The security of your home starts at the front door since it is the first entry point for a potential burglar. According to the FBI data, most burglaries happen during the day when homeowners are at work.
Keep in mind that an experienced robber can break through a standard entry in less than a minute. Fortunately, there are many ways to reinforce the door, increase the safety of your family, and protect your possessions.
1. Solid core
When you buy a front door, you need to choose between a solid core and a hollow model. Hollow core doors are much cheaper for a reason. Since they feature cardboard within, a few kicks are enough to break this door type.
On the other hand, the solid core door is much safer and more resistant. You can choose quite an inexpensive model made of pinewood or a costly but more reliable hardwood type. Don’t forget a steel door, which is safe and can protect your home from harsh weather.
If you are not sure if you have a hollow or solid core door, you can check it by knocking on it. The hollow door has an echo, while the solid core door produces a dull sound.
2. Deadbolt lock
One way to further secure your door is a deadbolt lock. If your door doesn’t have any, you can install it in a few minutes. Security experts recommend buying the grade 1 deadbolt lock, as it is the longest. That means its bolt goes deeper into the door frame, and the burglar will find it harder to overcome it.
Some states, such as California, require that you have single deadbolts on the front and balcony doors. That way, you can lock and unlock the deadbolt door only on the inside. So, it is a much safer option than other lock systems, such as door chains and swing bar locks.
3. Reinforce Door Lock
Believe it or not, you can quickly improve the door security with a few small repairs. Since an experienced thief can easily break a standard lock, many homeowners choose a lock with an anti-snap cylinder.
However, you can also add security pins in the lock. Take care to change the springs in the lock if you use it for years because they can loosen or rust over time.
Another way to secure the lock is to replace the screws in the metal strike plate, which holds the lock latch. Typically, the screws in the plate are 1 inch (2.5 cm) long. By replacing them with 3 inches (7.6 cm) long screws, you will strengthen the lock and make it more resistant to force break-in.
4. Smart lock
Nowadays, the most modern and secure locks on the market use access code instead of a key. Therefore, the intruder can’t pick or bump the lock. While these smart models are not cheap, they are a long-term investment, which increases the security of your home.
Once you install this door lock type, you can access your home with a one-time set code. Another option is a randomly generated numeric code you get by connecting the lock to a smartphone. However, this option will depend on the model you have.
5. Secure door hinges
Hinges are an essential part that connects the door to the door jamb. They are visible to the one in front of the door if you have the model that opens outwards. Unfortunately, that makes the job much easier for the burglars.
To improve your safety, you can use safety studs to strengthen hinges. Plus, it is an excellent idea to add the corrugated pins and set long screws. These minor changes can prevent intruders from knocking your door of the hinges.
However, if you have no experience with DIY work like this, you can unintentionally damage the hinges and doors. In that case, it is better to call a professional to secure your door correctly.
When a burglar chooses his target, it is mostly a house left in the dark. The well-lighted driveway and porch increase the chance neighbors, or anyone else sees the robber. Therefore, leave the light on during the night or place floodlights in the yard.
Nowadays, you can buy the floodlights with a motion sensor online for $20 to $50 and significantly cut the risk of burglary. Plus, when you travel somewhere, you can program the lights to turn on at certain time intervals. That way, the robbers won’t know if no one is home.
7. Old keys
When you buy a house, the previous owner, the real estate seller, and who knows who else has already had the keys of your home. The smartest thing you can do is to replace the lock as soon as possible. That is also the first thing you need to do when you lose your keys.
It used to be customary for the first neighbors to have a spare key to your home. However, today it is rare to have a neighbor who you trust so much.
Unfortunately, it can be risky to keep a spare key in a visible place, such as under a mat or flowerpot. So, the best solution is that only family members who live in your home have the key to the front door.
8. Door frames
With enough strength, a burglar can break into your home by damaging the door frame since most wooden frames are not resistant to impact. You can solve this problem by installing a metal frame. Nowadays, you can even galvanize your metal door frame and paint it in the color that matches the shade of your door.
If you don’t want to change the door frame completely, you can add a layer of steel to prevent the frame from splitting. In fact, it is not complicated to place the high-gauge steel over the frame and fasten it with long screws. Keep in mind that the screws need to go through to the wall studs on all four sides.
9. Door barricade and security bar
A door barricade is one of the best ways to reinforce the door. Once you install it on the inside, it can prevent break-in even through the weakest model. Once you decide to open the entrance, you need to slide the barricade from its base plate.
Another option is to mount a security bar. It fits most doors, so you can use it on both the hinge and sliding glass door. All you have to do is to place the yoke end under the knob or the lever, and the other end on the floor. That way, you will improve your home security without much effort since it is impossible to open the door from the outside.
10. Security devices
Nowadays, there is almost no modern home without an installed alarm or security camera. The primary reason for that is the efficiency of these devices. Advanced security systems use wireless internet to connect to your smartphone, which immediately alerts you if someone tries to break into your home.
Nowadays, more and more homeowners install smart doorbell. It will allow you to set up motion alerts when you are not at home or during the night. Plus, the smart doorbell will record if somebody is in front of your door. You can connect it to your phone and call the police as soon as the device detects the intruder.
11. Glass doors
There is an incredible number of front door models on the market. Keep in mind that doors with glass panels are not safe despite their attractive appearance. It is effortless for burglars to bypass the security bolt by breaking the glass and unlocking it from the inside. If you have already had a glass door, you can replace it or install a double cylinder deadbolt lock.
As you have already known, a robber can knock on the front door, and forcibly enters your home when you open it. To avoid this situation, install a wide-angle peephole. That way, you can check who is in front of the door before you open it. That means you can open the door only to the people you trust.
13. Back doors
Although you have done everything to secure your front entrance, there is always a possibility that burglars enter through the back door. If you are one of these homeowners who have a sliding glass door in the back, you need to secure it, as well.
Unfortunately, there is no possibility to place strike plates or deadbolts on the glass door. The best option is to use a high-quality glass that won’t break on the first hit. You can also invest in a two-bolt locking system or set up a security bar that prevents sliding of the door when you are not at home.
The front door is the first target for burglars who try to enter your home. Therefore, you should secure it as much as possible. The good news is that there are many ways to reinforce your entrance. The final choice will depend on your wishes.