Intended to welcome family and friends when they come to visit, you chose your front door for its beauty, style, and curb appeal. But did you know that a large percentage of intruders prefer to enter by the front door rather than exterior doors at the back of the house or through a window? It makes sense, though, when you consider that a burglar wants to get in and out as quickly as possible by the most convenient route. Here are some tips on how to make your entry doors more secure, regardless of style or design.
Replace hollow doors
A solid core door sounds just like its name – one of the top five solid core doors is made of wood with a steel interior. Replacing hollow exterior doors makes it more difficult for burglars to kick the door in. Other solid door options include metal, fiberglass, solid wood or solid engineered wood with a solid wood core.
Install a deadbolt lock
If you don’t have a deadbolt lock now, get one installed. Ensure that the deadbolt you select fully extends into the doorjamb opening and is secured with long screws that aren’t exposed. The doorjamb opening should be reinforced with a metal strike plate. Using longer-than-standard strike plates and screws will help burglar-proof your home, preventing intruders from prying the lock open.
If the entrance doors to your home are hollow core doors, replace them first before installing new locks. Because hollow doors are already somewhat of a security risk, installing deadbolts would probably be ineffectual in preventing an actual break-in.
Upgrade existing locks
If you already have deadbolts but want to make them more secure, replace existing hardware wherever appropriate. Long strike plates (metal plates that surround the area where the deadbolt nests inside the doorframe) and 3.5” screws will make it harder to break down.
The security of any existing key locks on your entry door can be improved by installing cylinder guards around the locks, preventing intruders from prying the locks loose.
Install a wide-angle peephole
Intruders often employ techniques such as ringing the bell or knocking on the door to forcibly gain entry when the door is partially opened. Installing a wide-angle peephole will allow you to see the person. You will also be able to see if the person is carrying tools and/or has a partner.
Don’t forget the back doors
Back doors require the same level of security as front doors. Again, the door should be solid with a deadbolt lock, long strike plates, and long screws securing the hinges and strike plates to the doorframe.
Secure options for glass front doors
The most secure type of deadbolt for glass front doors is the double-cylinder deadbolt. It requires a key to lock and unlock the deadbolt both inside and outside. However, before investing in this type of locking mechanism, check building codes and municipal bylaws – they may be regulated or even prohibited on the grounds that it takes more time to vacate the house in an emergency.
Another kind of lock that increases the level of security for glass entry doors is a smart lock. Through a compatible app on your smartphone, you can relay instructions and receive alerts if an intruder attempts to tamper with the lock.
Install a security alarm or glass break sensors. When any type of alarm goes off, it typically deters criminals.
Replace current windows with reinforced glass panes. Another option is to cover existing panes with security film.