Your front door is your first line of defense between you and the outside world. It serves as a protective barrier, preventing intruders from accessing the interior of your home.
But, since a door’s primary function is to provide an access point into your house, it also creates an inherent security risk. Luckily, there are many things you can do to secure a front door more effectively than you are today.
Depending on your current door configuration, you may not need to complete all of these steps. But, if you’re dealing with a basic builder grade door and lock, then these upgrades can make a significant difference.
Install Or Upgrade The Deadbolt
If you don’t have a deadbolt, then you want to add one. These provide substantially more support than a regular door lock, so it’s worth the effort.
Look for a model with a long bolt, as you want it to extend deep into the frame of the door.
To install a deadbolt on a door that doesn’t have one currently, refer to the manufacturer’s instructions regarding installation. Different mechanisms may have slightly different installation processes, so review the provided material for guidance.
If you currently have a deadbolt, then the process is simpler. You may need a chisel and hammer to make the hole deeper if it doesn’t provide enough room for an extended deadbolt to lock into place. Otherwise, you can remove your current one with a screwdriver and a little elbow grease and replace it with the updated version per the manufacturer’s instructions.
Add Cylinder Guards
A cylinder guard adds an additional layer of protection to existing locks, making it harder for the locks to be pried open or knocked loose.
If your locks don’t have cylinder guards already, then adding one is a wise move. You can find a cylinder guard kit with all of the pieces you need. Make sure to find one that is designed for your type of lock, as different models can vary in shape and size.
Installation is usually pretty straightforward. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for details about installing your newly purchased cylinder guards.
Upgrade Hinge And Strike Plate Screws
Typically, the screws that come with door hinges and strike plates aren’t very robust. In fact, many will only penetrate the door frame.
If you replace the existing screws with 3-inch wood screws, you can attach the hinges and strike plates to the framing beyond the frame of the door. This makes them harder to knock loose, making it easier to secure a front door should an intruder try to use brute force to gain entry to your home.
Update Your Peephole
Most standard peepholes provide only a limited view of your front yard. Criminals can use this to their advantage by knocking or ringing the doorbell, stepping out of range of the peephole, and waiting for you to open the door.
If you upgrade your regular peephole to a wide-angle peephole, you gain additional visibility.
If you don’t have a peephole, installing one is relatively easy. It requires a few basic tools, like a drill, and a peephole kit. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure you install it properly.
Reinforce Your Door Frame
Doorframes are another feature that are often attached with short screws by builders and remodelers. If you upgrade the screws, you can make it harder to pry or otherwise break the doorframe, a method some intruders use to gain entry to homes.
Add additional 3-inch screws around your doorframe for extra support and security. You can also replace the screws on your threshold with 3-inch screws to make that part more secure.
Security Bars And One-Sided Deadbolts
If you want to make sure the interior of your home is protected while someone is home, consider adding a security bar or one-sided deadbolts. These secondary locks can only be operated from the inside, making them incredibly hard to bypass.
There are a wide variety of models available on the market, so you can select one that provides you with the appropriate level of additional protection and suits your space.
Replace The Glass
If your door features glass panels that, when removed, could allow a person to get into your home or reach the locks, then you need to make sure you have the right glass.
Reinforced glass or certain plastics, like polycarbonate, are harder to break than regular glass and may deter a potential intruder. You can also add security bars, usually constructed of a strong metal, to make entry even more difficult.
In some cases, it may be easier to replace the door than the glass. When this happens, look for a solid-core door and either forgo the glass or only have panels in areas that wouldn’t provide access to your home or the door locks if it’s broken.
By following the tips above, you can secure a front door more effectively than you may have been able to do before, ensuring that your home’s interior isn’t easy to access.