External Door Glazing: Are Glazed Doors Secure?
Choosing an external door can require a lot of thought, as you need to decide whether you want to prioritize good interior design practices over energy efficiency and security, or the other way around. Glazed external doors can be attractive, and really add to the atmosphere of your entryway, but glass is a weak point in the design of the door, and could provide burglars with a way of getting into your home.
If you are really concerned about security, then front doors without glass are the best option, but there are compromises that you can make, offering still-good security while not compromising on the look of your entrance either.
When to Choose a Glass Door
One option is to have a front door without glass, and then to have a windowed back door at the rear. Usually, the rear of the property is more private. There will be a fence, gate and garden between your home and the street, or a walled-off yard. This means that there is less likelihood of an opportunistic intruder trying to break open the door. Of course, a determined thief may look for chances to work in your back garden, but if it is well-lit and there is a clear view of the street (no bushes, for example, hiding the door), then it will be a less obvious target.
Choosing a Secure Type of Glass
If you do decide you want front doors with glass, then you should choose the type of glass carefully. Do not opt for a glazed external door with a single pane, because not only is glass fragile, a single pane of glass is a very poor insulator, and means that the energy efficiency rating and U-Rating of the door will be poor. Low-emissivity glass will help to prevent energy loss, and will make your door more secure too.
Double glazed external doors are a good starting point for security, but laminated glass is a better option. Laminated glass is a form of safety glass, but unlike toughened glass, which shatters into small pieces when it is damaged, laminated glass will hold together, making it both safer and slightly more secure.
Frosted glass is another good option, because it allows natural light through while still maintaining some privacy. It looks artistic, almost in the way that external doors with stained glass do, but since the effect is created by etching into a solid pane rather than through using several smaller panes of glass, it is stronger and more secure.
If you want to have a large pane of glass in your external door, consider having it reinforced with decorative metal bars. In addition, consider sidelights – both for the aesthetic effect, and also the fact that the additional illumination will act as a deterrent to intruders.
As you can see, there are a lot of options when it comes to glazed external doors. You don’t have to sacrifice security or privacy to enjoy the benefits of natural light and the kerb appeal that a glazed door will bring to your home.