Apart from securing your home with a home security system, you should also protect the main entrances of your home. The doors of your home can be the most vulnerable break-in points for a burglar. The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors reported that 81% of burglars break in through the front door.
The first thing a burglar will do is check if your home’s door is locked. A weak door lock can become an invitation for a burglar. According to the Electronic Security Association (ESA), a burglar will not spend more than 60 seconds trying to pick a lock. You can minimize the risk of break-ins by installing a strong lock and reinforcing your door’s frame.
How to keep your doors secure
1-Select the right door for your home
Having the right type of door can make the difference between safety and disaster. You can find two main types of doors in the market: hollow and solid doors. A hollow door is made up of cardboard and layered with timber veneer. These doors are easy to break down even if you install a durable lock. Apart from being less durable, hollow doors provide poor heat and sound insulation.
It is recommended that you go for a solid core door which is basically made up of solid materials. The most common type of solid core doors are made of steel centers and covered with fiberglass, wood, or any other durable material to give it a finished look.
2-Install additional locks
There is no point in having a durable solid core door if it is fitted with a poor lock. Many burglars know how to pick locks and break into homes easily. You can boost the security of your home by installing additional locks on all main doors.
You can go for a deadbolt lock or even a mortise deadlock. A deadbolt lock is a very common lock. It is usually fitted above the door’s lock and can be locked or unlocked with a key. Deadbolt locks are made of hardened steel which extend into the door-jamb. On the other hand, mortise lock is a more traditional type of door lock. The lock consists of a pocket in the door frame. The bolt of the lock fits into the pocket, and can be operated with a key.
You can search online and also visit your local hardware store to see what other locks are available.
3-Replace weak door hinges and strike plates
The metal plate that surrounds the lock-set is known as the strike plate. You should go for heavy-duty metal security plates that are secured with screws. Beware of low quality strike plates that are secured with short screws.
You should also check the door hinges, and replace them if they are weak or lose. Burglars can try to unscrew the hinges if they are visible. You can cover the hinges with non-removable pins or double-headed masonry nails.
4-Reinforce sliding doors
If you have a sliding door, you can reinforce the door by installing keyed locks. There are different types of locks and bars available that are specifically designed for sliding doors. Some people prefer to install or attach a bar that swings down from the door frame and prevents the door from sliding open. For a quick and easy way to secure sliding doors, insert a broom handle or wooden stick in the track of the door. Another important safety tip to consider is covering the glass door with curtains or blinds.
5-Use protective film for glass doors
Protective film can be used to cover glass and prevent it from shattering. You can apply this film on any glass window on a door or sliding glass doors. Burglars will have a tough time trying to shatter the glass and break in.
For enhanced security, install door sensors. These sensors are designed to raise the alarm if any force or unauthorized access is detected. Usually, sensors come with a home security system. The sensors must be connected to the system and activated. You can also program the system to alert the police or monitoring center in case a break-in is detected.
Adding a light over the doorway can boost security. Of course, no burglar would like to be under the spotlight while picking a lock. You can choose from a wide range of lights that can be connected to motion sensors and even surveillance cameras.
8-Reinforce the door frame
A door should be strong, durable, and break-proof. But have you thought about the door frame? Most door frames are attached to the wall, and can be easily separated with a crowbar. To make sure this doesn’t happen, secure the door frame with screws. The screws should be long enough to penetrate the wall.
A peephole will let you see who is outside your door. You don’t have to open your door to see who is outside. A peephole can prevent forcible entry and lower the risk of burglaries. It is best that you opt for a peephole that prevents people on the other side of the door from looking back in.
10-Lock doors before you leave
The most basic mistake to avoid is leaving your door unlocked when you go out. Even if you are going out for a quick jog, lock up! Also try to avoid giving spare keys to anyone, or hiding them outside your door or in your yard. Burglars are smart and know where to look for spare keys.