Sleep soundly knowing your front door is secure with these tips
If you are confident your front door is secure, it can help you sleep soundly at night. If you aren’t sure where to start to improve the safety of your door, we’ve got you covered.
There are some simple things you can do to reinforce the security of your door, or you can completely change your entry system. Whatever you choose, you'll feel better knowing your family is protected.
1. Go for a Solid-Core Door
With their thick and strong center, solid-core doors are the best choice for front door security. Solid-core doors are much more resistant to force and most are fire-rated for an additional level of safety.
Homeowners should only use hollow core doors for the interior of homes. Replacing your front door is a good investment and a simple fix. The cost to replace a door depends on the type of door you have installed—the more intricate the door, the higher the expense.
2. Install a Wide-Angle Peephole
Replace your old peephole with a wide-angle peephole to get a much better view of your front entryway. This way no matter who is knocking and where they’re standing, you can get a good look before welcoming them into your home.
3. Rekey Your Lock
If you have recently moved into your home, and are concerned that a spare key has gone missing or that too many people have a copy of your front door key, you can have a local locksmith come and rekey your front door lock.
When a locksmith rekeys your door, they will change the mechanism so that old keys no longer fit in the door and provide you with new keys. Keep spare keys safely tucked away and give them only to a few people to maintain security.
4. Use Strike Plates With Large Screws
The deadbolt in your entry door is only as effective as its strike plate. The strike plate is the piece of the deadbolt mechanism that the bolt is inserted into when it's locked. If the strike plate has screws that are less than 2 ½ inches long, the deadbolt will not be nearly as secure as it could be.
Replace the small screws in your strike plate to make your home more secure and help to keep your family safe.
5. Keep Your Hinges Inside the Home
Lots of homeowners don't realize that their door hinges are facing outward instead of inside the home. Check your front door (and any other doors leading to the outside of your home) to make sure that your door hinges hang inside. If door hinges are outside, a local door frame repair person can fix this for you.
6. Keep the Outdoors Brightly Lit
Lighting plays a huge part in keeping your home secure. If the exterior of your home is well-lit, anyone near it will be visible to people passing by, and it could deter break-ins. A local lighting specialist can purchase and install motion-sensor lights for a fee ranging from $50 to $300, depending on where you live.
7. Protect Glass Front Doors
Glass front doors look pretty and let in a lot of light, but are not the most secure option. To help prevent break-ins from happening, you can have someone install a security film.
While it won't completely protect your glass doors, it will make it more difficult for thieves to get through the glass once it's broken. If you don't have tempered glass, it's a good idea to replace it for safety reasons. If tempered glass is broken, it will not shatter but will crumble, reducing the risk of injury to anyone nearby.
8. Upgrade to a Keyless Front Door Lock
Upgrading to a keypad entry system for your home’s entry doors can help your home become safer and less vulnerable to break-ins. Keypad systems are equipped with a deadbolt and, if there is any concern the code has been accessed by a stranger, it can be easily changed. Keyless front door locks start at around $150 and can be installed yourself or by a professional.
Once installed, you can choose a code for family members, while you can give another code to people who come into the home who don't live there (house cleaners, dog walkers, etc.). Another bonus—you can control some keyless systems from a smartphone, so if you forget to lock your door, you can do it from anywhere.
9. Invest in a Video Doorbell System
Video doorbell systems are becoming increasingly popular. You can install these devices on the front door, as well as in and around your home. Plans are available that include community sharing, which allows people to alert others to suspicious activity in and around their neighborhood. Video recording is also an option. Both of these features can help you to stay extra safe and aware of what is going on in your town and your backyard.
If you are not at home, you can respond to your doorbell remotely, and if you have a keyless entry system, you can also open your front door for anyone you want to let in and keep anyone else out. A bonus: If you have pets, you can use a video security system to keep an eye on them when you are gone.
10. Lock Your Front Door
This recommendation may seem pretty straightforward, but surveys have shown that many Americans don’t lock their doors when they are out—and even more don’t lock them when they are home. The most important step to a secure home is to keep it locked, no matter what kind of front door security you choose, whether it's a regular lock and key or a high-tech remote-controlled system.