Security & Accessories
Topics in this section include security for existing and new garage doors, and information about the most popular options
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At the top of almost everyone’s list of requirements for their new door is security – whether your garage is home to half used cans of paint or high value vehicles, a core function of a good garage door is to keep your possessions safe.
As such, the first consideration in the construction of virtually all garage doors is security.
Some doors are more secure than others though, and below is a breakdown of the key security features of each of the most popular garage door types:
Up & Over Doors:
Modern up and over doors are constructed from two key elements – the door frame and the chassis. Almost all garage doors come with a new steel frame as standard which is a tubular steel box section which is exceptionally stiff and strong. Attached to this is the door panel which is constructed with a chassis of tubular steel around the outside and with multiple steel bracing points, and then the material which faces the door panel – steel, timber or fibre-glass – is set into it.
The doors have 2 point locking as standard, and the popular option to increase the security to 4 point locking. The lock barrel is a Euro Profile which means that it is tested to withstand attack for up to 30 minutes.
If the doors are motorised with a modern system then the remote controls use rolling code technology which means that the code of the remote cannot be cloned. If fitted with an optional ‘de-latching’ kit then the motor can control the doors two manual locking points making the system both convenient and very secure.
When security is paramount a number of the most popular steel door styles are available in a Secure By Design accredited version which has 4 point locking as standard, more bracing bars, a sacrificial lock body and extra plates welded around the locking position for extra protection. It should be noted that these Secure by Design doors are not recommended for motorisation.
For timber doors of all timber construction, including a timber frame, then whilst they have a beautiful aesthetic they are not quite as secure as steel doors.
Adding windows to the doors does reduce the security a little but very tough polycarbonate construction means that the windows are extremely durable – and there is a Secure By Design option – the Salisbury – that has windows.
Side-hinged doors share many construction characteristics with up and over type doors – typically they have a tubular steel frame and a tubular steel chassis surrounding the door panel meaning they are stiff and robust.
Single skin steel doors typically have two point locking – locking points at the top and bottom of the leading door leaf (some, such as the Garador side-hinged door have a single central locking point) – and the fixed leaf has top and bottom bolts for a total of 4 point locking.
Insulated side-hinged doors are a very secure option as they have a similar tubular steel frame but are constructed of double skinned steel panels which offer very little in the way of weakness. As standard they typically have a single, heavy duty locking point on the leading leaf but a very popular upgrade is to have 3 point locking in the leading leaf. The fixed leaf has heavy duty bolts at the top and bottom and security is further enhanced with hinge bolts – conical steel spikes that engage into the frame when the door is closed.
As such, insulated side-hinged doors, particularly with 3 point locking upgrade, are an excellent security option available in a diverse range of styles.
Single skin steel roller garage doors are protected with twin steel locking rods in the middle of the door which provide a good general level of security. The door curtain is housed within a C channel frame which means that it is difficult to push the door in or pull it out. However, the single skin construction does mean that in the unlikely event that a cutting tool is used to gain access it isn’t as challenging as it would be for an insulated door.
Alternatively a good quality automated, insulated roller garage door benefits from the stiffness of the double-skinned aluminium, wind locks to prevent the door curtain being pushed through, integrated alarm and tested to withstand burglars – so good is the security that in the 77mm wide variant they are classed as Secure By Design, a police preferred specification that demonstrates excellent resistance to intruders.
When motorised the doors also have no external handle so there is nothing to draw unwanted attention to the door.
If an external release is required these are mechanically locked and wherever possible we will make sure that release mechanism is discreetly positioned so it is not obvious.
However, it should be noted that whilst they may bear a visual similarity not all roller doors offer this same level of security.
Sectional garage doors, made up as the name suggests from a number of different sections of double-skinned insulated steel, offer the best security of any garage door when properly installed. The doors are more than 3 times thicker than roller doors and when fitted behind the reveal can be classed as Secure By Design.
Vertical opening, and typically motorised as standard, the motors pin the door in position at the point at which it pivots meaning that it just can’t be opened. With multiple steel shafted wheels fixed to the door panels, each of which is captured within the steel C profile track, the door can’t be pushed in or pulled out.
In common with roller doors, when motorised the doors also have no external handle so there is nothing to draw unwanted attention to the door or to provide leverage.
In conclusion we don’t offer any garage doors which are not secure – the most cost effective door, a steel up and over door, is a very secure option when upgraded to have 4 point locking but the most secure option is always the sectional garage door.
As a final point, It is worth mentioning that any garage door is only as good and secure as the installation – get in touch today and we will be pleased to help get the right solution for you.
Yes, you can upgrade the security of your garage door to help protect your property and prevent unauthorised access. Below are some of the best ways to achieve this:
- Security Upgrades for New Garage Doors: Most garage doors have options available at purchase to upgrade the level of locking. The most popular of these is to increase the standard 2 point locking of an up and over door to 4 point locking. In addition they are available in ‘Guardian’ Secure by Design specification which includes 4 point locking, an upgraded locking barrel, extra plates welded to the door to protect the locking positions and no internal handle so that if intruders gain access they cannot easily open the door. We also offer roller garage doors that are Secure by Design and you can add options such as an alarm to the door.
- Security Upgrades for Existing Garage Doors: For doors that are already installed you can add additional locks. The most popular of these are Pacri Locks which add a pair of new locks in the door panel which have a special star shaped key that is very hard to tamper with. As an external device, Garage Defenders are the most popular option. Follow this link for more information on Garage Defenders: ‘Are garage defenders good?’
- Install a Garage Door Opener with Rolling Code Technology: Rolling code technology is a security feature that changes the access code of your garage door opener every time it is used. This makes it more difficult for thieves to hack your code and gain access to your garage and is the same technology used in car keys. Sectional garage doors are typically much more secure when motorised as the motor system pins the door at the top of the door which makes it virtually impossible to open the door.
- Install Security Cameras: Installing security cameras around your garage can deter potential thieves and help you monitor any activity around your property.
- Use Smart Home Technology: You can connect your garage door opener to your smart home system, enabling you to control your garage door remotely from your smartphone and monitor whether it is open or closed. In addition you can pair cameras with your garage door app for extra peace of mind.
- Install Motion Sensor Lights: Motion sensor lights will turn on when they detect motion around your garage, deterring potential thieves and making it easier for you to see if someone is trying to break in.
- Use a Heavy-Duty Garage Door Lock: A heavy-duty garage door lock can be an effective way to prevent unauthorised access to your garage. These locks can be installed on the inside of your garage door and are typically made of durable materials like steel.
- Install security features in your garage: Whilst it is important to make your garage door as secure as possible, it is also worth considering installing ground anchors with high security chains to secure precious items in your garage such as bikes. Additionally locking cabinets in the garage for high value, portable items such as power tools will give you extra peace of mind.
Overall, upgrading the security of your garage door and the garage itself is an important step in protecting your property and preventing theft.
To explore in more detail get in touch with your query.
If you want to add extra locking points to your garage door to enhance the existing security or if the locking on your garage door has failed and you need to find an alternative there are a number of popular options.
Staple & Hasp:
The most old fashioned approach is to add a staple and hasp type arrangement which consists of a ‘staple’ – normally a steel loop on a plate that is fixed to the door panel – and the ‘hasp’ which is a hinged plate with a hole in it which allows it to close over the staple and is then secured with a padlock. Most garage doors are strong enough to take the fixings for this type of additional lock but on older and flimsy doors this might be relatively easy to overcome.
Essentially the same as the staple and hasp, and as old as time, you can attach a shoot bolt to your door which is then secured with a padlock. As with the staple and hasp they are only really as strong as the garage door they are fixed to so if your door panel is flimsy or corroded then whilst they will provide a visual deterrent and some resistance, if you are serious about securing your garage door you may want to look at the options below, or use them in combination with other options.
Pacri locks is a simple but reliable solution consisting of two retractable shoot bolts which bolt to the inside of the garage door panel and are controlled by a unique star shaped key – when you turn the key it extends or retracts the bolt to lock or unlock the door. The pair of locks, one each side, are normally keyed alike so you only need one key. These locks are effective but are quite challenging to install so are usually installed by a specialist such as ourselves rather than on a DIY basis, but with some skills (and patience) you can install them yourself.
Perhaps the most popular of all the secondary locks is the Garage Defender.
Most of the options above apply to up and over type garage doors but, with the exception of Garage Defender, they do also work with vertically opening doors such as sectionals and rollers if installed correctly.
We hold stock of most of the locks described above so get in touch today to see how we can help.
One of the most frequent requests we receive is how to improve the weatherproofing of new and existing garage doors to stop rain, blown debris and even rodents getting into the garage.
Whilst the more traditional rubber or nylon brush strip attached to the bottom edge of the door leaf has been the traditional solution, the WeatherStop floor seal is the best solution that we know of.
Available in a range of thicknesses to suit any gap under a garage door, they are typically constructed of solid rubber with a high visibility yellow strip to avoid any trip hazard. The threshold is ramped at either edge to make wheeled access easy. The seal is discrete so isn’t visible from outside the garage door so has no impact on the aesthetic of the door.
In high use applications they are also available in aluminium.
Attached to the floor with an extremely robust bitumen-type sealant, once they are fixed down the incidence of them coming loose is extremely rare and the flexible sealant forms an excellent weathertight seal between the floor and the underside of the seal. If required they can also be mechanically fixed to the floor.
Whilst they are not a substitute for a floor levelling compound, they can also be useful in providing a more even surface under the garage door.
It’s important to note that the floor needs to be dry and free of dust and debris to get a good adhesion between the WeatherStop seal and the floor.
Image of Weatherstop floor seal:
To provide the best possible seal between your garage door and the garage structure itself, we can install our unique Frame Barrier.
Frame Barrier is a dense, closed cell foam layer which acts as a cushion to reduce vibration between the garage door and the solid structure of the garage when operating – which in turn reduces wear on the garage door and dampens noise.
In addition Frame Barrier eliminates rain and wind penetration between the door frame and the garage, with the supple layer working even on uneven surfaces – when coupled with a silicone bead it is virtually impervious.
The other major benefit is that Frame Barrier acts as a thermal break between the garage structure and the garage door frame. Virtually all insulated garage doors have non-insulated frames which means that an otherwise insulated installation can be undermined by a cold spot all around the perimeter of the door. Frame Barrier effectively overcomes this issue.
Tested to automotive standards it is flame retardant and remains flexible.
It is important to note that Frame Barrier is suitable for garage door installations where the frame sits behind the garage opening and not for installations between the reveal.
Garage defenders are probably the most popular item for adding additional security to an existing garage door.
Whilst they come in a few different styles the most often used is a triangular shaped steel body with a tubular bar at the top which rests against the garage door, preventing it from being opened – see the picture below. It is attached to a metal plate with a special secure padlock.
The metal plate is normally bolted to the floor with 16mm security bolts. When the Garage Defender is fitted it prevents access to the bolts. Where the ground is too soft to reliably take the security bolts, a different plate is available which is concreted into the ground.
When installed they provide a very significant increase in physical security, and also act as visual deterrent. As the Garage Defender typically sits in the middle of the garage then on older doors with weak door panels it can still be possible to peel the corners open – we can advise on this but if you aren’t sure it is possible to have a pair of Garage Defenders, one at each corner of the door, and for convenience we can supply them with keyed alike padlocks so one key will open both padlocks securing the Garage Defender.
The only potential issue with the Garage Defender is that at the same time as offering a visual deterrent, there is a risk that the Garage Defender can also flag that you are taking extra precautions which may imply that you have something special in the garage. As such, they are particularly effective where there are a number of other Garage Defenders so that they don’t stand out.
It should be noted that Garage Defenders only really work with up and over doors. Doors that open vertically such as rollers and sectional doors aren’t prevented from opening and doors that swing out such as side-hinged doors can be blocked by the locking plate.
Finally, it is not generally recommended to install Garage Defenders on doors that are motorised as if you accidentally operate the door then whilst the motors safety system should kick in and stop the door from moving, the initial movement can stress the motor and potentially dent the garage door if it is pushed into the Garage Defender.
Some of the traditional types of additional lock, such as Garage Defenders, aren’t effective for vertical opening doors.
In these cases, we offer a different locking system which consists of a metal tube which is set into a concrete pad in the floor in front of the door and a shaft which is attached to the leading edge of the door. When the door comes down, the shaft slots into the tube set into the ground and is then locked in place with a key.
In addition to the doors own locking system, this makes the door as secure as can be and is suitable for both roller and sectional garage doors.
In common with Garador Defenders, it is not recommended to install these locks to motorised doors as operating the motor when the lock is engaged can damage the motor and potentially the door too.
In urban areas in particular the problem of nuisance graffiti (as opposed to graffiti art which can look great) can be significant, and rapidly lead to the aesthetic of your door being spoiled.
There are a couple of options available either as a preventative measure or once the graffiti has already happened.
It is possible to get an anti-graffiti coating applied to the face of your garage door which either doesn’t let the paint dry, making it much easier to remove, or in the case of an anti-graffiti film can allow you to peel off the damaged area.
If you haven’t had an anti-graffiti coating applied and the door has been tagged then you can also get specialist wipes that are designed to be effective at quickly removing the paint. The main challenge with these products is that as they are solvent based they can also damage the doors own paint finish – as such it can be a toss up between using the wipes, repainting the door to cover the graffiti or leaving it as is.
As mentioned above the lowest tech option is to repaint the affected area. As nearly all garage doors are painted in RAL colours then most good decorator centres will be able to mix you an exact colour match quickly and easily.
For more information or to explore the options in more detail get in touch today.
In the majority of cases, yes you can!
In some cases these can be factory fitted but they can also be retro-fitted as long as your door is stiff enough that cutting the required opening into the door won’t damage the structural integrity of your door.
For some doors such as roller doors, where the door is made up of relatively narrow individual slats, it is not possible unless you only need a very narrow opening.
We can advise as to the suitability on any new garage door for a letter box, cat flap or other aperture and if you aren’t sure if your existing garage door is suitable then you can send us some pictures of your door and we will do our best to let you know.
For more information and friendly advice get in touch.
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