing lighting around your garage its important to make certain there are no areas that provide criminals with the cover of darkness. Solar powered motion triggered lighting is a useful option that doesn`t require and complex wiring or mains power supply.

Always Lock Your Garage

While it may appear to be a no-brainer, many garage thefts occur simply due to people failing to lock their garage doors and windows. If you are in the bad habit of leaving your garage unlocked you need to take steps to change your routine and remind yourself to lock up. Making some simple reminder signs that say “Have You Locked the Garage” and posting these where you will see them, whenever you go out, can help.

Secure Valuable Items Inside Your Garage

When assessing the items you typically store in your garage you will identify possessions that have highest value. These might include bicycles, tools, sports equipment or garden furniture. As well as rigorously securing all of the potential entrances into your garage it makes sense to additionally secure these valuable items inside. Tools should ideally be stored in locked cabinets, tool chests or cupboards that are fixed in place and can’t be removed. Motorcycles, bicycles, ride on mowers and other valuables should be securely locked to immovable anchor points within the garage. Shed shackles, ground anchors and wall anchors might be installed inside the garage if alternative anchor points don`t exist. And valuable personal items might be more secure if stored inside the main home.

Security Mark Your Valuables

Another valuable security precaution is to security label all of the items you store in your garage. Police forces strongly recommend the use of security labelling. Marking valuables using a police approved forensic marking system makes them less attractive to thieves and can potentially help in retrieving possessions if they are ever stolen.

For more information on How to Secure an Up and Over Garage Door talk to Insight Security

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