Garage Door Security (Best Locks Guide, How to Install)

The garage door is usually the weakest link in your garage and home security. Securing the garage door is essential to protect everything you have in your garage and inside the house, including you and your family. If the garage is attached, it can also be an entry point to the whole house.  

Beef up garage door security with manual deadlocks, deadbolts, automatic electric locks, emergency release handle shields, garage defenders, smart door controllers, and security cameras.

In this article, we look at how break-ins usually happen. How to make your garage door more secure with additional locks. How to install garage door locks and prevent someone from remotely opening the door. 

How Do Thieves Break Into Garages?

Garage break-ins usually happen with the well-known “fishing method” that works with unprotected sectional doors (the most popular type of residential garage door). 

The break-in method works by using the top of the garage door to gain access to the emergency release cord. The burglar bends the top of the door with a stake, uses a hooked wire through the opening, and pulls the emergency release cord. This disconnects the garage door opener from the garage door so the door can be opened manually. Watch the video below to get the idea. 

(Zip tie is not a good idea in case of emergency)

Other breaking-in methods are more traditional, using the crowbar in leverage points like under the door or side of the door and drilling or cutting the locks. But these are noisy and surely easy to notice by passers-by. 

How to Make Garage Door More Secure With Inside, Outside Locks

Garage doors can be made more secure by adding mechanical locks that prevent opening the garage door. These can be manual or automated and electric. They can be installed inside or outside the garage door.

Suppose you use the garage door daily to park your car etc. In that case, it is recommended to get an automatic lock for your convenience.

This also prevents you from forgetting to disengage manual locks and prevents the garage door opener from breaking down. Which can happen if a manual lock is engaged and the motor does not have an automatic overload cutoff.

Manual locks have their uses also. Especially if you are going away for a while, the manual locks effectively prevent break-ins. They can also be used daily if you don’t want or need automatic locks. 

Garage Door Inside Locks

Prime-Line GD 52118 Inside Deadlock

This is an easy-to-install, manual, and simple heavy-duty slide-in lock. There are no keys, and the material is galvanized steel. The lock is installed inside the garage door near the tracks, and the steel slide goes into the garage door tracks. Simple and effective extra security for the garage door. 


  • Easy and fast to install
  • keyless
  • Cheap 
  • Heavy-duty and galvanized


  • Manual operation
  • instructions could be better.
  • The screws that come with the lock are too short and of low quality. (recommended are (4) 14 ¾ self-drilling screws)

National Hardware N280-784 V7651 Dead Bolt Lock

National Hardware Deadbolt Lock is a manual lock that goes through the garage door. The lock is installed near the garage door tracks, and the bolt locks onto the door tracks or elsewhere. The lock is painted to look like aluminum and is quick and easy to install. Suitable for wooden doors as well.


  • Works from both sides of the door
  • Easy to install
  • Cheap
  • Good quality
  • Suitable for almost all door types


  • Manual Operation
  • Requires lock bars

Liftmaster 841LM Automatic Garage Door Lock

Liftmaster 841LM is an automatic electric lock/deadbolt that works with the garage door opener at the same time when the door opens or closes. It automatically locks or unlocks the door. The unit is wired to the garage door opener. Installing two reinforces the garage door to withstand hurricane-strength winds. 

These type of locks are usually integrated in jackshaft/wall mounted openers.

Compatible directly with Liftmaster models 8550WL, 8587WL, 8360WL, 8500W.


  • Can be remote controlled
  • Can be DIY installed
  • Automatic, works in tandem with your garage door opener
  • Alert if the door is unlocked 
  • Acts as a door reinforcement for hurricanes


  • The supplied wire is 10ft, and you may need a longer wire
  • May need professional installation
  • Only supports a few models directly. Conversion kits are available for some other openers.

Honutige Electronic Smart Door Lock Kit Deadbolt

Honutige smart electronic lock works like any deadbolt but with remote-controlled fobs. The remote control distance is 0-10 feet or 0-10 meters. Easy install to any garage door. The bolt goes into the garage door tracks. The unit is battery-operated and made from stainless steel.  


  • Easy to Install
  • Automatic lock feature
  • High quality
  • Works with remote fobs (4)


  • Does not include batteries
  • Instructions could be better for programming the remotes
  • You have to remember first to unlock the door before opening the door! 
  • Automatic unlocking when the fob is in proximity would be nice. 

Garage Shield

 This is a shield that blocks access to the emergency release handle. This is an easy way to prevent burglars’ “fishing method.” It can be used with other lock types. Very easy to DIY. 


  • Easy and super fast to install
  • cheap


  • Works best with “J-Arm” (The J-shaped metal bar that connects the garage door to the overhead track of the opener.) 

Garage Door Outside Locks

Prime-Line Keyed T-Handle Lock

Traditional T-handle lock with the key used in garage doors, campers, sheds, and recreational vehicles. This lock type is easy to break in and needs an additional lock to the door. If your original lock is very old or without a key. Changing it to a new one is a good idea.


  • Cheap
  • Easy to replace if you already have a T-Handle in the garage door


  • Duplicate keys cannot be made

Garage Defender 

Consists of two parts. A base plate made of steel bolted to the ground and the lock itself. This model only works in up and over or outward opening hinged doors. This is useless in sectional or roller up doors that open directly upwards. But the device is almost indestructible and will prevent opening tilt action doors very effectively. 


  • Great visual deterrent
  • Easy to install
  • Easy to remove and does not leave holes in the door
  • Heavy-duty and weatherproof


  • Only works up and over doors or outward opening doors(tilt action doors)
  • Needs solid concrete or tarmac
  • Cumbersome to use daily

Always remember to disengage/unlatch manual locks from inside or outside before opening the garage door. If you have an electric garage door opener, it might break and cause severe damage !!

Door Monitors and Closers

Myq Chamberlain Smart Garage Control myQ-G0401-ES

With myq chamberlain smart garage control, you can open and close the garage door anywhere with a phone app. The app gives you a notification if someone opens the door. Access can be given to other people. You can set the garage door close schedule. 

The device is compatible with most garage door openers manufactured after 1993 with safety sensors. The device is easy to install and works with your home WiFi, and can be used with Bluetooth also. 


  • Easy and quick installation
  • Controlled with a phone app
  • Remote control from anywhere
  • Works with your home WiFi
  • Compatible with several smart home systems
  • Temporary access for delivery or repair personnel
  • Cheap


  • Does not actually prevent break-ins

Nexx Smart WiFi Controller NXG-300

Nexx Smart WiFi Controller lets you remotely open or close the garage door from anywhere. You can set the door to close automatically at a specific time. It also allows you to know when someone opens the door. The device is easy to install and works with most garage door openers.

A sensor is attached to the door that senses the position of the door. The device connects directly to your home WiFi and can also be used with Bluetooth. Garage access can also be given to other people if needed.


  • Easy and fast to install
  • Remote control from anywhere
  • Phone app
  • Works with your home WiFi
  • Compatible with several smart home systems
  • Temporary access for delivery or repair personnel


  • Does not actually prevent break-ins
  • Make sure your garage door opener is compatible (customers report reliability and compatibility issues)

Security Cameras 

Portable or wired cameras let you see inside the garage with a phone app. These can come with built-in light sources or be connected to external lights in some cases, or have a night mode when the light is low, so you can see inside the garage even at night.

Check out the most popular security cameras on Amazon.


  • Easy and fast to install
  • Some models have recording built-in, and most can be recorded
  • Some models provide two-way audio
  • Proof for police and insurance companies in case of a break-in. 


  • Does not actually prevent break-ins

Check out the most popular garage lights on Amazon.

How to Install Garage Door Locks

How to Lock or Open Garage Door From Inside Without Power

Can Someone Else Remote Open My Garage Door

You may be wondering if someone else can gain access to your garage by remote opening the door.

Garage door openers can be hacked. It is possible but very unlikely. Especially older openers that use fixed codes. Newer ones use rolling codes and are very secure. Smart garage door openers can be hacked through your home WiFi if it is poorly secured. Again very unlikely to happen.

Let’s see how it may be possible for someone to gain access to your garage by remote. 

What Is a Fixed Code Garage Door Opener?

Old garage door openers and remotes use a fixed code that uses RF(radio frequency) to communicate. When you press the remote button, it sends a code to the garage door opener to open the door. The problem is that the code never changes and is something like 1234. These old garage door openers are very insecure and badly outdated. It’s best to get a new opener. 

How to Check if Your Garage Door Opener Uses a Fixed Code?

Check your clicker/fob/remote. If it says:

  • security+
  • security+ 2.0
  • rolling code
  • Intellicode
  • CodeDodger

Or something similar, your device does not use a fixed code, and your garage is way more secure than the old garage door openers. 

If your clicker/fob/remote does not say anything of the sort, you have to first check the device manual or documentation. If you have none, check the manufacturer and model from the garage door opener (there should be a sticker or plate on the unit). Then do some research online or call the manufacturer

Chamberlain Group (includes Liftmaster and Craftsman)

DatesSystemColor of programming button and LED on unitColor of LED on remote
8-12 DIP switch on 300-400 MHz
white, gray, or yellow button with red LED

Billion Code on 390 MHz
green button with green or red LED

Security+ (rolling code) on 390 MHz
orange or red button with amber LED
amber or none

Security+ (rolling code) on 315 MHz
purple button with amber LED

Security+ 2.0 (rolling code) on 310, 315, and 390 MHz
yellow button with amber LED and yellow antenna wires
red or blue

Overhead Door Corporation and The Genie Company

9–12 DIP switch on 360, 380, or 390 MHz

Intellicode/CodeDodger (rolling code) on 390 MHz

Intellicode/CodeDodger (rolling code) on 315 MHz

Intellicode 2/CodeDodger 2 (rolling code) on 315 and 390 MHz

So if your garage door opener is manufactured before 1995/2005, when the rolling code became available. it’s best to check if it has modern security features. 

What Is a Rolling Code Garage Door Opener?

Rolling or hopping codes offer much more security with trillions of combinations that change every time the garage remote is used. The opener and the remote use a random number generator to pick a new code which is stored and synchronized only for that time. All manufacturers use different systems, and it’s all very technical. 

You can read all about garage door remotes in this article. 

Can Rolling Codes Be Defeated?

Rolling codes can be defeated with rolljam devices(wikipedia), but this is extremely unlikely to happen in real life. 

What Frequency Do Garage Door Openers Use?

Garage door openers usually use frequencies between 300 – 400 MHz. 

What Is a Code Grabber?

Code grabbers are used to recording codes transmitted through radio frequencies. The device must be somewhere near the devices using radio frequencies to work.

Let’s say there is a code grabber near your garage door opener. When you come home and push the remote button to open the garage door, the code grapper then snatches the code between the remote and the opener.

The burglar then comes by later and uses the code grapper to gain access to the garage. 

Code grabbers can also be used to grab codes between car and remote car keys. 

Luckily, this method only works for very old cars, and garage door openers and newer devices and vehicles are safe. 

Read all about smart garage door openers here

Check how to secure rest of the garage besides the door in this article

Read all about garage personnel/side doors and how to secure them in this article. 

Similar Posts