Breaking the front door is the most common form of forced-entry burglary. Usually burglars break into your home when they believe no one is around so they can take in a very short period of time how much is possible from your most valuable possessions.
Many common locking systems are inadequate to keep a professional burglar out. Burglars look for houses that appear to be easy to get inside. What is the solution? Burglar proofing your doors enables you to keep your home the way it should be: comfortable and safe.
Here’s how to help prevent robbers from penetrating the easiest entry points to your house: doors.
1/ Keep Your Door in Plain Sight:
Before you buy anything, you should evaluate the normal entrances to your home. If you have shrubbery and trees obscuring the view of your front door from the street, that’s the first place a burglar is going to try to enter. This applies to other doors as well.
A burglar won’t care if they break in through the front or back of the house, but if they feel the front door is well hidden it becomes an easy target. So, keep any type of plant life trimmed back so thieves cannot use them as a hiding place.
2/ Get the Right Doors:
Your exterior doors should be stronger than interior doors, which are typically made of flimsy wood sheets over cardboard facing and a hollow core. Exterior doors should be fiber glass, solid wood, solid wood core (a layer of veneer over solid wood), or metal.
Make sure metal doors are reinforced inside, and have what is called a lock block. Otherwise, they can be bent out of the frame using a car jack. Also, reinforced steel doors are susceptible to rust and require more maintenance than fiberglass, which is a second good option. Solid wood doors are a third choice.
3/ The Best Locks and Bolts:
Some basic door locks are easy to get through. The lock can be pried back with a small instrument, allowing a burglar to open the door and get inside.
The first and most basic thing that any security-minded family should do with their doors is to install dead-bolt locks. The best type of dead-bolt locks have a one inch thrown, and are made of case-hardened steel. In addition, they must be installed securely to the door and the door casing. It is very important that they have a knob on the interior side operated by hand, not by key.
Install a dead-lock. The dead-lock, sometimes called an ‘exit-only deadbolt’ is a deadbolt that does not have an external key. A dead-lock is clearly visible on the door from the outside and the visibility may discourage an intruder from trying the door. A burglar knows this lock cannot be broken into without destroying the door, frame or lock itself.
NOTE: DO NOT FORGET TO LOCK YOUR DOORS. Even the strongest locks in the world are useless if you don’t use them. In a significant percentage of burglaries, the criminal enters the victim’s home through an unlocked door.
4/ Replace Flimsy Strike Plates & Secure Exposed Hinges:
All exterior doors should have heavy-duty metal security strike plates secured by four 3-inch screws. Also, hinges should be on the inside of the door. If yours are not, re-hang the door or secure the exposed hinges with non-removable pins.
5/ Fortify Your Frame:
Once again, most criminals are looking for an easy way to break in. Reinforcing your door, locks and doorframe can deter most burglaries.
Secure your door frames to the walls by installing several 3-inch screws along the frame and doorstop. The screws should reach the wall stud.
Avoid having windows around your door frame. If you do have windows, install double plated glass.
6/ Install Viewers:
Viewers also called peep holes allow you to see who is on the other side of the door. Install wide-angle viewers at eye level on all exterior doors.
7/ Secure Sliding Doors:
If you have sliding glass doors, add an extra lock at the top and bottom of the door frame. Also put a wooden stick down so the door cannot slide open even if the lock on the door is broken.
8/ Other Options:
It is nearly impossible to completely prevent crime. But while crime can’t be prevented, it can usually be directed away from you and your family.
Install motion detectors near the interior side of doors. Some of these trigger loud and irritating alarms that might further deter a burglar who gets through the door.