While many people assume a window or back door will be a burglar’s preferred method of entry, they will often use the front door if it seems insecure and is not too visible from the road. They can also deduce a lot about your general security level from the state of your front door, so don’t overlook this important aspect of home security.
When you are assessing the strength of your door, look up the requirements laid out by your insurance company, as they may stipulate a particular type of lock or mechanism that is more robust than others – normally a 5 point deadbolt is required, and you may have to pay a higher premium if you do not have that type of door lock. This is especially a problem for renters, who often have to accept a property with less than ideal door locks, and those living in older or listed properties.
The first thing to consider is what your door is made of. A solid wood, fibreglass or metal door is best, and these are also generally fire resistant and use the highest standard of locking mechanism possible. If there is a window in your door this could be a security risk, as it allows would-be thieves to look in through the door while pretending to be delivering a parcel. This is also a temptation for burglars as the glass can be broken in your door, so they can gain access to the lock and let themselves in. If you must have windows in your door, ensure that the locking mechanism can’t be reached from that space to prevent burglars from breaking the window and simply unlocking your door.
If you can’t replace your door for any reason (such as a landlord or listed status) you may be able to add a metal gate to the front of the property which goes in front of the main door. This can then be locked as an extra layer of security, as well as a very noisy trap for burglars if they are determined to get in. These metal security doors are not easy to cut through and will deter even the most committed burglar.
It is worth considering adding another deadbolt lock, especially if you live in a high crime area. Secondary deadbolts can be fitted by most locksmiths and they provide an additional layer of protection should a burglar be able to defeat the first one. This may be enough to make them give up as staying to long may draw attention and get them noticed.
A peephole or video doorbell is a good idea, allowing you to see who is at the door without opening it, and in the case of video doorbells, without even being at home at all. There are some security concerns with video doorbell feeds, but when used properly they can be a very effective deterrent, as well as a way of keeping track of deliveries (and finding out who stole your parcel if that happens). Most of these systems can be installed by the homeowner and they send notifications to your phone with clips of footage, so you can be alerted even when you’re out.
If you have sliding doors, or you use a back door as a main entrance (for example, if you have pets or it is more convenient for where you park) then don’t dismiss this entrance as an access method for burglars. Sliding doors and patio doors can be secured from the inside using after-market products, and there are some devices that lock to the outside of the door and are secured with a key. These products add a layer of deterrent as they increase the amount of time the burglar is exposed trying to gain entry, as we stated earlier this can be enough to put them off.