External Door Security
It’s well known that the majority of burglaries are opportunistic crimes, but did you know that 70% of burglars enter using a door? Rather than smashing a window or squeezing in through an open window, they bypass patio door locks or force open French doors, because poor door security is so often the weak point in your home’s security system.
Making Your Home Burglar Proof
When it comes to home security, burglar-proofing your external doors is one of the most important improvements that you can make. Ideally, you should have solid-wood front and back doors, or at the very least a door with a core that is solid-wood. Fiberglass doors are fairly secure too, and metal doors can be secure if they are internally reinforced and have a lock block that prevents would-be intruders from bending them open. A reinforced steel door will provide you with very good security, however it will require regular care and maintenance so that it does not rust.
The type of door lock that you will need depends on the style of door. Patio door and French door security poses rather different challenges to normal doors. For a standard front door, you should ideally have a spy hole and a door security chain, robust hinges and a lever mortice deadlock that is rated to either British Standard 3621 or the equivalent European Standard EN12209.
Doors with no windows will, naturally, be more secure. However, it is understandable that some people prefer to have small windows to let some light into your entryway. If you must have a window, don’t opt for a glazed pane – rather, choose reinforced glass. Consider having a window with decorative bars that will offer extra reinforcement. If possible, have a second door lock fitted lower down on the door, away from the window.
Securing French Doors and Patio Doors
French doors are a popular target for burglars, because their size and design makes them inherently less secure. Choose mortice rack bolts or surface-mounted locking bolts for your French doors, or improve security even more with mortice sash locks. If you have French doors that open outwards, then hinge bolts will add an extra layer of security.
Patio doors are also quite a popular target for burglars. Older designs are particularly insecure since it is easy for burglars to just lift the door from its tracks. More modern designs have anti-lift devices as well as a multi-locking system for added security.
Multi-locking systems are particularly important for UPVC doors, because you cannot add extra locks to the door because of the way it is built. A multi-lock has a three-point locking system, with two hooks – one at the top and one at the bottom of the frame, and a latch plus deadlock in the middle of the door.
A Final Reminder On Door Security
Physical security is just one part of the equation. Your locks and deadbolts are only as secure as the door and frame that they are installed upon, so make sure that the frame is secure and not rotten. Never leave spare keys in a ‘safe space’ outside, and always remember to lock the door when you go out.