Home Security 101: How to Fortify Exterior Doors

front doorA burglar could easily get inside your home simply by coming in through any door if you’re not careful. All the hard work you put into safeguarding your house would go to waste if you can’t secure your doors. So, before outfitting your house with an alarm system, make sure your doors are as secure as possible.

Put Yourself in the Shoes of a Burglar

Survey your house from across the street. Do you clearly see the front door or is it hidden behind plants? If it’s the latter, intruders could easily access your house from your front door without anyone seeing them. Make sure your plants are trimmed properly, so they won’t cover your front door.

Upgrade Your Exterior Doors

Inspect the construction and material of your exterior doors. For better security, your doors should be made of solid wood, impact-resistant fiberglass, or better yet, steel. If you really want glass, ensure that it’s reinforced and tempered for extra durability. You may choose among different security doors on the market.

Update All Deadbolts and Strike Plates

Check all your strike plates, which are the metal components for catching latches and bolts. If they’re only attached to the doorjamb’s softwood and are poorly attached, replace them immediately. Opt for strike plates that could be attached with four screws and attach with long screws that could reach into the stud at the back of doorjamb. Your deadbolts and locksets should preferably be Grade II or I and the bolts for your deadbolts should have 1-inch thick or thicker bolts.

Assess Your Garage Door

Burglars are more likely to use garage and backdoors than front doors. If your garage is attached to your home, turn off the automatic opener (if applicable) when going on long trips. Additionally, the door to your garage that leads into your home must be made with the same material and hardware as your exterior doors.

Don’t Forget Your Patio Doors

If you have sliding patio doors, check the condition of the hardware and doors and replace broken and missing locks if necessary. It’s also a good idea to outfit your sliding doors with locking pins. Always lock your patio doors when unattended.

Instead of waiting for a break-in to happen, beef up your door security to prevent it from happening in the first place. Don’t forget to conduct a security check of your entire home as well, so you could address security loopholes that malicious people could take advantage of.