How to Protect Yourself from the Five Most Common Garage-Door Hacks

Posted on: 17 October 2016


If you are a homeowner with a garage with an automatic door, then your home is naturally vulnerable to various hacks that can allow thieves access to your garage and, ultimately, your home. However, an automatic garage door adds a high level of convenience to your home. Instead of uninstalling your automatic system, you should take certain steps to properly secure your garage door. The main thing you can do is to educate yourself about the most common ways thieves gain entry through automatic garage doors and discuss methods for preventing entry with your garage-door dealer. 

Manual Manipulation of the Emergency-Release Cord

The first garage door hack that many thieves use is actually a low-tech one. Most automatic garage doors have an emergency release cord somewhere near the garage door. When pulled, this turns off the locking mechanisms and allows you (or a thief) to roll open the door manually. This cord can often be accessed from the outside by breaking a window or threading a wire through a crack in your door. To prevent access, you should shorten the cord as much as possible while leaving it within reach of an average adult standing below it. 

Some sources recommend removing the cord completely. However, this can make it difficult to open your door during an emergency situation, so consider trimming the cord and getting rid of any knots at the end that a wire could hook onto rather than removing it completely. 

Finding Your PIN Code on Your Keypad 

If you have a pin pad near your garage door and use it frequently, you may be leaving your PIN visible to thieves. The oils from your hand can make it so a thief can see which numbers are pressed most frequently, narrowing down the number of options for your code. To avoid this, regularly clean your PIN pad or adopt the habit of lightly pressing each number once before entering your actual code. Alternatively, you could upgrade your PIN pad to a fingerprint scanner. There are DIY options as well as commercial options available. 

Automatic Doors That Use a Fixed Code

Most garage-door openers that use a fixed code have been replaced with modern openers that use a rolling code. You should look on your garage remote for signs that it utilizes a rolling code, such as the words rolling code, hopping code, or security+. Alternatively, you can consult your manual to see whether your remote utilizes a rolling code. If your remote does not use a rolling code, you should update your system to a rolling-code system. Any time you replace your garage-door opener, make sure to ask for a new model with a rolling-code system. 

Remote Controls Stolen from Vehicles 

If a thief can get your remote control, they can usually open your garage door. It is a good idea to not leave a remote control in your vehicle. Instead, consider a key-fob remote control. If you want the convenience of a vehicle remote control, consider getting one permanently installed in your vehicle as opposed to simply clipping your remote to a visor. This will make the remote more difficult for thieves to remove if they break into your vehicle. Alternatively, you can ask about adding a fingerprint scanner to your remote control for extra security. 

Open Garage Doors 

The final vulnerability that homeowners with automatic garage doors have is forgetting to close their garage door when they leave or return. However, there are some ways for you to add a notification to your garage-door opener if your garage door is left open. For example, some garage doors can be set to beep or blink if the door is left open for a certain amount of time, thus reminding you to close the door. 

Talk to a company such as Raynor Door Company for more information about your options.