The front door to your home is that entry point where packages get left, family and friends enter, and first impressions matter. It’s also a first line of defense to keep your family and belongings safe. And while that front door — and all the other doors in your home — include locks, how do you reinforce a door to make it even more secure?
National crime statistics show that nearly a third of all burglars use the front door to gain access to a home. Here are some easy ways to secure the main entry points of your home and reinforce any door on your property.
What is your door made of? Is the door leading from your basement to your garage a standard interior door with a hollow core? Your first step in reinforcing your door is to invest in a solid wood, steel, or fiberglass core door for all entryways.
Invest in a heavy-duty deadbolt to help reinforce any door. Consider the following features when selecting a door reinforcement lock:
Look for deadbolts with throws no shorter than an inch long. A throw -- or the bolt -- is the length of deadbolt that extends out from the door when engaged, and longer throws enhance door security.
Choose deadbolt locks made with hardened case steel and beveled casings. These tough materials can withstand saws, hammers, or other tools someone may use to gain entry into a home.
Use a double-cylinder deadbolt where possible. Double-cylinder models require a key on either side, whereas the single-cylinder model uses a key on the exterior and a thumb turn on the interior. Make sure any door with glass panes has a double-cylinder lock so a burglar can’t simply break glass and unlock the door.
Find a deadbolt design with a solid metal cylinder collar that’s difficult to pry with pliers or wrenches.
Check to see if your lock has a Grade 1 or Grade 2 certification. This American National Standards Institute (ANSI) system ranks durability and quality of the lock. Grade 1 locks are commercial quality with 1-inch latch bolts and can withstand 10 strikes of 75 pounds of force. Grade 2 locks are generally found in residential applications, feature a 5/8-inch bolt and can withstand five strikes of 75 pounds of force.
Sliding glass doors are easier to open than a solid wood door, but there are protective measures you can take to reinforce them:
Install a board, wooden dowel, or metal blocking device on the inside track to prevent someone from sliding the door open should they break the lock.
Add an anti-life bumper or device so an intruder can’t lift the glass out of the track.
Your door locks work in combination with the door jamb, so ensure that the wooden frame around your door is in good working order. Regularly inspect for rotting or splintering wood, and repair or replace as needed.
The strike plate is the metal component installed in the door frame through which a latch bolt connects, allowing the mechanisms to lock. Choose a heavy-duty strike plate fortified by longer screws to strengthen the door frame. Four or six three-inch screws, for instance, will reinforce both the lock and the door jamb, reducing the likelihood that anyone can kick down the door or apply pressure with a tool.
Another way to reinforce your door, particularly if you have glass panes, is with window and door sensors and glass break detectors. When tied into your home security system, these devices alert you to any breaches or glass breaks, triggering your alarm.
Smart locks also help reinforce your door and enhance safety. The keypad or remote locking and unlocking mechanism allows you to check your lock, even after you’ve left your home. Smart door locks can work in conjunction with your home security system to alert you of any issues. Additionally, a keyless entry means no one else can get ahold of a key and make a copy.
Allison Clark is a senior writer for Brinks Home. She enjoys educating others on the benefits of smart home security and using technology to simplify everyday life
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