06 Sep 10 GREAT Tips on How to Burglar Proof Your Front Door
When we shut our front doors behind us as we return home, we should do so knowing that we are safe from any outside threats. There should be no fear that our home could come under attack from intruders in the night, or that opportunist burglars may try to break in while we are out.
The problem is that not all homes are as safe as we might initially assume. Our front doors aren’t always the strong barriers that they should be – either through their design, poor locks or other weak points. They may also be other ways that we end up inviting burglars to try their luck.
This is why it is important to take another look at the security of the front door and ways that you can improve it. In some cases, it may only take a few small alterations and changes in behavior to add some extra protection to the property.
Other homes may benefit from bigger changes and installations, such as a new preventative measure or a completely new door. Below we will consider some of the top 10 ways that you can burglar-proof your front door. Before that, let’s consider why it is so important to secure this part of the home.
Why Focus On the Front Door?
The front door is the most obvious point of entry for anyone trying to gain access to the property. It is much easier to get into the home undetected, and with minimal effort, if you can pry open the main entry point. Burglars simply want to break the lock, kick in the door and have easy access to your valuables.
Then there is the fact that not all burglars and intruders will attempt to break in under the cover of darkness. Others will try to con their way in under false pretenses and take advantage of access to the home. Why try and sneak in through a window or injure yourself breaking down a door when homeowners can literally invite you in?
This means that it is crucial that homeowners create a stronger barrier at the front door and look at different ways of deterring burglars. Here are 10 tips to help you.
1) Put a Good Deadbolt Lock on the Door
Many of us will think about the locks on the front door as the first way of creating a secure, burglar-proof boundary between the home and any intruder. It helps to have a secure deadbolt on the door. These bolts will prove to be a difficult obstacle for a potential burglar. At the same time, they can offer peace of mind to homeowners simply be being there.
The best deadbolts have a heavy lock that extends right into the door-jamb opening. There should also be a metal strike plate in place so that there is that extra level of protection in place. Exit-only deadbolts can only be accessed from the interior of the home, so there is no way for a burglar to see or access them.
2) Replace or Reinforce Existing Locks
At the same time, it is important to reinforce any existing locks on the doors to make sure that they are secure at all times. Locks that are old and past their best may easily break at the hands of a strong strike from an intruder. The same metal strike plates mentioned above could be a great help here.
3) Don’t Leave Keys to the Locks Anywhere That Burglars May Find Them
This is something that some guides will overlook when talking about the security of a front door. We can never underestimate the importance of common sense when making a home secure. It is pointless to install these strong new locks on a door and then practically hand the key over to anyone that wants it.
It is common nature for homeowners to leave a key in a secure place near the front door. This way neighbors can come in and feed the cat or water the plants while homeowners are away. This is all well and good in a risk-free area, but it is reckless in areas where thieves operate. Smart burglars can stake out prime locations and watch as neighbors or other visitors retrieve the key from under a particular plant pot or stone in the garden. Many will simply test out the typical places, like underneath the doormat, just in case.
4) Consider the Strength of the Door Itself
How strong is your front door? If someone was desperate to get in, could they bypass the locks entirely and break the door in. some front doors are surprisingly flimsy in regard to the materials used and the quality of the timber. They will splinter and come apart with a few good kicks.
The same is true for the door frame. Some doors will come apart at the frame with a good kick in the right place. That is why it is important to choose a thick door made from a strong timber. It may cost a lot more to replace an entire door, rather than just a lock, but this could balance out if it stops a burglar in the future.
5) Don’t Have a Front Door With a Window
Doors with windows can seem like a practical, secure option for most homes. It offers a clear view of the exterior of the property – it also looks much nicer in some cases and may add to the curb-side value of the home.
However, there is little to stop a burglar from breaking the window and gaining entry that way. You can spend all the time you like on deadbolts and strike plates, but they count for little if the burglar has an easier point of entry. It all comes back to this idea of making the door as strong and secure as possible. There should be no weak points anywhere in the structure that might lead to the door breaking.
6) Install a Peephole to See Who is at the Door
One of the reasons that people like to have windows on the front door is that it allows them to see who is at the door before they answer it. Threats to homeowners don’t just come from those that sneak around at night and try to break the door down. There are also conmen and burglars that con their way into a home under false pretenses and then have access to the home and its contents. This includes people that are servicemen, government officials or salesmen.
A window lets you see name-tags and faces before opening the door. Therefore, it helps to have a compromise solution here. A wide-angle peephole lets homeowners see outside the property without opening the door. The field of view can be just as good, which makes these peepholes surprisingly helpful as a security measure.
7) Put an Alarm on the Door that Warms Burglars Off
An alarm system is a great tool if you have an intruder that tries their luck and tests the integrity of the door. Some homeowners may see these alarms as just a security system to help them during an emergency.
However, the right alarm system, in a prominent position can act as a deterrent to those passing by. Many burglars will take some time to stake-out a neighborhood and find a property that is the best target. If they see an alarm system on one home, but not another, it makes more sense to try the home with the least protection. If you don’t want to spend all that money on a security system, you could also try placing a decoy in a prominent position.
8) Put a Security Light in the Vicinity of the Door to Detect Intruders
Security lights are underrated tools when it comes to protecting a home. As soon as you literally shine a light on an intruder on the property, it alerts the whole household to their presence. Neighbors may also be able to see what is going on and take action as needed. The light can quickly deter a burglar.
This could happen with the more opportunist intruders that come to test the door and try their luck. Also, those that scout out a prime location may see that there is a light and decide that it isn’t worth the risk. A good motion detection security light doesn’t have to be that expensive.
9) Consider Some Motion Sensors on the Driveway
These motion detection security lights are a great way to illuminate the entrance way to home when someone gets too close to the front door. However, these intruders may already be far too close for comfort at this point. Many homeowners will feel safer if they can deter intruders from entering their property at all. This means warning devices and preventative measures around driveways and perimeters.
Driveway sensors are a great tool for those that want to keep an eye on the comings and goings of anyone that gets close to the home. These sensors can work on motion detection – or in some cases through temperature detection – to alert homeowners when someone passes by. Most of the time, the images will show nothing more than a delivery man or a neighborhood cat.
Still, it could prove to be helpful if there are strangers and unfamiliar vehicles in the area. Some devices are smarter and more expensive than others. Browse different solutions to find the one that suits your needs and property.
10) Think About the Planting Around the Door
Finally, you might want to think about the planting around the front door. It is much easier to see and to deter a potential burglar if there is nowhere for them to hide. The area around the front door should be free from large shrubs and hedging for a clearer field of view. This means there is nowhere for intruders to hide if an alarm or light goes off. There is also nowhere for them to lie in wait. This may seem like an extreme idea compared to some of the other preventative measures, but it could make a big difference.
Don’t Forget About Other Entry Points in the Home
It is important to spend time and energy on securing the front door of the property because this is a crucial point of entry for any burglar. This is where they are likely to attack first. However, you don’t want to spend all your efforts and money in this one area. Persistent burglars may decide to return and try different entry points if they fail to get in the front door. That is why you need to ensure that you back door, patio doors, and windows also have enough protection in case of intrusion.
Consider the Problem from Different Angles for the Best Form of Protection.
There is a lot to consider when choosing the best approach to securing your front door against burglars. Where possible, try to implement as many as you can for the most secure form of protection. Look at the problem from all angles. At the same time, make sure to look at the problems of your home specifically. Look for little change that suits your home and the exterior of the property. Think about the risks of your local area. Are you in a crime-free area or somewhere that has seen a rise in activity?
Short-Term Hassle and Expense for Long-Term Benefits and Peace of Mind.
There are lots of different tricks here that you can use to make sure that the entry point of your home is more secure. It might be enough to simply upgrade the locks and put in a deadbolt.
However, this doesn’t necessarily deter intruders from coming to your door at night. Additional protective solutions like alarms, motion sensors, and security light could stop them in their tracks before any potential damage occurs. This may mean replacing the door entirely with a better option. Still, this could be worth all the short term hassle and expense it if provides long-term security and peace of mind.