Assuming you have good quality solid exterior doors, the next step should be making sure they are burglar-proof.
The best way to do this is to rely on multiple security measures. This ensures that even if the burglars manage to defeat one of them, there are a couple of others to prevent them from gaining entry into the house.
Here are the best tips for making your doors more secure. Implement as many as you can.
1. Install a Grill behind French or Windowed Doors
French doors look beautiful and elegant but they are not very secure. A burglar could simple break the glass and then unlock the door from the inside.
Unless the glass is shatter-proof, I recommend installing a full length metal grill behind the door to prevent forced entry.
The same goes for doors with windows. Install a grill behind the glass such that even if burglars break the glass, they cannot reach they handle inside.
2. Add a Deadbolt Lock
Do not rely on the doorknob lock to secure the door. It will not withstand a forced entry.
A deadbolt provides extra protection against tools and forceful hits. Make sure the bolt is at least 2.5cm and made from strong solid metal.
In addition to a deadbolt consider installing a dead-lock. This is a type of lock that can only be opened from the inside. There is no way for burglars to break it from the outside without breaking down the entire door. It protects your family when you are at home.
3. Buy Security Bars for Your Front and Back Doors
Another way to protect your family when you are home, especially at night, is by using a security bar.
There are several types of door security bars.
Some are installed horizontally across the door. If it is a hinged door, you secure the bar in brackets installed on either side of the door. For double French doors, get those security bars that secure into the door knobs.
Another common type of security bar is the kind you install vertically under the door handle. If someone tries to push the door inside, the bar presses into the floor. These type of security bars can also be used to secure a sliding door by wedging it between the door frame and the sliding door.
Make sure you install a security bar behind all exterior doors, not just the front door, to cut off all potential entry points for a burglar.
4. Secure the Door Frame
A door is only as secure as its weakest point. For most doors, the most vulnerable place is the door frame.
Even with a strong and secure door, a burglar can easily pry the door frame off the wall or just kick the door until the frame gives.
An easy way to secure the door frame is to drive in 3” or 4” long screws at 3 or more points along its height. Make sure the screws reach the wall studs. This will ensure the frame holds against any kind of forced entry.
Another option is to reinforce the door frame with a strip of metal.
5. Secure the Hinges
Hinges are the other vulnerable points that burglars will try to take advantage of to force the door open.
First make sure that the hinges are on the inside of the door. If they are on the outside, you’ll have to get the door rehanged.
Then remove one or two screws from each hinge and replace them with longer screws.
As you secure the hinges also consider replacing the screws on the strike plate. Use longer screws that secure into the studs.
6. Add a Peephole or Use a Smart Doorbell
Even the best lock will be of no use if you inadvertently open the door to someone with ill intentions. A peephole allows you to see who’s at the door before you open it.
Look for a peephole with a one-way design that allows you to see out but someone who is outside can’t look inside.
A good alternative to a peephole is a smart doorbell. These doorbells are equipped with tiny cameras that activate as soon as the doorbell is pressed. The camera shows you who’s at the door through an app on your phone
You can also access the camera’s live view at any time if you hear someone at the door.