Parking garage security system with gate.


One of the most crucial aspects of successfully managing a property is establishing sound physical security. And implementing a garage security system is essential for protecting people and assets. But how do you find the right garage security solution for your property?

Read this guide to learn what garage security systems are and why your property needs one. You’ll also discover the most common types of garage security systems and how they work. By the time you finish reading, you’ll know the features of the best garage security systems.

This guide covers:


What is a garage security system?

A garage security system refers to the access control solution that controls physical access to your property’s parking garage. These security systems also prevent unauthorized people from entering the building via the garage.

Parking garages provide safe spaces for tenants, staff, and visitors to park their vehicles. More specifically, the garage protects vehicles from theft and vandalism, which they’re more susceptible to when parked on the street.

Additionally, the garage security system keeps unauthorized people or vehicles from entering the parking garage. And the best garage security system does all this while facilitating easy access for authorized personnel.

These security systems can be found at:

  • Multifamily properties
  • Commercial warehouses
  • Public parking garages
  • Office buildings

Furthermore, cameras for parking garages allow property staff to review live security footage, safekeeping the vicinity. As a result, if your parking garage experiences any suspicious activity, staff can review footage of specific times and take necessary actions.


A garage security system can prevent car theft.


Why do you need a garage security system?

You need a garage security system to protect your property from car-related theft. Vehicle break-ins and vandalism substantially increase in parking facilities, especially when the garages are poorly secured. In fact, even parking garages with security attendants are still vulnerable to crime due to bad lighting, blind spots, and hiding spaces that make it hard to prevent malicious activities.

And even the best luxury apartment buildings will suffer from bad property reviews if residents’ vehicles are constantly broken into or damaged. But you can combat this with a robust garage security system. Even better, guaranteeing vehicle security will increase resident satisfaction, enticing them to renew their leases year after year.


How much does a security system for a garage cost?

A garage security system costs anywhere from $200 to $2,000.

Ultimately, the price of a garage security system depends on the size and scope of the system that you choose. For example, a security system that requires professional installation will be more expensive than one with DIY installation. Additionally, if you don’t already have a garage door or gate, you must also consider the cost of the gate itself.

And remember: You need to invest in an automatic gate or door that’s compatible with the garage security system you choose. Prices of automatic garage doors and gates range from $200 to $4,000, depending on the gate material and mechanism.


4 types of garage access control systems

So, after you’ve assessed your garage security needs, you must determine the type of garage access control system to install. This choice mostly depends on the number of entry points in your garage and whether additional wiring is required. But you must also factor in how much traffic your garage oversees daily.

Here are the four most common types of garage security systems:

  1. Garage door openers
  2. Key card and key fob systems
  3. Vehicle tag recognition systems
  4. Smartphone-based garage security systems


Garage door openers with remotes are a viable security system option.


1. Garage door openers

Garage door openers use low voltage wiring that allows the garage door mechanism to function at the command of a remote. With this system, tenants press a button on their remote to open the garage door or gate.

Once a tenant clicks their remote, the door unlocking mechanism activates, opening the door for a predetermined period. Then, after enough time has passed, the garage door will close and lock automatically.


2. Key card and key fob systems

Key card and fob access control systems are functionally identical to garage door openers. With these security systems, residents simply present their credentials to an access reader.

After the credentials are verified, the reader signals the control panel to open the garage door or gate. Then, once the vehicle has cleared the threshold, the garage closes and locks behind them.

With most key card and key fob systems, tenants must also present their credentials as they leave to signal the garage door to open. Because vehicles can’t leave without the driver presenting a credential, this system minimizes the possibility of stolen vehicles.


3. Vehicle tag recognition systems

A vehicle tag recognition system requires tenants to place a small sticker on their dashboard as a credential. The tag reader scans this credential when they approach the gate and opens automatically.

This system is convenient for your tenants because it allows them to stay in their cars as they approach the garage. However, because the vehicle tag recognition systems have no way to facilitate visitor entry, it’s best used in tandem with another system.


Smartphone based garage security systems are secure and convenient.


4. Smartphone-based garage security systems

Garage security systems that use tenants’ smartphones are among the most secure and convenient options for property access control. A smartphone-based garage security system allows tenants to open the garage door using their smartphone as a credential. All they need to do is swipe or tap their phones to activate the garage door opener.

Smartphone garage security systems are by far the fastest and safest option for garage entry. In fact, drivers can even voice command via their smartphones to open the garage. This prevents them from taking their hands off the steering wheel to search for their credentials.

Lastly, a mobile-based garage security system is the best solution if your property’s garage has heavy traffic or long wait times.


Watch how ButterflyMX works at gates:


How do garage security systems work?

All garage security systems differ, but they share one common feature: requiring drivers to verify their identities to gain entry. Once their identity is verified, the system signals the garage to open.

How a garage security system works:

  • Base station verifies credentials. The base station — also referred to as an access control panel — is the main component of a garage security system. It activates the garage opener after verifying the credentials of the person requesting access.
  • Base station signals the garage to open. When correct credentials are presented, the base station sends a signal to the garage opener. This unlocks the garage door or gate and allows authorized vehicles to enter.
  • Garage opener activates. You must invest in a garage door or gate with a motor as a part of your garage security system. Otherwise, drivers will need to get out of their cars to open the door or gate manually.
  • Garage closes and locks. Ensuring that only authorized vehicles enter, garage openers stay open long enough for one car to enter. This way, unauthorized vehicles can’t tailgate authorized vehicles, bypassing the security system.

Note: Some security systems can even set off garage alarms if the gate is held open for too long.


Most common garage security system base stations

  • Keypads. These usually require PIN codes as credentials.
  • Key card and key fob scanners. These are RFID credential readers that scan a chip embedded in cards or fobs.
  • Security guards. Believe it or not, security guards are the oldest type of access control! They read residents’ and visitors’ ID cards before granting access by pressing a button.
  • Video intercoms. Video intercoms use smartphones, PINs, or QR codes to verify access permissions.


Garage security system with a video intercom base station.


Choosing the best garage security system

You must consider many factors when choosing the best garage security system for your property. Essentially, you need a system that controls access security without impeding access for your tenants, staff, and visitors.

So, look for a garage security system with these convenient and modern features:


Mobile app

Nearly all your tenants have smartphones. So, installing a smartphone-based garage security system is vital.

The best systems come with a mobile app that allows tenants to open the garage door from inside their cars. Additionally, the app has other benefits, such as virtual keys for visitors and remote unlocking capabilities.



Are you looking for a garage security system to reduce crime in your property’s parking garage? Installing a security system with a camera in your parking garage is an easy way to deter potential thieves and identify suspects.

Even better, the best garage security systems with cameras, such as video intercoms, allow tenants to see who’s requesting access at the garage door. So, they can verify a guest’s identity before opening the garage door for them.



With a cloud-based garage security system, you can update tenant information and change access permissions from anywhere. What’s more, cloud-based systems enjoy automatic software updates, which keeps the system running smoothly.

Pro tip: When looking for a cloud-based garage security system, choose one that’ll integrate with your property management software (PMS). This way, your resident directory syncs with the security system automatically. And whenever a resident moves in or out of your property, their access privileges will automatically be updated!



  • If you’re worried about security at your property, a garage security system is a great solution.
  • The best garage security systems improve physical security while facilitating easy tenant and guest entry.
  • A cloud-based garage security system with a mobile app and a camera is the most reliable option for well-rounded security and convenience.


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Katie Kistler

I’m a real estate fanatic based in Texas who loves discovering and writing about innovations in property technology.

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