Having strong, reliable doors on your home greatly decreases the risk of burglars and other intruders from entering your house uninvited. The scary reality is, a residential break-in occurs every 90 seconds in Canada. It's possible to safeguard your home from intruders by installing a high-quality door and by taking other vital precautions that prevent unwelcome entry into your house. Here's what to look for when buying and installing exterior doors.
1. Invest in Solid, Quality Doors
Just a swift kick or push of a hollow door can be enough to force it open. If your exterior doors are hollow, weak or structurally unsound, consider replacing them with solid, better quality doors. How do you know if a door is hollow? Just knock. Hollow doors are generally made from sheets of veneer over a cardboard core. Opt for a heavy-duty door made from these materials:
- Solid wood
- Solid wood core (layer of veneer over solid wood)
- Metal (reinforced inside with a lock block)
2. Add a Heavy-Duty Deadbolt
Along with your standard locking system, it's wise to have a secondary locking mechanism to keep intruders out. A heavy-duty deadbolt is highly affordable and can greatly increase the efficiency of your home's security system. There are several different varieties to choose from, including cylinder dead bolts which feature key holes on each side. Carefully follow the instructions provided with your deadbolt to securely install it to the door frame.
3. Replace the Lockset Strike Plate
Reinforce the doorjamb by installing a new strike plate in place of the traditional lip-style strike plate that comes in most doorknob locksets. The strike plate is a metal plate that is affixed to a doorjamb and has room for a bolt to extend through and hold the door closed. The strike plates found in most locksets are only strong enough to keep the door closed. Replacing the strike plate with a stronger model with longer screws will help prevent the door from being easily kicked in.
4. Opt for Windowless Doors
Doors with windows are common entry points for intruders. To minimize this risk, opt for exterior doors that have no windows or small windows that line the top of the door. Doors should also not be installed near windows to prevent intruders from breaking a nearby window and unlocking the door from the inside. If you do have windows, cover the glass with a security grate on the outside or apply a transparent, unbreakable polycarbonate panel to the glass.
5. Have the Door Swing Outward
Doors that swing inwards rather than outwards are vulnerable to forced entry. This is because a door that swings inwards has hinges that are exposed, acting as a vulnerable point for intruder attacks. Various methods can be used to improve the security of exterior doors that swing inwards, including the use of safety studs, setscrew in the hinge, and fast-riveted (crimped) pins. These methods prevent the hinge pins from being removed when the door is lifted up.
6. Install a Reinforcement Plate
Install a three-sided metal reinforcement plate to add an extra layer of security to your exterior doors. Reinforcement plates encase the door around the handset or deadbolt, deterring intruders. It works by strengthening the lock area and edge of the door to help stop any splitting and collapsing due to forced entry. This type of plate features a cut-out to fit most locks and deadbolt systems for easy installation.
Boost your home security efforts by installing a high-quality door with top safety features. For more information about exterior doors for the home and what safety features are best, contact your local residential door supplier.