How Do You Prevent Home and Garage Break-Ins?

If you are like me, you’ve kind of always thought that burglaries are committed at night, by trained Super Villain outlaws. Nobody you know, for sure. And daylight protects you, as Super Villains only work night shifts in the movies, right? Well, we might have to reconsider our Comic Book approach to burglaries.

Home Alone Movie, two most infamous burglars.

Home Alone’s 2 most infamous burglars ever.

Home Burglary Statistics and Facts Every Property Owner Should Know

Here are unavoidable statistics to get our reality checked.

According to Aeon Matrix

  • Most burglaries occur between 10 am and 3 pm
  • In less than 10 minutes
  • By burglars who live near your house and consciously avoid homes with security systems. In fact, 65% of burglars know their victims.
  • Burglars start by the master bedroom

But our garage is safe, right? Just a bunch of junk – tools, sports gear, all sorts of stuff – nothing interesting for thieves. Nothing worth a quick buck on Marketplace. Plus, you’re pretty sure no burglar would think of getting in through your garage door. The biggest moving object of your house. It would be sooo obvious!

Well, think again!

Because, according to Safe at Last, burglars enter your home

  • 34% through the front door!!!!
  • 23% through a first-floor window
  • 22% through a back door
  • 9% through the basement
  • And 9% through the garage door

The Obvious Stuff We All Forget

So, we move to nice suburbs and our neighborhoods offer such a strong sense of security. We know. We paid for it.

Little by little, we feel safer. We feel relaxed. Nothing happens around here. So, we stop locking our doors. Or we hide a key for the kids or the housekeeper, because it’s so much more convenient. Easier.

It doesn’t not take long for a highly motivated observer to learn our bad habits and the weaknesses of our entry points.

A Quick List of No Brainers

Home Alone most famous picture with young actor Macaulay Culkin

You don’t have to set up Kevin’s elaborate traps. You don’t want to catch bad guys. You want them not to choose your home in the first place. So just start with these:

  • Lock your doors and windows. ALL. THE. TIME.
  • No spare key hidden near the entry door, in your shed, above that special rock that you think nobody’s noticed. JUST NO HIDDEN KEYS! ANYWHERE! If you want to leave a key for the kids, get to know your neighbors and leave the spare key with them. Better yet, leave the spare key with a grandmother or a special someone who’s retired and will be happy and available to help your kids out.
  • No bowl with all your keys and wallets on the entry table. Don’t label your keys. Don’t leave your garage door remote in plain sight in your unlocked car. So many people can steal them when you turn your back.
  • Pay extra attention to your patio doors. Even locked, they are easy to break in. Here’s an inexpensive trick: Cut an old curtain wooden pole to the specific length you need and put it into the tracks so burglars cannot slide the door after breaking the lock.
  • Get to know your neighbors. Burglaries and other crimes tend to be fewer in tight-knit communities because neighbors are more likely to look out for each other and can easily spot something weird is going on at your house. Your neighbors offer extra eyes and an outside perspective. If they have a different work schedule from yours, you’re even luckier! They are around when you’re not and can alert you. And then you do the same for them. If you’re an introvert like me, getting close to your neighbors might be waaaaaaaay too much. What if they show up to your door on Friday nights to chit-chat? What if they think you are friends??? You don’t have to invite them for Thanksgiving or to your first son's wedding! Just politely ask them to watch your house in exchange of you doing the same. A win-win situation!
  • Change the locks when moving to a new place.
  • Close your curtains when it’s getting dark. Remember what we said at the beginning? Burglars are from your neighborhood and they pick your house because: Small a) You’re an easy target. Small b) You’ve got great stuff!
  • Use curtains on the garage and the basement windows too. Having windows on your garage door is pure joy – daylight inside, great style outside. BUT if these windows aren’t high enough, someone can look in, so do not choose clear glass. Sandblasted glass offers the best of both worlds – daylight and privacy!
  • Use timers for your interior lights. I’m laughing hysterically right now because, when I leave the house for a night or more, I always leave some of the lights on. Always the same. Day and night. For as long as we’re gone. Imagine how easy it is for someone who watches your home to spot. But getting only 2-3 timers, for let’s say, 1 or 2 lights and the TV too, is a great way to mystify mal-intentioned observers. Are they gone or not? They’d have to watch your house pretty closely to know.
  • Install motion-activated exterior lights at your front door, back door, and your garage door. But, since burglaries mostly happen in the daytime, do they really repel burglars? The answer is YES! Motion-activated exterior lights are the cheapest home security measure you can implement. Plus, you’ll never stumble on your porch stairs or have to unlock your door in the dark.
  • See your landscaping with a fresh eye. Keep shrubbery around entrances and walkways trimmed. You don’t want to make things easier for a thief! Eliminate hiding spots. Up your game and put thorny plants – like rose bush – by windows you think are the most vulnerable, making them difficult to break and painful too. You might think I’m a psychopath right now. But remember – burglars choose the fat and unprepared cow.
  • Take a tour around your home and imagine you’re someone who’s looking for weaknesses and opportunities. Pretend you are a burglar. Where would it be easy to enter? What windows seem a bit outdated or easy to climb in? Are there things on your lawn or unlocked shed (!) a burglar can use as a ladder? Can you see expensive electronics, jewel boxes, or art through windows?
  • Just keep your expensive stuff out of sight! Why tempt the devil himself? Everything in its place and a place for everything. Start asking your kids, the hubby, and YOURSELF to put away things as soon as they’re done with them. It’s such a great habit to learn when you’re young. And it’s never too late to start! No break-ins AND a tidier house, garage, and yard! A win-win!
  • Don’t announce everything on social media! Two days off in a quiet cabin, a great meal in an expensive restaurant, a night out with the girls? It’s all fun and games until your broke neighbor catches a glimpse of the expensive stuff you keep in your garage and starts to stalk you on Instagram or Facebook. Posting in real time where you are is practically screaming your schedule to burglars. They will know exactly when to get in.

How safe is your home? Find out in this Safeatlast blog article.

And Now the “Pièce de Résistance” – How can you prevent break-ins in your garage?

Should You Reduce the Length of Your Garage Door Release Mechanism?

Many handymen suggest this transformation in this ColoradoRMN video, which explain how to add a tie wrap and shorten the rope on your garage door.

Someone is showing the rope of an electric garage door opener in a garage.

If the rope is too long, a burglar can easily hook it between 2 door sections, grab it and pull it outside in a few seconds. Photo credit: Image from the video

Beware! This is a not a “design flaw”, as the video says. This mechanism is there for you and your family's safety!

These 2 parts of your garage door operator system are meant to be an emergency release. Let’s say there is a power outage - or worse a fire - and you need to get outside now.

We do NOT recommend you add a tie wrap. You could shorten the rope a bit.

OR You could add a garage trolley shield, which would be safer.

5-Star Solution: Add an Automatic Garage Door Lock Instead of Homemade Gimmicks

Sure, most garages can be opened by brute force without much resistance.
Sure, all it takes is a pry bar.

Sure, some “handy men” you know might had added sliding bolts inside and lock your garage from the inside on both sides, near the floor. But doesn’t this sound a bit extreme? A lot dangerous? Too “homemade” to be well-made for you?

Congratulations for putting on your thinking cap! A great quality garage door will last up to 25 years. Don’t drill holes in it! Your warranty could get voided.

To ensure greater security for your home, LiftMaster offers an automatic garage door lock that automatically locks your door when it's closed.

LiftMaster Automatic Garage Door Lock Picture

4 main reasons you should install this lock on your garage door

  1. Absolute protection: A deadbolt lock makes your garage door virtually impenetrable
  2. Audible security: The sound of the lock engaging lets you know that you’re protected.
  3. Automatic operation: Performs in tandem with the opener. So, it always locks and unlocks when the door opener is activated.
  4. Anywhere assurance: Smartphone monitoring with the MyQ app means you always know that the garage is secure.

A woman checking if her garage door is lock on her smarphone by using the free MyQ app.

Worry-free Performance. Know that your home is secured from anywhere with the MyQ App and Automatic Garage Door Lock.

21st Century Solution – Switch to a new smart garage door opener

Why not take technology a step further and move into the 21st century for good? Did you know LiftMaster offers a smart garage door opener with a built-in camera and two-way audio? Get ready to be blown away!

9 Things You Can Do with Your Smart LiftMaster 87504-267 Opener

  1. Customize your alerts
  2. Check the status of your garage door; never wonder if the garage door was left open.
  3. Open and close the garage door from your phone, no matter where you are.
  4. Give access to the users you want: your housekeeper who comes once a week, the plumber or even a neighbor’s child who walks your dog every weekday. No longer do you have to share your password, lend keys or be there.
  5. Get notifications on your smartphone each time people enter your garage.
  6. Get in-garage deliveries when you order online (if applicable in your city).
  7. See what’s going on in your garage in real time.
  8. React to what’s happening in your garage. Answer people when they have questions, give instructions or share information.
  9. View past activity with either a 7‑day or 30‑day video storage option, available via a monthly subscription.

How it works?

The homeowner gets a notification “Garage door 1 opened just now” on her smart phone and sees her children and the babysitter, live on camera, as they enter the garage.

The homeowner gets a notification “Garage door 1 opened just now” on her smart phone and sees her children and the babysitter, live on camera, as they enter the garage.

Thanks to the Built-in Camera, YOU CAN ALWAYS SEE what’s happening in real time

  • Live-streaming 1080p HD video
  • Manuel 360‑degree rotation
  • Motion detection, night vision

The homeowner gets a notification on his smart phone and sees the neighbor as she enters his garage. “Hi, Rachel!” he says, “the ladder is hung on the left wall”.

The homeowner gets a notification on his smart phone and sees the neighbor as she enters his garage. “Hi, Rachel!” he says, “the ladder is hung on the left wall”.

Thanks to 2-Way Audio, YOU CAN ALWAYS HEAR & TALK

  • Microphone and Speaker, Live 2‑way communication
  • Enable/disable the microphone

The homeowner gets a notification on his smart phone “Alert Occurred – The garage door remains open  and sees that the neighbor who walks the dog as the last to come out from the garage door.

The homeowner gets a notification on his smart phone “Alert Occurred – The garage door remains open and sees that the neighbor who walks the dog as the last to come out from the garage door.

Thanks to the Built-in WiFi & Smartphone Control, YOU ALWAYS KNOW

  • MyQ-connected.
  • Open/close from anywhere
  • Customize alerts, share access
  • Wi-Fi and integrated Bluetooth

A mom and her daughter are going to the house from the garage. We can see that the garage door has secure door lock.


  • Battery Backup – open/close your garage door even when the power is out
  • Electronically Protects against forced openings
  • Secure Code – every click sends a secure code
  • Safety Sensors – protect you by stopping the door from closing on obstructions
  • Motion-detection lighting – never walk into a dark garage again

Replacing the former LiftMaster 8550, the LiftMaster 87504-267 door opener is definitely not your grandpa’s garage door opener. If you are like me, you really do love shopping online. Soooo convenient for our way of life! Who wants to go out when you can wait for the kids to sleep, pour yourself a nice glass of wine, and find exactly what you want in a few minutes, right?

But since porch pirates are on the rise and the weather is always a guessing game, in-garage deliveries will soon become the new normal. You’d better get ready.

Here are small steps you could take make sure your garage door isn’t a weak entry point that burglars love:

  • Never, ever leave your car unlocked.
  • Never, ever leave your remote control in plain sight in your vehicle. Put in your pocket or your purse.
  • Reprogram your LiftMaster accessories to make sure another remote control cannot open your garage door. Some people find old garage door remotes and drive around nice neighborhood trying them out on any garage door they see. I know. People are strange.

Need to talk with a garage door specialist before taking any further steps?

Then contact a GARAGA dealer in your area.

They are indeed experts in garage doors. They have extensive experience, and they love helping you find the perfect garage door system at the right plus for you.

Find the door of your dreams already? Ask us for a quotation by email.

You’d like to shop online a bit first?

Browse our LiftMaster garage door openers. You might also enjoy browsing our overhead garage door designs. Do you like interactive design apps? If so, grab your smartphone and try our Design Centre. You’ll have fun building your dream door.

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