How secure is your front door? Did you know that 65% of break-ins occur through the front door? Most burglars prefer to enter their victims’ homes through an inconspicuous point of entry, but if someone is walking straight into your neighbor’s front door you may not think twice. So what can you do to protect your front entrance, or any exterior doors, from being an easy point of entry?
1. Get a Solid Door
If you do not already have a solid front door and have simply stuck to your hollow door, you should immediately replace it. A solid front door made from wood or fiberglass will not be as easy to break through, and it should not have any windows. A metal door works too if it is reinforced with a lock block, because otherwise it can be bent out of its frame using a car jack.
If you plan on spending thousands on a high-security bank vault door, you may want to reconsider and spend some of that cash on a home security system with leftover money to spare. Just be sure your door is solid.
2. Install Proper Locks and Hardware
When it comes to locks and hardware—most home security consultants recommend installing a heavy-duty, grade 1 deadbolt (one that is separate from the one connected to your doorknob assembly) with a four-screw, steel strike plate. Grade 1 deadbolt locks have longer throw bolts that extend a minimum of 1” inch into the door jam. They are also resistant to hammer blows. Your strike plate should have screws that are at least 3” long (i.e., long enough to reach through your door jam and into your doorframe). The combination of the above mention items will prevent your door jam from splintering and giving way when kicked or rammed by an intruder.
3. Avoid Simply Beautiful Windows
You can have a beautiful front porch without stained glass dividing the burglars from the inside. Be sure to get hefty, strong windows. Some homes have fancy, non-glass block windows surrounding their door. If this is the case, we suggest using a double cylinder deadbolt as it requires a key to be unlocked within, preventing a burglar from breaking the sidelight and reaching in to unlock the deadbolt. Having large windows near your front door can be an easy access point for burglaries, so be sure to reinforce windows with glass blocks or eliminate them all together.
4. ALWAYS Lock the Front Door (yes, in the daytime too!)
Did you know that most residential break ins happen during the day when the kids are at school and the parents are at work? Just because it is bright out doesn’t mean you should keep your doors unlocked. Unfortunately we no longer live in a “trust-thy-neighbor” world, so do not leave your home safety in the hands of an unlocked door. Do not forget that even the sturdiest and more expensive high security door is useless unless it is locked.
Do not be the next victim of a burglary. Make sure that you check everything on this list when building a new house or moving into an old one, as your safety is on the line.