The front door is probably the most important entry point into any home – its where most people who call to the house come to first, be they guest or postman. But it can also be vulnerable to burglars.
While you might think burglars prefer to sneak in through a window or a back door, the front door is still a very common way to get in – whether for a quick opportunist in-and-out burglary or a more serious one – which is why you should do everything you can to ensure your front door is as secure as possible.
Buy a good quality door
It might sound obvious, but there are plenty of homes out there that have front doors made from cheap materials, which makes them very easy to be ‘kicked in’ or forced open, even if they have been locked. It could be that the kick causes the lock to come off or break or the door frame splits.
The best sorts of doors are made from heavy wood that can’t be easily kicked in – something that uPVC or composite doors are more vulnerable to.
Wooden doors can also be reinforced by installing a metal strike plate. This is made from metal and attached with extra-long screws that are drilled into the sides on all four sides of the doorway. Strike plates are readily available from places like DIY shops. If you don’t want to install this yourself, a locksmith such as Inta-lock Locksmiths in Leicester will be happy to.
Ensure your door frame is secure
It isn’t just the door you have to think about – the frame is just as important. On a basic level, just ensuring that it is securely fixed to the walls around it is important. Likewise using sturdy hinges can also increase their security, although you can also purchase hinge bolts, which aim to stop a door from being forced off its hinges.
Protect the windows in your door
Large windows in front doors have their merits – they let light in and make a home brighter, and you can see who is at your door when someone calls.
But from a security point of view, they also have some significant downsides, especially if they are placed next to a lock. These make it all too easy for a burglar to break the window and open the lock from the inside.
However, if you don’t want to get rid of your windows, then there are ways you can make them more secure. For instance, you can reinforce the glass, which makes it harder to break. You can also install metal bars – and these can be quite decorative – which can stop a burglar reaching into your home.
Fit high security locks
One of the easiest ways to enhance security. If locks are old or rusty, they are easier for burglars to break.
There are a wide range of locks on the market – such as deadlocks, which have no latch or handle and can only lock or unlock a door via a key – so you need to be careful which one(s) you choose, but always look to ensure that any locks you have on the front door are up to British Standard and comply with the terms of your home insurance policy. If you do suffer a break-in and it is found that you had sub-standard locks installed, then the insurance company is unlikely to pay out.
If you have a uPVC front door, you may want to consider installing an anti-snap lock. Many uPVC doors, as well as some composite and aluminium doors, have euro cylinder locks fitted to them, which can be snapped by a would-be burglar.
Lock snapping is a common method used by burglars to gain entry to a property. Often using makeshift tools, the burglar applies pressure to the euro cylinder lock to remove the outside of it – something that can take as little as 10 seconds to do – which exposes the mechanism that can then be picked and the burglar can gain entry.
But an anti-snap lock is more resistant to lock snapping, but, if it does get snapped, only a small part comes off, which doesn’t expose the main lock mechanism, meaning your home stays safe.
Install a deadbolt
If you have a wooden door, then consider installing a deadbolt. Deadbolts are locks that go deep into the doorframe – at least 2.5 centimetres – and is designed to withstand any type of forced entry. With this type of thing, you tend to get what you pay for, so investing in a decent deadbolt will pay dividends.
Other security measures
it isn’t just about fitting higher security locks or reinforcing the door or windows in it, there are other things you can do to make a front door more secure.
For instance, a door chain can help. This can mean that a door can only open a short distance, which can help to prevent, or at least delay entry.
Letterboxes can also be vulnerable points in doors – for instance the practice of ‘fishing’ where a long piece of wire is fed through the letterbox to hook things like car or door keys if they are left close to the door.
In addition, installing security lights can also have an effect. Burglars prevent to operate in the shadows so having a system that automatically turns on a light when a person comes within a certain distance of a property can have a significant deterrent effect.
Get advice from a locksmith
If you are unsure of what security measures are most appropriate for your home, then you should consult a professional locksmith. Locksmiths such as Inta-lock Locksmiths in Leicester are trained in everything to do with locks, keys and security, so they can give you in-depth and impartial advice on how to make your door more secure.
And, if you decide to upgrade your security, they will be able to supply the locks etc and fit them for you at a reasonable price.
While nothing is every 100% secure, following these tips can help to ensure that your front door is a secure as possible and more likely to withstand any attempt to break it down and give you peace of mind.