Does My Garage Door Lock? How to Make Your Garage More Secure
In our previous post on garage door security, the first tip is making sure your garage door is physically secure. This post will give more detail on how to secure your garage door from the inside and outside, and different ways to lock your garage door.
First question: Does your garage door lock?
If you have an electronic garage door opener, the answer is actually yes!
Most modern garage doors rely on the electronic garage door opener to function as a locking mechanism. The idea is that the remote, key pad, or wall button are the garage door keys, and if someone doesn’t have the key they shouldn’t be able to open the door.
For most homeowners, this “lock” will work just fine, and you won’t have to add an additional physical lock. In fact, garage doors installed with electronic openers do not come with a physical lock for a good reason: if you forget your garage door is locked and try to use the opener, it can damage your door.
If you do decide to add a physical lock to your garage door with an electronic opener, ALWAYS be conscious of whether the door is locked before using the opener.
Garage Door Lock Options for Extra Security
1. Automatic garage door locks & lock-capable openers
Rather than installing a separate lock due to the risk to your door, there are options for auto locking garage door openers. Some opener brands offer openers that sync with an automatic slide lock or deadbolt lock so you don’t have to worry about damaging your door. Slide locks can be used universally on any sectional door, so we recommend these over deadbolts. They’re also more cost-effective since you don’t have to alter the door or opener to install them.
We recommend looking into an opener that can sync with an automatic slide lock before installing a separate physical lock on your garage door.
Here’s a guide to choosing a new garage door opener to help!
2. Securing the door from the outside
You can secure your garage door with a lock accessible from the outside, which is a great way to remind yourself to unlock the door before using the opener. There are two common ways to lock your garage door from the outside:
- A sliding bar lock with an L-handle or T-handle, which is installed as a component of the door
- A garage door defender (stop bar), which is a separate locking mechanism that gets bolted to the ground
3. Shielding the emergency release lever
The safest option for securing the emergency release is Garage Door Armor, which blocks outside access to the lever. This prevents break-ins while still giving you access to the emergency release, and it won’t damage your door when you use the opener.
Note: We do not recommend blocking the emergency release with zip ties or padlocks. Many online articles suggest locking the emergency release with padlocks or zip ties to keep the door from opening even if someone gains access to the lever. However, it also makes it more difficult for YOU to open the door in an emergency.
The emergency release lever is built in for your safety. Physically blocking it from working can create a safety hazard for you and your family.
4. Locking the track
Finally, you can lock your garage door from the inside by putting something on the track to keep the door from moving. You can either insert something like a padlock into the slots on the track or create a barrier by attaching a C-clamp to the track.
This method should be a last resort since it’s the most difficult to disengage and very easy to damage your door if you forget you locked the track.
Improving garage door security
For most homeowners, an electronic garage door opener provides plenty of security as long as you keep your remotes safe. However, if you have concerns about your garage door’s security, we do recommend installing an automatic garage door lock or an outside locking mechanism before resorting to locking the track.
If you require assistance to improve your garage door’s security, our techs can assess your garage door and work with you to find a reliable security solution. All Precision visits include a safety inspection and report so you’re aware of your door’s vulnerabilities.