The uses and benefits of commercial garage doors seem like an open-and-shut case: They give businesses access to their warehouses, vehicles, inventory and more, while being vital for productivity, protection against the elements, and smooth day-to-day operations. However, commercial garages do have a downside: they’re a prime target for thieves.
As with residential garage doors, commercial garage doors provide an easy entry point into a property, giving thieves the opportunity to steal valuable goods and equipment that can be resold. What’s more, acts of theft can often go undetected, since people are constantly bringing goods in and out of warehouses and storage areas, through multiple entrances and exits.1
Not having the right security measures in place can be costly for business owners. There are direct losses, including replacement costs for stolen materials, and in many cases, damage to the garage door itself. Additional losses may arise from lost productivity and downtime.
While no security measure is guaranteed to deter thieves, it’s always a good idea to take stock of what’s in place and see if you can make improvements.
Here are a few key recommendations to increase your commercial garage security and help keep thieves at bay:
Update your opening system with new technology
Commercial garage door openers may offer burglars an easy way into your facility or business. Opening systems that are outdated (installed before 1999) most likely use fixed codes, which can be easily hacked by burglars using code-cracking devices.2 With fixed codes, hackers can try as many combinations as possible, and eventually, they’ll find the right one that opens the door.3
To reduce the risk of being hacked, modern garage door openers use rolling codes. This technology selects a new code from billions of possible combinations each time the system is activated, or on a timed schedule.4 Every time your garage door is opened and closed, the code rotates and the previous one becomes useless. So, if a burglar is trying to gain access, their chances of finding the right code are slim.5
Check the manufacturer and model of your commercial garage doors. If you’re using older openers, upgrade to a modern system that uses rolling code technology. And while security has gone high-tech, traditional locks add an additional layer of protection and should be used when the business is closed.
Limit visibility into your operations
If thieves can see what’s behind closed garage doors, they may be more tempted to steal from your facility. While certain types of businesses like car dealerships use all-glass garage doors that allow for greater visibility and natural light, most commercial businesses have security worries over having windows. If you’re in the market for a new garage door, consider adding a window at the top of the door, which would let light in but prevent people from seeing in.6 You can also consider covering your windows, especially after hours. 7
Another key to limiting visibility is keeping garage doors closed when they’re not in use, as an open door is an open invitation to thieves. Consider adding timers so your garage doors automatically close if there’s no activity for a certain period of time.8
Keep your commercial garage doors well maintained
Just like other aspects of your business operation, your garage doors need to be inspected regularly. In warehouses, for example, forklifts can cause damage to garage doors, such as dents and gaps. A garage door that is in disrepair can make it easier for thieves to gain access to your facility.9 And it’s not just workplace mishaps that cause damage: Any commercial garage door can experience problems with normal wear-and-tear.
Keep your commercial garage doors maintained and in good condition, repairing damaged parts as necessary. In addition, test your opening system to make sure it’s functioning properly. A door that doesn’t close properly can result in security issues and theft.10
Theft can take a serious toll on your bottom line. By taking these simple steps to secure your garage doors, you can help keep thieves out and your valuable supplies and equipment in.
1The Fulfillment Lab, “8 Types of Warehouse Security Measures + Tips for Improving Safety”
2,5 DistribuDoors, “5 Tips for Garage Door Security,” April 21, 2022
3,4 Overhead Door, “How To Protect Your Garage Opener From Being Hacked”
6 B&M Garage Door, “The effect of your business’s commercial door on the company”
7,8 Zumwalt Corporation, “5 Security Tips For Your Commercial Garage Doors,” March 20, 2019
9 Premier Door Corp, “Security Tips for Your Commercial Garage Door,” Aug. 3, 2020
10 Omaha Door & Window, “The Importance of Commercial Garage Door Maintenance,” June 16, 2015