Are Garage Doors Easy for Burglars to Break Into?

Burglar in black clothing and ski mask carrying bag of stolen items valuables past white paneled garage door

Common sense would suggest that something as large and heavy as a garage door will do a good job of repelling would-be intruders. But FBI statistics released earlier this year indicate that nearly 10% of all home break-ins occur through the garage door. That’s a pretty startling statistic, but exactly how are burglars gaining access through the garage door?

  • The emergency release - There’s a red cord that hangs down inside the door that, when pulled, enables the homeowner to disengage the garage door opener for maintenance or other reasons. Thing is, this mechanism can be pretty easily accessed from outside by using a coathanger that’s pushed in through the space at the top of the door. Once they catch the release mechanism with the hook of the hanger they just pull and the motor is disengaged. The door can then be opened easily by hand. Fortunately, there are a ton of Youtube videos that will show you how to prevent this.
  • The garage door is not locked - If you are going away on business or vacation make sure you have physically locked the garage door. This means attaching a large, heavy-duty padlock to the track. All garage door tracks have slots built in where you can attach a padlock. Most also have a slot you can use in conjunction with a bolt lock. Both methods will prevent the door from opening. If you’re leaving the house for more than 24 hours make sure the garage door is physically locked.
  • The door between garage and home is unlocked - If a thief has gained access to your garage they’re going to head straight for the door that leads into the house. All too often this door is left unlocked because the homeowner can’t imagine a burglar breaking in through the garage. The easiest way to increase your garage door security is to make sure this door does not have a window and is always locked with a deadbolt.
  • There are clear windows on the door - Speaking of windows… everyone is entitled to whatever type of garage door they want. But if your garage door has clear windows on it you are significantly increasing the odds someone will break in through the garage. Why? Because clear windows provide a nifty preview of what’s inside. And if you have lots of power tools or expensive bicycles stored in your garage the temptation will likely be too much for the burglar.
  • The weatherstripping is old and worn - Every garage door opening is ringed with weatherstripping designed to prevent cold and hot air from blowing in through the space around the door. But if this weatherstripping is old and worn it can be very easy for a burglar to slip a crowbar in and pry the door open enough to gain entry. Remember, they're looking for the easiest point of entry. If that means ruining a few of your garage door panels they couldn't care less.
  • The door is left open - For whatever reason, some homeowners will leave the garage door open for extended periods of time, especially during the warm weather months. Maybe they're trying to air the home out, or maybe they just anticipate going in and out of the garage multiple times during the day. Whatever the rationale leaving the door open for long periods of time is a bad idea. Burglars usually case a house before breaking in. If you leave the garage door open and show them your expensive car, custom Harley Davidson and other things stored there you are inviting trouble.
  • There is no lighting around the garage door - Burglars don't want to be seen. That could ruin their day. So when sizing up your home they're going to go for the entry point where they are the least visible. In many cases, homeowners neglect to add outdoor lighting to the garage area. The thinking seems to be that there's a nice bright light inside that goes on automatically when the door opens so why would they need a light outside too? The fact is a single light on the exterior of the garage shining down on the door will go a long way toward discouraging break-ins.

Contact Our Loveland Garage Door Repair Team

At the start of this article, we asked the question "Are garage doors easy for burglars to break into?" If they are properly maintained and secured then "no." However, if the weatherstripping is old, there is no effort to shield the emergency release, the door has clear windows or it is left open, then it is going to invite the wrong kind of attention.

If you are dealing with broken garage door springs, a stuck garage door or you need some other type of garage door repair get in touch with the pros at C & M Garage Door by calling our team at 970-663-7335. Or email us at

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