Entry Door Security
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Entry Door Security
We all want to prevent home burglaries. According to security experts, most burglars are opportunists who look for easy, quick ways into a home. A homeowner’s first line of defense should be a strong door, door frame and deadbolt lock on each exterior door. Following are some entry door security tips:
Lock all doors
It doesn’t matter how good your locks may be; they are of little value if you don’t use them. It is important to keep ALL your entry doors locked (front, back and side doors) at night or whenever you are out of the house – even for “just a few minutes.”
A deadbolt lock is the most secure form of lock. You should be sure that every deadbolt lock has a strong throw bolt that is reinforced by a strong metal strike plate. Replacing existing strike plates with heavier ones may be advisable.
If you are thinking of purchasing a new deadbolt, you may want to engage a locksmith to provide a professional grade model that is impervious to “lock bumping.” That is a form of burglary in which the burglar uses a specially made bump key that can open any door. And be sure that the lock is installed with long screws that go deep into the door and the opposing door frame.
Steel-clad or heavy wooden door
Most security experts recommend steel clad exterior entry doors. The strongest ones have cores of solid wood or wood material. If you prefer a wooden door, the most secure are made of solid hardwood with no recessed panels. Recessed panels are vulnerable to kick-ins.
Door frame reinforcement
The weakest point for any entry door is usually the doorframe, itself. When a door-kick burglar forcefully kicks or throws all his weight against the door, the thin wooden doorframe usually splits and breaks away.
Replacing the short screws that hold the deadbolt strike plate in place and installing longer screws that go into the 2x4 frame beneath can help. But for the best security, you can purchase a steel plate system that overlays your door jamb with a thin piece of metal that reinforces a large section of the doorframe.
A number of such systems are on the market. One of the most highly rated is the StrikeMaster Pro II, which is available online for under $100 and can be installed by most do-it-yourselfers. CLICK HERE to see a video about the system.