by Robert Fox
We are always afraid of being robbed when we own a home. Well, maybe not always, but sometimes, depending on our neighborhood and the crime rate in our city.
Sometimes we hear about a "rash" of burglaries and it can be a cause for concern. What no one wants to see when they walk into their home is this:
But we are not powerless here. So, we first ask: what is the most effective way to guard against burglaries? You probably have already installed a home security system with an alarm (if not, install one right away) and you may also have a dog on guard.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, breaking or removing the front door is the most common form of forced-entry burglary. That's the main reason you should always lock these doors before leaving your home.
If you have already installed a sophisticated home-security system with an alarm, it would be very foolish to overlook the importance of making your doors burglar proof.
Here are our top no-cost and low-cost measures that you can implement right away in order to to make your doors more burglar proof. Here is what we are going to cover today:
Without further ado, let's see how you can make your doors more burglar proof.
In other words,make sure your door is of good quality to begin with. If your front door and/or rear door are hollow, you must replace them immediately. How to know if your door is hollow? Just knock.
The hollow doors are made of some cheap material and then covered with varnish. All exterior doors must be solid and made of one of the following materials:
On to the next tip…
If you are installing a new door with a new frame, consider using a fiberglass door that opens outward rather than inward (and do not forget to use safety hinges).
Doors installed in this way are more resistant to burglary attempts, arguably (although some will debate it).
You might wonder, why are exterior doors usually designed to swing inward. There are a few reasons for this, such as the fact that doors are often welcome in guests, so a door that swings in your guests' faces isn't very welcoming.
The, there's the fact that if the door is blocked by anything, such as snow, it won't be able to open at all, unless you go around and shovel all the snow away.
Also, depending on how the door is installed, the hinges may be exposed and that poses a security risk, although there are more outswinging doors now where the mechanisms are protected and/or concealed.
In any case, this is an option worth considering, as the general idea with burglars is most of try to kick a door "in", rather than have to wrench it open.
So it's up to you, but feel free to ask your local home store rep or local fixit person what they think, just to get some more info on the prospect.
One of the most vulnerable entry points in your home are your patio doors. That's why it is important these doors are flawless. Stay with us to find out how to properly assess your patio doors for flaws.
Consider replacing your patio doors with something more secure. Think about the fact that patio doors are often made out of a lot of glass, and thin wood.
The least you can do is replace the glass with glass that people can't see in. Or, if you want to take it up a notch, replace your patio doors entirely with something that burglars aren't going to be able to just waltz right in.
You'll be trading beauty and elegance for security, which isn't always as attractive, so sometimes a happy medium is in order. We obviously can't tell you that you should be barricading yourself inside, but doors - especially patio doors - are generally weak spots on your home in terms of security.
Also, you should watch out for windows that are near to your doors as well.
Ok, the next tip is very simple - keep your doors locked!
In a large portion of burglaries, the burglar enters the house through a door that has not been locked. Even the most elaborate lock is useless if you do not lock it. It is estimated that as at least 30 percent of burglaries don't involve a forced entry.
You can ward off many thieves by simply locking your door.
Close all exterior key doors and make sure they're locked every time you leave your house, even if only for a few moments. Remember that you're not living in Canada, where everyone apparently leaves their doors open at all times.
On to the next one…
Install the best deadbolt lock you can get your hands on.
All exterior doors, except sliding doors, must have a deadbolt lock in addition to the normal lock. The deadbolt lock must be of good quality (level 1 or 2, made of solid metal and without visible screws), with an external lock (the protruding part) of at least 2 cm. The lock must be installed correctly.
Many houses are equipped with deadbolt locks of poor quality or that do not exceed 1 cm in length. Such locks must be replaced.
You will feel safer at home with two locks. The deadbolt lock is a lock that can not be opened from the outside. It can be visible from the outside and immunizes the door against any attempted break-in from the outside unless the criminal decides to break the door, the door frame or the lock.
This extra security measure will not make much difference if you're away from home, but the visibility of the lock may discourage potential burglars from trying their luck.
Watch this video by security and deadbolt kings Medeco, and see what a deadbolt can do for your family.
Next, we discuss how to secure sliding doors.
We mentioned them before, but let's talk about them some more. The best way to secure sliding doors is to lock keys at the top and bottom of doors.
You can also buy or make a security bar that extends from the door frame to the middle of the door to stop sliding the sliding door.
Put at least one heavy object (a wooden log, for example) on the sliding edge at the bottom to prevent the door from being opened from the outside.
Whichever method you opt for, it is always good to reinforce the glass with a polycarbonate plate, as already mentioned above.
Install cylinder guards on the latch (where you put the key).
Burglars can sometimes remove or damage locks with a hammer or a crowbar or open them by hooking them.
Protect your locks with metal plates or protective rings that you must put on both sides of the door. Secure the metal plates with round bolts so that they can not be unscrewed by the burglars.
By putting removable rings around the cylinders, you prevent burglars from using a pipe clamp to pull out the cylinder. Some locks are already equipped with removable rings, but if yours are not, you can still get them.
On to the next tip on our list…
Replace your strike plate. The strike is the metal plate that surrounds the lock (the hole in the door where the lock is inserted). All your exterior doors must be equipped with a heavy safety strike, secured with four 8 cm screws.
Many houses have doors with low quality locks or strikes that are attached only to the frame of the door and not to the solid part of the door, located below.
Next, we discuss how to secure your doors' hinges.
Secure your exposed hinges. The hinges should be on the inside of the door. If your hinges are outdoors, replace them or secure them with non-removable dowels.
To do this, you can replace the two central hinge screws (on both sides) with non-removable hinge pins (found in any hardware store) or with double masonry nails. Even unexposed hinges must be secured to the frame with 8 cm screws.
On to the next one…
Strengthen your door frames. Even if your door is of good quality and resistant, with locks that have been installed correctly, burglars can still try to enter your home by breaking or twisting the door frame.
Most door frames are simply stuck to the wall. You can easily remove them with a crowbar or with a big kick. Secure your door frames by attaching them with several 8 cm screws, placed along the door frame. The screws must sink into the wall itself.
On to our last tip…
Install eyelets. The eyelets, also called "door peepholes", allow you to see who is on the other side of the door. Install eyepieces with wide perspective at eye level on all your exterior doors. If you have to open the door to see who is behind, your locks are useless. Try to find carnations with a blanket that prevents people outside to see inside, such as peepholes at a meaning.
Here are some additional information on increasing security around doors.
Thank you for reading, we hope you got some good tips from this article!
About Robert Fox
Rob Fox is a former hydro worker who used to teach self defence in Miami for 10 years. He's currently enjoying his retirement, playing cribbage and golf with his buddies, locksmithing and home security in his spare time. Rob is an avid reader, and has even written a few books on the subject of self defence.