In most basic models of roller shutter garage doors, there is little or no security at all and they can be easily lifted. With electrically operated Roller Shutters in the UK, the electric motor simply operates the door curtain and relies entirely on gravity for the operation. Although many manufacturers will state there are various security ‘straps’ attaching the curtain to the barrel and performing a security function, the reality is they are either totally ineffective or easily pushed back against or broken.
When a curtain is held from the barrel using quality solid attachments along the width of the curtain then the motor in the barrel will hold the curtain down far more effectively. The same applies for certain models where the curtain is fixed directly to the barrel, but this does not make for a very effective closing position on the door and can leave larger gaps at the top behind the lintel.
Other factors, including the actual strength of the curtain and the size of the lath sections used in the door construction, affect overall security. Some very lightweight slats i.e., the 55 mm lath, used in lower specification roller doors are often easy to bend and break and would also be easy to cut through without a lot of noise or effort.
The slats used in various electric roller garage doors vary a lot more than might be assumed from their initial visual appearance. You will basically get what you pay for in this area of the door.
Most people looking at roller garage doors in the UK will find themselves discussing a 55 mm lath or a 77 mm lath door using a twin wall aluminium curtain, but the stronger door curtains for security are mainly those utilising the larger lath sections, with construction specifically designed for security.
The side guides used also play a bit part in overall security usually with larger width guides providing more lateral strength and resistance to force.
Check the guide size and make sure it is at least 60mm wide as a minimum on either side of the curtain, preferably 70 or 90mm wide. Some manufacturers are 110 mm, but this does not necessarily mean the curtain is actually sitting in the guide any more than a 90mm guide.
Some roller doors use coded technology with the remote handsets and others access controls providing encrypted signals to operate the door, this means it is almost impossible to copy the signal of the door and the only vulnerable radio controls will be very basic low-priced transmitters using an older technology. Cheap transmitters can often have very few variables in their coding, so they could easily be copied with minimal effort. There is however no great evidence of code grabbing being a problem in the UK at present, but it is nice to have reliable remote handsets whatever the security levels.
The single biggest question asked is ‘How secure is it?’. The overall construction and quality of the roller door will usually determine the level of security. However, the low quality, low priced roller garage door will usually not be secure at all, which is perhaps more obvious than it seems.