Driveway Alarms – How to Secure your Carport, Driveway and Garage

One of the most common errors in configuring a Home Security System is neglecting to integrate a driveway alarm which monitors access to the driveway, the carport, and/or the garage. Many a criminal has won access to a home by “thinking like a car” – and exploiting this common security loophole.

Start with the garage door opener. Particularly if you have a keypad permitting manual access, be sure to change the factory code so that a well-informed burglar can’t simply enter one of the common presets and walk in uninvited. Keypads should be mounted under a motion-sensitive light, both to increase your security while you enter the code, and to spotlight any thief who tries to guess your combination. No thief likes to stand in a pool of light while suspiciously trying out code after code! Don’t forget that your garage door openers are just like keys to your house – don’t leave them in unsecured vehicles or hide them around your property! Clever burglars know all the hiding places – keep them secure, the same as with your house keys.

The garage door itself is often a serious weak point. Doors are made of lightweight materials, to make them easier to open and close (particularly by hand), but this also makes them vulnerable to a physical assault. Steel or plywood bracing on the inside of the door can provide a measure of additional defense against a straightforward breakthrough attempt. Wooden garage doors are very easy to break through, and you should consider a metal door replacement. Many garage doors are also relatively easy to force open, especially if they have a gap at the bottom where a crowbar can find purchase. Mortise locks and cane bolts can help slow down that type of break-in. One easy and inexpensive step to completely forestall such a break in: drill a hole through the inside and outside tracks of the door on the inside of the garage, and padlock the door shut from the inside when you are home.

The carport is a generally open area, and as such is difficult to secure against intrusion. Instead, install a Home Security System with motion detectors and floodlights to ensure that any unwelcome visitor is at least made visible to neighbors and passing cars. Make carports less attractive to thieves by storing valuables like lawnmowers or tools in secure chests, sheds or other storage units, rather than leaving them loose in the carport.

Driveway security is relatively straightforward; barring a gate, there isn’t much you can do to keep people off your drive, but you can be made aware of anyone who does enter. Home Security Systems equipped with Motion sensors, weight plates, and other passive devices are excellent ways of triggering your home security system and alerting you that there are unwanted guests.

3 Comments

  1. Thanks for the advice. I recently had what I thought was a complete home security system with monitoring installed. It seems that I neglected to consider the door coming in from the garage. My garage is heated and finished and I guess I considered it an internal door and did not think to add on an the extra zone with sensors for this area. I will look into extending my system into that area now.

  2. Thanks for the tips. It’s amazing to me how many of my friends and family fail to recognize how vulnerable they are by locking all the doors to their home, except the one between the garage and the house.

  3. I had a contact switch added to the rear exterior door of my garage as well as the door connecting garage to house.