Today's home security article focuses on the entry doors on your house or apartment, particularly the front door.
What we talk about here could easily apply to any exterior door into your home and even interior doors, depending upon their importance.
Although we will be primarily talking about home doors, some of these tips could also benefit you if
you live in an apartment.
The front door to your home is considered to be the most important door on your home and sadly it is also often the weakest door on your home.
Unfortunately, most builders are more concerned with the aesthetics of your door and not so much
consideration is given to the endurance of the entrance.
They may look good or feel solid but they're made with a lightweight wood or particle board and they're poorly installed and as a result these doors are easily broken into.
The first obvious step you can take is to completely replace the front door if you can, preferably with a metal clad door so that the door itself cannot be broken apart by force.
Sometimes when a door is broken by force it literally splits. This won't happen with a metal clad door.
In fact while you're at it, this is a good time to test the durability of the entire frame as it may need to be replaced as well. I have seen doors smashed so hard that the frame came loose. I strongly suggest you get this door reinforcement kit to reinforce not just the frame, but hinges and lock area as well.
You may even want to consider putting a gate on the outside of the door in place of a screen door.
Despite how nice it may look, there should be no glass in the door or next to the door, at least not in the door low enough or to the side close enough where someone could reach in and get their hands on the locks.
It really doesn't take much for a would-be burglar to break a glass panel on your door or next to the door in order to reach and unlatch locks. And please no doggy doors.
When installing the door use a minimum three inch screws in all the hinges as well as the dead latches where the door and lock bolts will enter the frame.
The longer the screws the more difficult it is to get the door out of the frame with force. Even if you live in an apartment where the landlord won't allow for you to make any modifications, this is one
you could get away with doing where no one would know what you have done. Take those half-inch screws out of the door and put 3-inch or longer screws in.
As for the locks, make sure dead bolts have a long bolt for the same reason and there should be a doorknob lock as well as a dead bolt and they should not be too close to one another.
Often a dead bolt is installed very close to the doorknob for convenience but this concentrates the locks in one area of the door. Remember that the average front door is secured in at least three places on the hinges.
It doesn't do for the opposite side of the door to be only secured in one centralized zone, right around the doorknob, particularly since most door knobs are set low at about the average hip level.
Have the deadbolt installed about a foot above the doorknob. The knob unfortunately is a perfect level for someone to kick the door and try to dislodge it.
So I really don't understand why so many locks are literally on top of the doorknob. The more the locks are spaced out, the harder it is to concentrate force on one side of the door.
You may also want to put a metal panel or shield on the frame so that the wood from the frame won't be splintered out with force as well as a pry guard to prevent attempts to pry the lock with a crowbar.
If you live in an apartment, go ahead and change the locks. I know that landlords don't like when you do that, but in my experience they never change them out when the old tenant moves and sometimes that old tenant can come back and rob the new one.
On the inside of the door, always have a latch and set the latch high for the same reason stated above. I would even go so far as to install two latches. One near the top of the door and one near the bottom.
Always have a peephole in your door and make sure the seam of your door is fitted as tightly as possible.
Assume that if air can get through then the door may be susceptible to being pried with a crowbar.
If you feel that it's necessary, there are other securing systems that can be put on the inside of the door to secure it even farther, such as a bar that bolts the door or that runs from the center of the door to the floor, which I recommend for stability so that all the strain isn't just on the door frame at all times.
Basically the idea here is to have a door that is such a deterrent that anyone who tries to kick it in or batter it down, would exhaust themselves and hopefully give up.