I need to upgrade my garage, because there's been a break in and there sure as duck be another one soon (typo intended, no profanities here, even though I'm entitled to it as a victim of my bike being stolen twice this summer).

So, I'm thinking like this. The thieves will break the lock and manged to force the door and there's nothing I can do about that. What I can do, though, is a combination of two things.

  1. Slowing the stupid #¤%&s down.
  2. Making noise and/or signaling the attempt silently to my phone.

I need suggestions on the setup of such thing so I can present it to my super. They've promised to fix it but I fear that it will be even better if I help them along.

We can't have just the alarm go off as the door opens, because I'd set it off myself too. And it's probably a good idea not to have external panels for blipping in because that might be vandalized.

The garage is a small, room for a single vehicle with walls and roof, so the only possible entry point is the door. If I can slow the thieves down by a few minutes, I'll hear the sound and/or be alarmed and can call the cops.

  • 1
    Not an answer to your question, but be careful confronting thieves. You don't want to lose your life in the process of trying to save a thing. Aug 4, 2016 at 13:33
  • @konrad What did you do in the end ? How did it work for you ?
    – Criggie
    Dec 6, 2022 at 4:11
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    @Criggie You are not going to like the answer: I moved to a better area of the city. Now, I have my bike outside, only locked with the central lock. Twice, I forgot the keys in the ignition... No problems. Zero. Nada. Ziltch! Dec 7, 2022 at 7:00

5 Answers 5


It's all about reinforcing the door and securing the content inside - much like a Russian doll or onion of security!

CCTV (mostly) will act as a deterrent but often the recording quality is poor and if the thief wears a hat or balaclava, gloves and dark clothes then it's usually impossible to catch them after the event...

Securing the door would be either get a stronger door with better locks that can withstand brute force or add extra locks to the existing door to slow the thief down so much that they give up.

Example solutions that will prevent the door opening without attacking the hinges include:

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Securing the content inside the garage with wall-mounted locks and/or brackets/loops will make it harder, still, for the thief to remove the item if they get past the door.

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Cabinets: Adding on to securing content inside the garage is the obvious steel lockable cabinets (these should also be secured to the wall/floor.

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Slowing the [thieves] down.

I guess this is mostly a matter of fitting better locks, and/or a stronger door. You might be able to reinforce a flimsy door. You might be able to add an extra lock.

PIR triggered lights may have a slight deterrent effect.

You might contact the crime-prevention officer in your local police force. They may be able to provide advice and guidance.

Making noise and/or signaling the attempt silently to my phone.

I would consider fitting an alarm. A typical alarm will make a beeping sound when the door is opened. This gives you ten seconds or so go to the control panel inside and enter the disarm code. The warning sound will startle an amateur burglar and they usually won't have time to do anything to disable the alarm before the full alarm sounds.

  • The twist is that they'll try to grab e.g. helmet, battery etc. and can attempt to damage the ignition anyway (not precisely God's brightest children, you know). I need a suggestion that stops them from getting in (for a while) while still letting the authorized deactivate the alarm. And that without a panel or anything reachable from outside (so it can't be vandalized). Double doors? Like in: an outer door and then a grind inside plus some IR deactivator? Cost? Where to buy? Aug 4, 2016 at 10:52
  • @Konrad, I was thinking of an alarm where the control panel is sited inside the garage at the far end, or somewhere not immediately obvious. But I take your point about slowing them down first - I suspect that means reinforcing or replacing the door and fitting a stronger lock. Aug 4, 2016 at 11:23

Install "dummy" cameras. They have IR motion detection, swivel and point and light up when activated. They look real but you won't be breaking stupid Swedish law prohibiting video surveillance.

Get some signs too, that say "WARNING- 24 hour surveillance and armed response".

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It sounds like a great application for some video security cameras that capture and remotely store video shots. Then if there is trouble you have a much better shot at identifying who the culprit is.

Some video cameras can be setup to alert when the picture changes in an unexpected way over a short time interval. This alert can be a silent one and could be even more effective than trying to install other types of sensors and intrusion alarms.

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    In Sweden we have such a great respect for the integrity of the criminals that we're not allowed to set up video surveillance without a court order (and such is in practice unattainable in my case). Stupid laws... Aug 4, 2016 at 10:48

"Shed security alarms" find some good results for alarm options.

For example, a battery-operated PIR alarm could be mounted somewhere at the back (making it harder for an intruder to disable/break) with a keyfob for arming/disarming.

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There are other options as well that have keypads, or magnetic contact switches, but with all of these stand-alone units you are susceptible to someone just smashing it to bits (or removing the batteries), so I prefer ways to minimize that possibility.

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