Having your house protected against theft should be an issue to consider for the owners. But what is the best system to keep your home safe? Having an alarm system installed may be the best option and perhaps having a dog patrol the property as well, yet statistics indicate that most burglars enter homes through the front or back doors. So keep those doors tight and secure. Here are some suggestions.
Get the right door
If your front and rear doors are hollow, you need to change them immediately. How do you know if the door is hollow? Just hit it with your knuckles. Hollow doors are sheets of varnished wood on a cardboard core. All exterior doors should be strong and solid made of the following materials:
- Solid wood.
- Solid wood core (a varnished wooden sheet over the core).
- Metal (Note: Make sure metal doors are reinforced on the inside and have what is called a keylock. Otherwise, they could be opened with a car jack.)
Door and Frame
If you’re installing or replacing a door and frame, consider a fibreglass one that opens outward rather than inward (and don’t forget to use safety hinges). Having a door that opens in that direction helps reduce any type of forced entry.
Replace all exterior doors that have windows. For maximum security, all doors should have no windows, and there should also be no windows close enough to the door as a thief could break the window and open the door from the inside.
If you have sliding glass doors, glass panes or nearby windows, in any case, cover the glass with a grill or fence on the outside or place a transparent, unbreakable polycarbonate panel on the inside.
Install deadbolts. Except for sliding doors, all other doors should have security locks in addition to the one with the handle. The latch must be of high quality (grade 1 or 2, solid metal with no screws exposed to the outside), with a latch (the one that comes out of the door) at least 2.5cm in length. The bolt must be properly installed. Many houses have low-quality door handles or latches less than 2.5cm. These must be replaced.
You can find doors of various types: security, armoured. The security ones are those that have some type of external reinforcement. They are the most widely used (and the cheapest), so they are also the ones that offer the least level of protection. Excellence in safety is offered by the so-called armoured doors, those made of steel and veneered in wood. Halfway there are the armoured doors, which are the ones that promise the best security-price ratio. However, a good entrance will not do you much good if an infallible lock does not accompany it. You can find them as a latch, as a pill, just keys … or electronic. There are also “invisible” locks that are installed on the inside of the door and are invisible from the outside, making them almost impossible to force. They open through a command and are really practical.