Your house is only as safe as its weakest entry point, and for some, that point is an overhead garage door. Many homeowners believe that they have kept people out of the garage by simply closing the garage door. That is largely correct – but with about 10% of home burglars entering through the garage, we wanted to share some tips to make sure your garage is as secure as possible.

1) Use a zip tie on your emergency door release.

This is one of the cheapest and easiest garage security tips. Automatic door openers have an emergency release lever. It is usually easy to identify by its red cord. This allows you to open or close your garage doors when there’s a power outage. Someone could, though, use that feature to open your garage door from the outside. They can access the cord with a wire hook or hanger through the top of the door. But a simple zip tie securing the cord will thwart that attempt! In the event of an emergency, you can just cut the zip tie.

2) Secure your garage door wireless remote

This is another easy and cheap way to help secure your door. Keep the wireless remote inside the house instead of keeping it in the car. If you park outside, then your home is only as secure as your car. So, if you do leave your car outside the garage, make a habit of bringing the garage door wireless remote inside the house.

Other options would be to get a wireless keychain remote or to get a wireless smart remote which allows you to open and close the door from your smartphone.

3) Close the Door

I know this seems like it is too obvious to be worth mentioning. Keep an eye out next time you are driving around a residential neighborhood and the odds are good that you will see a few open and unattended garage doors. If you are going to be inside or away from the door for any length of time, close the door.

If you know you have a habit of leaving the door open, you might consider getting a garage door sensor or an automatic timer that will close the door after a certain amount of time.

You also might consider utilizing Wi-Fi technology with a mobile app or even Overhead Door’s Door Report remote to ensure the doors are closed.

4) Make sure the door is closed when driving away

When you leave the house, make sure the garage door closes before driving away. It doesn’t happen often, but it is possible that the door bounces back up or something trips a security sensor and stops the door. If you have driven off, then you have unknowingly left your garage completely open until you return.

5) Lock the door to the house

Most people leave the door between the garage and the rest of the house unlocked. That makes perfect sense, since you want to have easy access to the garage and you want to be able to simply get into the house after parking in the garage. This does mean, though, that if anyone does break into the garage, they have unfettered access to your entire home. Lock that door for an extra level of security.

6) Don’t let people see in your garage

Most people know that you don’t want to leave valuables exposed in your car. If someone can see expensive items there, then the car becomes a much more tempting target. The same is true with your garage. Not only would burglars be looking in for valuables, but also to see whether or not someone is home.

If you have windows in your garage or your garage door, consider getting blinds or curtains. If you want light to still easily get into the garage, you might consider translucent window coverings or frosted windows.

7) Install light

Try to keep the area around your garage well lit. Motion-activated lights around your garage door can go a long way towards dissuading any potential burglars. It is a safe and relatively cost-effective security measure. They can also help keep detached garages from being lost in shadows.

8) Make sure you have the right door in good condition

Worn or old garage doors are not just detracting from curb appeal and, potentially, energy efficiency. Those warps or loose seals can be a security liability as well. Any gaps or openings or cracks or weak points make it that much easier for someone to enter.

If you do need to replace the door, metal or hardwood garage doors are better at securing your garage from thieves. You might consider changing any doors that are falling apart with a hard material.

Home security systems are excellent deterrents. They can also be quite expensive. Hopefully, these are just some suggestions that can easily and affordably increase the security of your garage, and by extension, your entire home.