Disclaimer; there is no way to 100% burglar proof your doors. We have put together a guide that will help hinder, discourage and put off potential burglars from entering your home.
Experiencing a break in can be traumatic; some unknown person entering your home can make you feel unsafe, even after the locks have been changed. Keytek® have put together some tips for you to improve your front door security and help to ward off any potential thieves.
1. Upgrade your Locks
Simple but effective. Making sure your locks are not broken, old or rusted is an effective way to improve your front door security. If you do find your locks need changing or upgrading then its best to call a professional locksmith, to make sure the jobs done right.
Whether you have a wooden or uPVC door, make sure you use locks that are ‘British Standard’, that way you can be sure the locks you are using have gone through rigorous testing to make sure they are secure. There is also the option to install Anti-Snap or High Security Locks on uPVC doors. These might be more on the expensive side, but if it stops a burglar from gaining entry to your home, then the extra cost might be worth it.
It’s also worth checking with your insurer that all your locks are insurance compliant. If you have a break in and you find you had the wrong locks, you may not be able to claim.
2. Check the Strength of your Door and its Frame
You need to be sure that a burglar can’t kick through your door, especially if it’s wooden. You can have the best lock in the world, but if an intruder can force his foot through your door then it will be useless. You can reinforce your wooden door by inserting a strike plate made from metal which is attached with extra-long screws that are drilled in to the studs an all sides of the doorway. You can get strike plates from most DIY shops or order them online. If you are not confident to install this yourself, then its best to engage the services of a professional locksmith.
The door frame is another aspect of front door security you can improve on. First thing to do is to make sure that is securely screwed or bolted to the walls around it. You can make it more secure by fitting special bars to make the locking points and hinges sturdier. You could also try hinge bolts; they are designed to prevent the door from being forced off its hinges.
3. Consider Windowless Doors
While having a door with windows in lets more light into your home and is aesthetically pleasing, it does pose a security risk. If the window in your door is placed near the lock, it would be easy for a burglar to smash the window and unlock your door from the inside. If you don’t want to get rid of the windows in your door, then you need to add some security measures. Make sure the glass is reinforced and not easily broken. Another is to install decorative bars or metal reinforcement; this will stop the burglar reaching through if they smash the glass, or potentially could deter him from breaking in all together.
4. Install a Deadbolt for a Wooden Door
Any door is only as strong as its lock, so you need to make sure you have the best one available. You need to make sure your lock extends deep enough into the door frame with withstand any kicking or other types of forced entry. At a minimum your bolt should be 2.5 centimetres in length. You don’t need the most expensive deadbolt out there but it’s probably worth not getting the cheapest. Spending a bit more could be the difference between a successful break in and an unsuccessful one.
5. Extra Measures
Even if your door has all of the above, there are still extra things you can do. Installing a door chain is one; this provides protection for when you are in the house. This could stop a potential burglar getting in at night, while you and your family sleep. To prevent a break in tactic called ‘fishing’ you can install a letterbox guard. This stops a thief from inserting a long wire through the letter box and hooking your keys, if they are positioned near the door. Another way to improve you front door security is to install a security light that points at the front door. Not only will this help you on dark winter nights, it will also shed a light on any suspicious activity. Burglars love the cover of darkness, so a big bright light shining in their face may scare them away. It’s also worth installing a security camera, real or fake at your front door; this is a good way to deter a potential burglar. If they can see a camera pointed at them, they are not going to risk breaking in and it’s doubtful they will spend the time trying to find out if it’s real or fake.
Like we stated at the beginning, it’s impossible to guarantee 100% that anything will keep a determined burglar out. However if you take effective steps, such as the ones above, then you will give your front door security a good chance of withstanding an attempted break in. Keytek® are committed to making sure your home is safe, take a look at our other Home Security Pages.