Picture of Prevent Garage Door Break-Ins
It is easy to break into most home garages in just six seconds. All that is needed is a coat hanger and a little practice.

Videos at YouTube show how it is done. 
  1. Straighten a coat hanger, but leave a curved hook on one end.
  2. Push the hooked end of the wire through the weather seal between the frame of the house and the top of the garage door in the area shown by the red arrow. (It is possible to push some garage doors inward at the top to create a gap large enough to insert one's own hand into the garage.)
  3. Catch the emergency release lever (yellow arrow) and gently pull until the lever releases.
  4. If necessary, hook the red cord and pull it to release it or pull it toward the door where it can be grasped by the hand and pulled.
As concerns the advisability of providing a "how to" on breaking into a garage with a coat hanger, over 1 million people have already viewed the video on YouTube. Some of them live on a street near you, and they are not all honest. The emphasis here is on how you can prevent being a victim of a six second break-in.

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Absolutely brilliant. Best low-cost (or otherwise-) solution I've yet seen. Many thanks. Should be on SharkTank :)

Phil B (author)  mars.melnik5 days ago
Thank you. From what I see, Shark Tank is for people who want to market a product. I am not doing that.
haikuordie1 year ago
This is an interesting i'ble. I've never seen anything quite like this before. In my experience (garage door tech 10yrs) most thieves just break the glass and grab the release cord. The truth is if they really want to get in, they'll find a way.

If you set your trolley back too far and make your operator arm longer, you run the risk of damaging your top panel. Your operator arm is supposed to be nearly straight up and down in the closed position. That way, when your door starts up your arm is pulling up before it pulls back. The arm in the picture should be shortened up a bit to prevent this same type of damage (glass sections are expensive). I would also suggest you lube those springs with some light silicone-based lubricant spray. Looks like its never been done (should be done at least once a year).

haikuordie said, "I would also suggest you lube those springs with some light silicone-based lubricant spray. Looks like its never been done (should be done at least once a year)."

Good advice haikuordie. One of my springs broke on a 10' high door. Luckily, I was not under it, but it does not have an electric lift and it came down HARD. I do believe that's why it broke so I keep the new spring lubed after that.

Phil B (author)  haikuordie1 year ago

Thank you for the information, especially about the silicone lubrication on the spring.

onemoroni15 months ago

Good instructable. I gives me ideas to think of securing my garage. I do have to use my release a few times a year. Power outages etc.

Phil B (author)  onemoroni15 months ago
Thank you. I think I use my release even less than that, maybe once every five to seven years or less.
Rob O10 months ago

Thanks Phil this is fascinating. I going to implement on my garage door. I have a little metal rod with a cotter pin on the end. It's left over from some other project I cant recall. I'm going to substitute that for the bolt. Thanks again.

Phil B (author)  Rob O10 months ago
Thank you for looking. I have told people I do not need the perfect protection against break in. I only need something better than what my neighbors have so vandals go to their houses instead of mine.
Tex Arcana1 year ago
I like this, thanks for the 'ible. perhaps you should link some of the videos so we can see what's going on.
Phil B (author)  Tex Arcana1 year ago
There is a link to a local news story in step 1 and it leaves very little to the imagination, plus it demonstrates a fix I mentioned. For more, search for the six second garage break in at YouTube. Thank you for looking.

This needs a laser gun.

Phil B (author)  justbennett1 year ago


Scanner21 year ago

This is a very useful idea. Easy to implement, and it looks like an effective defense against a quick break-in. Such events have happened in the central Iowa region, too.

Phil B (author)  Scanner21 year ago

Thank you for commenting. I grew up near Monticello between Cedar Rapids and Dubuque. I am sorry to hear this is happening in Iowa now, too.

petercd1 year ago

I made the traveller to door connecting metal bracket as long as possible while still ensuring that I have enough door travel. This makes it a lot harder to wedge the top of the door open.

Thanks for the heads-up

Phil B (author)  petercd1 year ago

Thank you for the comment. Anything you do to make your door more secure than that of your neighbor will send them to his house, instead.