Burglars love doors, because that’s their No. 1 way of gaining entry to a house. When thinking of ways to make your home safer, you should really home in on your doors.
- Solid wood door without a window (ideally with solid wood core)
- Top flight deadbolt (ideally two)
- Reinforced frame and doorjamb
The above elements would make it almost impossible for an MMA fighter to kick the door in. Yes, you should be thinking in terms of kick-proofing your door. By the time we’re 18, we’ve probably witnessed hundreds of door kick-ins on TV shows and in movies. No matter how many unrealistic things we’ve seen on film, one thing stands out as being very true to life: the ease of kicking in a door.
If the door has a window, we have a problem. A crook could smash through it and unlock the door. Here is where a second deadbolt, near floor level, comes in handy. If this can’t be done, then have decorative steel bars placed over the window.
A metal door is also doable for good security, as long as its interior is reinforced and it has a lockblock.
Keep in mind that even a steel door (the most secure type) can be kicked in if the lock’s screws are too short. You get what you pay for; do not cut corners when it comes to purchasing a deadbolt. They are not all the same. A good one extends deep into the doorframe.
I also recommend a one-sided keyless deadbolt for use when you’re home. As its name implies, it can’t be manipulated from the outside (which makes it impossible for an intruder to circumvent).
The doorjamb and frame should be as strong as possible. Don’t just rely on a good deadbolt. The strike plate’s screws should be three inches. Install door reinforcement technology. This beefs up the door jamb to prevent kick-ins. See Door Devil.
What about sliding doors?
- The glass should be reinforced or replaced with polycarbonate.
- The track should have a bar to prevent the door from being forced open.
- Track stoppers also come in the form of small devices that screw onto the track and block the door.
- The door should be equipped with a motion and vibration sensor that triggers an alarm.
Keep a covering over the windows as much as possible. I understand that you want your home to be bright and cheery, but find a happy medium by realizing that a burglar can get a really good look inside your house through uncovered sliding doors. For sure, keep the curtains drawn or the shades down when it’s dark out.