Home Door Security: Are Wooden Doors Secure?

Last updated on June 28th, 2019 at 01:34 pm

When it comes to the doors of your house, there are a few factors that are really important to you, and to us as well. The importance of these things can vary depending what different people want and need, but the common factors that people usually look for are style and design, price, delivery times and choice. But one thing that is always at the top of the list when looking to buy new front or wooden back doors is security; are the doors secure and are they going keep intruders outside and my contents inside? Many people ask ‘are wooden doors secure?’ so we thought we’d try and help answer.

In this guide we’ll aim to show you several ways in which you can improve the security of wooden doors, giving you the peace of mind that your doors are secure and your house is safe. We’ll talk you through the various doors on your property and how to secure them.

Front Door

Every home has a front door, so it’s essential to ensure that your front door is secured properly, correctly fitted with high quality locks and doesn’t make it easy for thieves to get their hands on any of your possessions or get through the door.

1: Check the Locks
The Metropolitan Police recommend installing a five lever mortice deadlock to your door, especially wooden front doors. Most insurance companies require you to have one too, so it’s definitely worth getting hold of one if you haven’t got one already.

If you have a hollow-core wooden door, then it’s recommended that you upgraded to a solid door, at least 44mm thick. The lock sits within the door, therefore won’t stay in place if it’s fitted to a hollow door. Ensure that your the quality of your door is as good as your lock.

If you’ve recently bought a new house, we’d recommend changing the locks. You never know who has made copies of the keys to the existing locks. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

Here’s how to install a mortice lock:

2: Install Quality Glass
You want to avoid having any glazing on your door (this goes for all external doors, not just your front door). If you have any glazed panels on your doors, replace them with toughened glass, or even better, laminated glass. Stronger glass means greater resistance to impact and attack, raising the level of security offered by your door.

Replacing weak glazing with stronger, more reliable glass is even more essential if large parts of your door feature glass panels. If the glass section is near your door handle, burglars can smash the glass and simply unlock the door from the inside.

3: Ensure the Hinges are Secure
Make sure that your door hinges aren’t loose and are in good condition. Use thick, long screws to ensure that the hinges are firmly embedded into the frame and won’t be forced loose under pressure or force.

4: Add a Spy Hole
A spy hole is a really simple addition to a door that gives you greater confidence when you’re in the house. Although most break ins occur when the house is empty, burglaries do still occur when you’re at home.

By adding a spy hole to your front door, you can see who it is that’s knocking and wanting to come in. You can identify who the person is and decide whether or not you want to answer the door or not. If you don’t recognise the person and don’t feel confident opening the door, then you don’t have to.

5: Use a Door Chain
Following on from the spy hole, if you do decide to answer the door to somebody you’re a bit weary of, keep the door chain on. The door chain allows you answer the door partially, and will stop the door from being forced open if the person tries to force their way in.

If you don’t have a door chain, we’d recommend purchasing and installing one.

Should the person claim to be visiting to read the gas or electricity meter or selling any products of interest, make sure to check their I.D and confirm that they are who they’re claiming to be. If you wish to call their company to confirm it’s them, call the main company phone number and not the number on the I.D.

Letter Boxes

Your letter box is a really simple entry point for thieves to gain access to your home without actually taking any steps inside the property.

Common techniques used by thieves include:

  • Stealing any letters that haven’t fallen from the other side, which could include any money, personal/bank details and other confidential information.
  • Using hooks and poles to get hold of keys left near the door or in the inside of the lock.
  • Unlocking doors from the inside via the letter box.

So how can you secure your letter box and make your door secure?

  1. Make sure that the letter box plate is up to safety standards, isn’t faulty and can’t easily be pulled off, leaving a gaping hole in your door.
  2. Never install a letter box closer than 40cm to the door lock or to the bottom rail of the door.
  3. Install a letter basket, but remove the bottom so the letters can fall. This stops anyone from moving their hands or any tools around the inside of the letter box.

Back Door

Back doors are a key area when looking to improve the security of your home and external doors as your back door is often out of sight and can’t be seen by neighbours or from the road. This is an ideal situation for burglars, staying out of sight and away from attention.

As with front doors, replace any glazing with strong, toughened or laminated glass that won’t easily break. Again, following the advice of the Metropolitan Police, use a 5 lever 2 bolt sash lock on the door which conforms to British and EU regulations.

Also add rack bolts too at the top and bottom of the door that are internally operated. These are ideal for enhancing wooden door security as they allow the door to remain locked from the inside even if somebody manages to unlock your main door lock from the outside.

Securing French Doors

French doors, also referred to as French windows have a slight reputation as being a favourite for thieves as they are less secure than regular doors. This is partly because they have much more window space and less panelling, but mainly because most external French doors open outwardly, therefore the hinges are on the outside and exposed to anyone that sees them.

If you want to improve the security of your French doors, especially wooden French doors, these are the essential pieces of a equipment you’ll need to do so.

  • Surface mounted locking bolts or rack bolts
  • Hinge bolts (essential for outward opening doors)
  • Mortice sash locks

Hinge bolts are an essential addition to outward opening doors because the hinges are on the outside of the home, but how do they work? Hinge bolts secure the doors in place when the’re closed, meaning that the door can’t be lifted or prised out of the hinge; keeping the hinges in place and the door secure. Nice and simple, yet very effective!

Here’s how to install hinge bolts

Protecting Patio Doors

If your patio doors aren’t fitted with a multi-lock system, the first thing recommended is to install additional locks for added security. Like French doors, patio doors are a common weak point of houses for burglars because of their increased vulnerability.

A problem with sliding patio doors is that they can sometimes be lifted from their tracks. If you’re not sure that your locking system prevents this, then you can purchase anti-lift locks that prevent the doors from being taken off the tracks.

Other Top Tips

Whether you need to secure wooden doors, windows or you’re just generally looking to keep your house safer, the following tips will help you regardless of what type of doors or windows you have.

  • Don’t leave keys in the back of the door, even when you’re in. Thieves can quietly open the door, take your keys and come back later and just let themselves in.
  • Don’t keep keys hidden outside for friends or family members. If you need to leave keys with somebody, give them to them directly or leave them with neighbour, don’t leave them under plant pots or a mat. You never know who will see you hide your keys.
  • Check to make sure your doors and door frames are in good condition and free from rot. Locks and bolts won’t help if your door and frames aren’t up to scratch.

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