Security project ideas needed: prevent car thief from using garage door opener to get into the house?

Our neighborhood has just had about a dozen breakins.
They see a car out front, break the window and use the garage door opener either add on or built in to open garage door and get in the house.
I tried my accura and even with no keyfob if u put your arm through the window and press the button the door goes up.
Any ideas?

could plug your opener into a smart plug and have it turn off at night

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Yes I have myq so at night I can turn it off. But during the day if my wife and I go out in one car leaving the other at the house. Problem

not quite what i meant. plug the actual motor into a smart plug. the motor can’t run without power.

  1. First thing if you don’t have it already is a good door and lock between the garage and the house. That’s a good idea in pretty much any neighborhood. :sunglasses:

Combine with motion sensor light, camera, and siren inside the garage and a television coming on inside the house and you should scare off most thieves at that point.

  1. If your car model offers a key fob option, then you can just take the opener with you. You should be able to disable the one built into the car.

  2. Motion sensor lights and camera above the garage door can be a good deterrent as well.

And the system would have to detect our presence and turn it back on.

correct, which you can do with a basic SmartThings automation. I would probably do four automations:

  1. if everyone leaves, turn off
  2. if someone arrives, turn on
  3. turn off with your goodnight scene
  4. turn on with your good morning scene

My concern about this kind of approach is it can make it difficult for the family to either enter or exit in an emergency. God forbid the family can’t get out through the garage during a kitchen fire because an automation has turned the motor off. :scream:

That’s why I prefer to just switch to a key fob remote. But you know how I am about fire safety. :wink:

Nice. Amd what do u use to detect presence?

We use the mobile presence built into the SmartThings app.

Fair point. If you have some kind of smoke/co detection connected to SmartThings, add the plug to the Smart Home Monitor action. At the minimum, get a SmartThings connected button to keep in the garage to turn on the plug.

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Exiting should be OK. Because the people are home a d phones presence is detected.
Entry without phones is no longer possible through garage. Good point.


In the scenarios described in the thread so far, the motor would be turned off once you went to sleep.

One person gets up in the middle of the night, goes in the kitchen, starts a tea kettle or making hot chocolate in the microwave, kitchen fire starts. They can’t get out through the garage because your good night scene turned the garage door motor off. :scream:

Less convenient but could you not program the car and just take the clicker inside with you? Or skip the clicker and use your phone to open/close?

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All nice suggestions. I like the phone idea. But convenience wise the smart plug works great.


Most people forget about the emergency toggle, and some people are not physically capable of using it. They are better for situations where the power/motor has gone out and you have time to use your phone to look up what to do when you want to get a car out of the garage. :sunglasses:

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Garage doors are not usually qualified as emergency egress (they don’t function any better during power loss either).
(And Around here, at least most garage’s have separate external door.)

Just depends on the age of the house and other factors. In my neighborhood, most of the homes were built in the 1950s and don’t have a separate door. And the garage is usually the quickest exit from the kitchen. Not saying that’s a great architectural design, just saying in some neighborhoods it’s a common one.

Again, just something to be aware of as you assess your own situation. :sunglasses:

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Agreed. For some people and situations this is an important issue and for others it might not be. (Personally i would hate to be waiting for garage opener in most emergency situations, but sometimes there may not be a good alternative.)

There are also all the people who have appliances or even workbenches in their garage. There are a number of reasons why people who are home might want to open the garage door even after they’ve run their good night routine, like dropping a bottle of bleach while they were doing the laundry.

So I’m just saying if you are guarding against burglars by disabling your garage door itself, rather than bringing a garage door opener indoors with you, you may find it’s disabled at a moment when you would like to be able to use it. Again, just something to be aware of.

You could always put the cars inside the garage…:wink: