Every homeowner wants to improve their home safety, and naturally, the front door entrance is usually a starting point. Statistic data shows that 34% of burglars enter through the front door.
There are specific steps you can take to improve your front door safety. Some of these actions are quite affordable, while others will cost you more money. Improving your front door safety is especially important if you live in a house at a remote location or in a neighborhood with frequent thefts.
1-Lock Your Door
You probably think that this is not a way to improve your door security, and you are right. But I have to mention this one first. You may have the strongest, more secure front door in the market, but if you don’t close it and lock it, you just made it very easy for a burglar to enter your home.
Statistics show that 4% of burglars who enter through the front door, simply walk into the house of choice through an unlocked door. Don’t be part of these statistics. Regardless of what type of door you have, lock it.
2-Make Your Door Visible
Having trees and bushes around your house can look nice, provide shade, and cover your windows to add more privacy. However, while increasing privacy, you also enable burglars to be protected when trying to break in. Consider removing anything that covers the door. When your neighbors have a clear view of your door, burglars won’t be able to break in without being seen.
If you are not picky about your door’s color, you can also paint your door in an unusual shade. When the door opens or someone stands in front, it will attract a lot of attention.
3-Upgrade Your Lock
Not every lock is the same. A skilled burglar can easily unlock older, simple models. Burglars use lock picking tools, which you can disable by installing a modern lock. No matter how the burglar decides to break in, your door lock, and its components, will play an essential preventing role.
Make sure you buy a lock made by a reputable manufacturer, quality materials, and resistant to bump keys. Bump keys are specially crafted keys used by burglars to unlock many locks. Ask the seller about the features you are looking for and use a recommended product.
The majority of homeowners use a front door with a single cylinder deadbolt. Think about upgrading to a two-cylinder version for extra security. Also, deadbolts are graded differently, and the number shows forces they can withstand. If you want the best option, choose grade 1. These deadbolts will keep almost any burglar on the outside.
4-Protect the Lock
Locks are often a weak point because the holes drilled to install them make the material around it more vulnerable. To enforce the area around the lock, you can install metal slipcovers or plates between the lock and the door. The metal slipcovers should strengthen the door if someone tries to break the door at that weak point.
5-Upgrade Your Hinges
Hinges are also a weak spot on your front door. If your door opens outward, your hinges are exposed, and burglars can use their weakness to break in. They can remove the screws and hinges and pull out the door. To prevent this, you can install a security stud. These studs lock the hinge leaves together. You can call a licensed locksmith to install it properly.
6-Replace the Screws
Every door has a metal plate to install the door lock. Often locks are attached with 3/4 inches screws, which are inadequate to withstand higher forces. Burglars can simply kick the door, and the wood will break. To make it more secure, you can replace those screws with 3 inches screws that go much deeper into the door. This simple and cheap solution can be very effective. Burglars will have to kick the door much harder to enter.
7-Install a Strike Plate
Strike plates are metal plates fixed on the doorjambs. These metal plates have a hole for the bolt to go through. By adding these plates, you reinforce the part where the bolt goes, and in case someone tries to kick the door, the plate will hold everything in place. Combining a strike plate and a metal slipcover can be very useful in protecting your door.
8-Change the Door
The door itself can be a weak point. Older, thin doors, made from flimsy materials, are very vulnerable. Your lock can be the best one on the market, but merely kicking this type of door will enable thieves to enter. Some people even have doors made of plywood, which will simply break into pieces by applying minimum force. Buying and installing a completely new door can be costly, but that is a smart investment.
9-Check the Doorframe
Doors and locks are as strong as the door frame is. Make sure everything is tight and properly installed. When changing doors, change the doorframe too. If you want to install a burglar-proof door, changing the doorframe is necessary. These doors have long and strong bolts and locks that are not compatible with regular frames. Replacing door frames can be quite costly, but protecting your home and all family members is priceless.
10-Install Security Screens
To further prevent any breaking attempt, you may want to consider security screens, which are typically made of strong metal compounds. These metal bars can withstand great forces, and burglars will have difficulty unlocking or breaking them.
Having two doors instead of one is highly effective. Even if a burglar finds a way to do something with the lock, he will give up because unlocking the double door takes too much time. Security screens can also be installed on nearby windows. If you have a glass window nearby, even if the window is not big enough for a person to get in, you should protect it because burglars can use it to unlock the door from the inside and enter.
11-Remove or Protect the Glass
Having glass on the front door or around makes it look adorable and trendy, but it makes it easy for a burglar to get in. Consider replacing the glass door. If you wish to keep the glass, make sure you install metal bars over the glass to prevent burglary attempts. As already mentioned, having windows next to the front door is a safety concern, which you should also consider.
However, if you really like glass, you can always add a storm door to get the look you want and additional protection.
12-Install Interior Securing Devices
Interior securing devices like chains or door jammers are quite useful, but only when you are inside. You can’t operate them from the outside, so they will have no use when you are out of the house.
However, they serve as extra protection, which is particularly important if you live alone. These door jammers can be set in place so that burglars can’t open the door, even if they can pick a lock. Burglars don’t necessarily want to hurt people, but having a burglar coming in while you are at home can be extremely dangerous.
13-Install Wide-Angle Peephole
Sometimes, burglars will not try to break in by knocking down the door. They will arrive during the day, ring on your doorbell, and pretend they are someone else. Usually, one person shows up in front of the door, while the helpers are standing on the side.
It is tough to recognize that something is wrong because they mastered the skill. When you open the door, they will forcefully enter.
A wide-angle peephole would enable you to see everyone standing outside of your door and seeing if something looks suspicious.
14-Install a Camera
Cameras are quite helpful. First of all, the majority of opportunistic burglars will avoid homes with video surveillance. You can buy relatively cheap cameras online. Some are motion-activated. Many models can be connected to WiFi so you can observe your home from anywhere. You can even install dummy cameras. You won’t capture a burglar picture, but thieves will think twice before they break into your house.
15-Install an Alarm
Alarms are very popular home protection devices. Numerous models in every price range exist on the market and having one is an excellent way to improve your front door safety. Alarms are typically motion-activated, triggering a loud noise if someone tries to enter your house. Burglars will run away, and your home will remain safe. You can even post a sticker on the door, informing anyone that the house is alarm protected. Even if you are away, neighbors will hear it and call the authorities.
16-Install Motion-Activated Lights
Motion-activated lights are affordable, easily accessible, and simple to install. When someone walks in towards the door, the lights will turn on. It will attract attention and illuminate the area. Most burglars do their illegal activities in the dark, and automatic lights will scare them away. Besides, these lights will be handy for you when coming home in the dark. You will find the keys and unlock the door instead of struggling to insert the key in the night.
When all this fail, you always want to know 12 Everyday Items for Self Defense at Home.
What if you lock yourself out of your house, can the police help you unlock your house?
As you can see, there are numerous ways to greatly improve your front door safety. By implementing some of them, you will make a difference. For those who can afford it, installing a new door, together with the frames, is the best option.