The front door is your first line of defense against a potential burglary. Statistics have shown that up to 34% of burglaries occur through the front door. For this reason, it’s always a bright idea to take a look at your current front door security for ways you can improve your security.
This article will cover several ways you can improve the security of your front door, including installing additional security features or improving old ones. If you are interested in how to improve the security of your front door, read on for more information.
A peephole is a reasonably cheap and easy to install security feature for your front door. It is ideal for those who do not have a window that can see the outside of the front door. A peephole allows you to safely look out to your front door to see if it is safe to open.
Peepholes are made of a variety of materials, including steel, wood or fiberglass. They can be simple in design or they can be ornate. When installing a peephole, remember to install it at a height that everyone in your family will be able to use it from. If you have children, you may want to consider installing two peephole holes, one at adult height and one at child height.
2. Reinforcement of your door
There are a few fairly simple ways to reinforce your door to prevent a burglary. First, consider upgrading your existing locks. If you have an older lock set, they may not be as secure as you might think. Also remove any ‘hidden keys’ that you have outside. If you have a deadbolt, consider replacing it with one that has a longer throwing arm.
Second, check the strike plates. Make sure the screws installed in the baffle are at least 3 inches. You may want to consider replacing the impact plates with more powerful ones and requiring four screws rather than just the two standards.
The door itself is also worth considering. A steel door or solid wood door would be much stronger than a hollow door. Ideally, you want a solid door for your front door.
3. Replacing the impact screws
As mentioned above, it is always a good idea to replace the screws in your impact plates. Short screws are not so secure. Fortunately, they are straightforward to replace.
Start by removing the old screws. Switch to screws that are at least 3 inches long. You will need screws that fit into the impact plate holes and have a flat head. If you are also replacing the baffle, you may need to carve the space for the new baffle and pre-drill the new screw holes.
When driving in the screws, be sure to turn them back slightly to catch the inner frame. The video below gives a clear overview of how easy this is.
4. Get the right lock
You want to make sure that your door lock is specially designed for exterior doors for your front door. Exterior locks are made with a higher quality of materials to withstand weather and force.
The standard lock type is a cylinder lock. Cylinder locks are also potentially easy to break open using shock techniques. A double cylinder lock requires a key on both sides of the door, but can pose a security risk during a fire.
If you are familiar with technology, you can also consider a smart lock that uses Bluetooth or z-wave to operate. You can remotely open and monitor smart locks. They may also have a keyboard in addition to a key.
Deadbolts are the most common type of lock used for security in the front door. To open a deadbolt, use a wrench from the outside. From the inside, you can activate a deadbolt with a thumb rotary knob.
Grades are awarded to deadbolts by the amount of force they can withstand. The grades go from 1 to 3. A deadbolt lock of class 1 is the highest level of safety and quality that can be assigned to a deadbolt. Now a grade three deadbolt will have a smaller level of protection, but it is still at an acceptable level for use in home security.
Unlike standard locks, the mechanism inside a deadbolt does not contain a spring. It is more difficult to open than a typical door handle lock when you do not have the key.
You can use a deadbolt along with your door handle lock to give your front door an extra layer of security.
Single vs. Dual Cylinder
Deadbolts can have either a single or double cylinder.
The single cylinder is the more common type, where the key is only required from the outside to open. On the inside of the lock, the lock can be activated with a thumb rotary knob.
A double-cylinder deadbolt requires a key from both sides of the door to move the lock. This mechanism inside a double cylinder makes it impossible for a burglar to force the lock, but it has some drawbacks. This type of lock can brake a family trying to leave the house in case of fire or other emergency.
You may want to consider a double-cylinder lock if the door is close to a window.
6. Doorbell cameras
A newer type of front door security is a doorbell camera. It is an electric doorbell equipped with a wide angle surveillance camera. Some common examples are Google Nest Doorbell and Ring Doorbell.
In most cases, the video feed is paired with your phone so you can see who’s at your front door from any of your devices. Some doorbell cameras also include an intercom system that lets you talk to the person at your front door, whether you are at home or not.
It should be noted that most doorbell cameras require wi-fi to work.
7. Security bars
A door security bar is an extra level of front door security past the locks. The most common type of safety bar for your front door is one where one side has a fork and the other has a rubber foot. The fork side is located under the door handle while the foot is on the floor.
In the event of a burglary, the security bar becomes a wedge to help a prospective burglar from not being able to kick your door in.
The second row of safety bars can be used to keep a patio door closed. This type is usually a straight stick with a rubber knob at each end.
Safety rods can be rated to take up to 350 kg of force. They can be easily found on Amazon or in local stores.
8. Home security systems
There are a variety of security systems that you can choose from to create the highest level of security for your home.
A supervised system is a home security system that is monitored by a professional company 24 hours a day to give homeowners peace of mind. Surveillance systems not only have cameras, but they can also detect fires and other emergencies.
When an emergency is detected, a monitored system can automatically alert a security team or emergency personnel to take care of your emergency. Monitored systems are often installed by the security company and carry a monthly fee for the monitoring service.
An unattended security system is an alarm system that a professional company does not see. Often this means that it is a system that you install and monitor yourself. Assume that part of your security system is triggered, e.g. If a burglary is detected, it is up to you to alert the relevant authorities.
Non-monitored systems are often more affordable, but they run the risk of you not being able to monitor your system 24/7. In some emergencies, you may not be able to alert the authorities.
Wrapping the security of your front door
There are many inexpensive ways to upgrade the security of your front door. The best course of action is to look at your current security setup and look for potential vulnerabilities or places you can improve.
This article has been reviewed and approved by Officer Banta.
Officer Banta is the official SecurityNerd home security and safety expert. Officer Banta has been a member of the Biloxi Police Department for over 24 years and reviews all articles before giving his stamp of approval. Click here for more information about Officer Banta and the rest of our team.