Did you know that in the United States, first floor doors are the most popular form of entry for burglars? They account for 56% of the reported burglary entrance points. 34% use the front door and often walk right in. That is why it is crucial that you take steps to properly secure your front door.
There are innumerable amounts of designs, styles and types of doors and the age of your home, its location and the climate often have a big part in deciding the type of door you have. No matter the type of door, there are a few areas that you can look to when considering making your front door more secure. What are these areas?
- Door Handle
- The Door Itself
Locks are the most important security measure on your front door. If you are looking to secure your front door, the first place you should consider making changes is the lock. There are many different types and they all serve their own purpose.
- Handle Locks
- Night Latch
- Smart Locks
If you want to increase the security of your door, upgrade to a better lock. If you don’t have one, add a deadbolt. If you already have a deadbolt, consider upgrading to a higher quality deadbolt or adding a door chain or a deadbolt that opens only from the inside. You can also install a door barricade, which falls in place inside the home and cannot be moved, even if the door manages to become unlocked.
According to Maria form Doors Galore “Door handles can be a weak point on a front door. They can be built poorly or occasionally an interior door handle will be accidentally installed on the front door.” These handles are not secure enough and should be switched with a proper, exterior locking door handle. You can also install a keypad handle which combines the lock and handle into one device which can often be controlled remotely.
Hinges and Strike Plate
Hinges and strike plates aren’t the first things that come to mind when considering their front door security. However, they play an extremely important role in maintaining the integrity of the front door and they offer a great opportunity to reinforce that door. This can be done by changing the hinges or strike plate out with stronger material like nickel or stainless steel. Another great way to improve the security is to replace the short screws with longer, preferably 3” screws. This secures the hinges and strike plate to the frame and the door, making it extremely difficult to kick down.
Naturally, the weakest point of any front entrance is the glass. You can’t put a fist or a rock through the door itself but a window creates opportunities for criminals to access the inside. To reinforce the windows, you can install a security film that increases the strength of the windows. These products look like sheets of plexiglass and are adhered to the interior, making it almost impossible for a criminal to break the glass and gain entry.
Not all doors are created equal! If you are unsure, take a moment to inspect and feel an interior bathroom door compared to an exterior home door. One is far more solid. Exterior doors should always be solid core doors, at a minimum. There are options for steel and composite materials as well. If your door is old and is damaged from the weather or age, you may want to consider replacing it. The best locks and hinges won’t help if an intruder can break right through the door itself. The investment in a secure and solid front door is well worth it.
Other Ways to Increase Your Front Door Security
Outside of making sure the door and its components are secure, there are other helpful ways to deter intruders and secure your front door. How can you do this?
Doorbell or Visible Camera
Doorbell cameras offer a layer of security by filming people as they arrive but also by allowing you to speak with someone at the door.
Motion Sensor Lights
Motion sensor lights can deter potential intruders by shining a bright light on them as they walk up to the front door.
Security System Stickers
Sometimes all it takes to deter an intruder is the threat of an alarm system. If you have a security system, make sure to have decals displaying that your home is being protected by a third-party security system.
Securing Your Front Door
Unfortunately, burglaries and crimes happen. While they are rare, it is important to protect yourself and your family from the chance it may happen to you. Take these steps to ensure you are secure and make any adjustments if necessary.