We can have many concerns when it comes to our homes. Are they energy efficient? Is everything in good repair? Is this a neighborhood near good schools? Those are just a few of the worries we may have. However, while we can control or manage many of the concerns we have with our homes, home security may seem like something that’s a matter of luck. That’s not exactly true, though. While we can never control what other people, especially strangers, do, we can take steps to make our homes less attractive to would-be burglars and we can take steps to make our homes more secure.
These steps may range from installing top-of-the-line home security systems to making sure our exterior property is well-lit. We can also secure the home itself, by installing quality locks, for example. One of the easiest ways to secure our homes is by making the entrances harder to breach. You can do that by securing your doors from being kicked in. It’s a simple project to complete and depending on the methods you choose, even a beginner to home improvement can do it.
Start With The Door
If your door is weak, any measures you take to secure it are just going to be for show. It’s unlikely you have a hollow-core composite door as one of your entry doors, because these doors are more likely to be used as interior doors. In the unlikely event that your entry doors are hollow, though, you should replace them as soon as possible. This may be more difficult if you’re renting, so be sure to clear it with your landlord.
A solid core door is a good choice for home security, but for the absolute best security, choose a door with a core that’s made of metal, like iron or steel.
Then Move On To The Door Hardware
One of the ways a door is kicked in is by targeting the weak spots, which are often the door’s hardware, like the hinges and strike plates. The first and best way to secure the hinges, besides replacing them with the highest quality hinges, is by replacing their screws. It’s common to use shorter screws, typically ¾” screws, when installing hinges and strike plates. While these work fine for the day-to-day operation of the door, they will not hold up against repeated ramming or kicking.
To give your doors a fighting chance, replace the screws in the hinges and strike plates with 3” screws. In addition, you can also just add 3” screws to the screw configuration you already have. If your door is strong, with a solid core, then reinforcing the hardware is often the easiest and cheapest way to secure the door overall.
Improve Your Strike Plate
Before you replace the screws or reinforce the strike plate, you might also want to replace the strike plate itself. Using a longer strike plate not only distributes the energy from a blow over a larger area, making it much harder to find one weak spot, but it also gives you more space to put in more screws.
If you choose to replace your strike plate, to make it extra secure, choose one that's made of a strong metal. Steel, for example, is a good material for strike plates.
Reinforce The Door Frame
Another option for reinforcing the hardware is to replace the standard or longer strike plate with an “anti-kick plate.” This is a modified strike plate that's much larger than the standard kind available. Typically about 4', these plates have tapered metal at the ends so they look like standard strike plates. However, not only do they reinforce the weak spots around your locks, but they also reinforce the door jamb itself.
Install Hinge Bolts
These products do double duty. They can reinforce the door, proving support against kicking or battering. In addition, they can also prevent would-be invaders from taking the doors off their hinges.
Reinforce The Door Hardware
The area where the door knob and locks are can be vulnerable because this part of the door had to be hollowed out to place that hardware. You can secure this area by reinforcing it. Adding a steel guard, for example, around the hardware will do the trick.
Improve Your Door's Hardware Itself
While some locks are vulnerable to drilling, in most cases, someone trying to invade your home will try to avoid the attention that loud metal grinding on metal can attract. It's more common for someone to try to kick through. You can prevent both, though, by investing in a lock made with thick metal. Be careful in your browsing—some locks are made of metal, including hardened steel, but their interiors are mostly hollow. Those locks are strong, but not as strong as locks made of thicker steel.
Get Stronger Glass
In many areas, it's not uncommon to see windows with iron bars. That's certainly one option to keep people from coming in, but some homeowners may find it unsightly. If iron bars aren't for you, you could consider improving your glass. Placing security film on the windows will keep the windows from shattering into pieces if they're broken.
Secure The Doors From The Inside
There are devices available that reinforce your doors from the inside. However, these can only be removed or adjusted from the inside, so they can be used only when you're home or used on all but one door.
Make your door unattractive. By that, I don't mean painting an angry face or a warning, but that's up to you. What I actually mean is to make your home more of a hassle or a danger for would-be thieves. Keep the area around your doors clear, for example—trim back any overhanging trees or bushes. Put good lighting around your doors, so if anyone is trying to get in, they're in a spotlight. If you've got a home security system installed, then you might want to advertise it in some way, with window decals or yard signs.