Home Security 101: Garage Door Sensor

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We’ve got the basics covered for wireless home alarm sensors, but there are still some helpful devices worth talking about. One of them is the wireless garage door sensor. As with the other sensors we’ve addressed in this series, we’ll explain how the wireless garage door sensor works, and why it can be an important component of your home alarm system.

Building Your System from the Bottom Up

When we get into the discussion of home alarm system design in a future post, one of the points we’ll focus on is the placement of a wireless door/window sensor on every exterior door. After all, we know that burglars enter through a front or back door most of the time. And that also means placing a sensor on the door separating the garage from the rest of the house. But what about your overhead garage door itself?

Smart Thinking

Wireless garage door sensors for the home have not been around as long as standard door/window sensors – but since their introduction, they’ve become quite popular. The sensor is designed for the normal overhead garage door. Since a wireless motion sensor is not the most reliable way to protect the garage, especially summer or in warmer climates, it’s great to add the wireless garage door sensor to your roster of security options. And if you think it’s too hard to break into your garage, you would be surprised how intruders have learned ways to get in. It happens.

Garage Door Sensors Explained

The garage door sensor has been with us for some time, but for years it was a clunky, hard-wired device that mounted on the door’s rail, and used oversized magnets – and was so tough to install that it was rarely used in the home. The new wireless sensor is smaller than your thumb, and has a weight switch that’s activated as the garage door is lifted, and moves from vertical to horizontal.

Wireless is the Key

Remember, it’s important to use wireless sensors for all the reasons listed in this previous post on sensor technologies. This sensor communicates wirelessly to your control panel as the garage door is opened and closed. The sensor can even be programmed to alert you if the garage door is left open longer than a certain period of time (you get to pick) – and since many families keep items of value in the garage, it’s good to know when that door is opened – or left open.


Unlike the old school garage door sensor, this couldn’t be easier. Simply place the wireless garage door sensor at the top of the garage door, on the inside surface. As soon as the door is opened even a short distance, the sensor will notify your control panel and trigger an alarm – that means a burglar can’t pry the door part way up and crawl under undetected.

Sensor Being Used More and More

Yes, most residential home alarm systems start with door/window sensors and motion sensors, and that’s been true for some time – just about every system includes both of these devices. But we also find more and more homeowners selecting a wireless garage door sensor for each overhead garage door to enhance their alarm systems.

Add Now – or Later

Another thing to bear in mind is that our lives change – and so do our neighborhoods! You may want to add devices to your system to increase your sense of security, or use your system differently – and having a system that is flexible and that grows with you can be a real asset. This is another area where an easily self-installed alarm system offers a definite benefit: allowing you to add any device, at any time, easily and affordably.

Good System Design Equals Peace of Mind

Using the right sensor for each application is where an effective home security system starts – and the best alarm companies are committed to providing you with the protection and peace of mind you deserve: adding one or more wireless garage door sensors to your system could be the right call for your home.

Now we’re another step closer to designing a complete home security system. There are still a few more sensors to cover before we get there, so make sure to join us here for the updates. See you next Monday!

Comments (13)

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  1. Ken Kasmar

    [cross post from FB] – When will there be support for z-wave garage door openers like Linear GD00Z-4 (which is now supported by the Qolsys IQ Panel)?

    • Katie Rynex

      Ken, great question! At this time we do not have any updates on the integration of z-wave garage door openers, however, we will let you know as soon as we do! Thanks for reaching out and please let us know if you have any other questions.

  2. Ron Sluder

    I am interested in more information on garage door sensors.

  3. Anonymous

    Wow Nice Article! After I reading this i decided to buy one soon for our home security. thanks for posting like this

  4. David

    Nice article Peter. I’m not the biggest fan of wireless motion sensors either. I therefore use wireless garage door sensors at several places of my house – not just the garage door but also the front door, back door and even inside my winter garden.

  5. Jenn Davies

    I can’t believe sensors used to be that hard to use. They’re so convenient today, I hardly think twice about pushing the button. It’s not until the garage door doesn’t work that I realize how much I’ve been taking for granted.

  6. J Dugan

    It would be nice if there was a way to have the garage door sensor trip an alarm while the system is in stay mode, but not in away mode.

    • Jamie Botzer

      The garage door sensor is programmed to work in both the “stay” and “away” modes. It is recognized as a door sensor in your system so when you arm “Doors + Windows” (or stay mode), you are arming the garage door sensor along with any other doors or windows. If it’s not reacting the same way your doors or windows do when opened in this setting, please give our Support Team a call (1-877-602-5276) and they can check to make sure all your sensors are working properly.

      If you don’t want your garage door to arm in away mode, there is a way to bypass the sensor. It’s a little too lengthy a process to post step-by-step directions here, but our Support Team can walk you through this as well. Thanks for the question!

      • J Dugan

        Right now it is setup as “Door/Window contact – Trouble beeps Only” – at my request. I will contact support to set it up to bypass in away mode.

      • Bert

        Passive-aggressiveness is called &#m2i0;8an2pulation.” So, address this, each and every time. Address the behavior, not the person. It is a respectful way to ensure that it stops with you.Stating that you will not be manipulated by anyone is a healthy response, and they know that you have “no difficulty calling it exactly what it is!” They will stop.

  7. Security Systems Sri Lanka

    Advanced garage door security sensors are an essential facet when considering securing your house.