How to Best Secure Your Entry Doors

Written by Jim Sublousky of Southwest Exteriors
Updated April 7, 2014
Alarm system install on front door
Hire a home security company to wire an alarm system to your doors. (Photo by Eric Priddy)

Take these precautions to secure your doors and ensure your family's safety.

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Nobody wants to be the victim of a break-in, which is why security is a very important feature to consider when purchasing an entry door. Many of our clients have asked us which entry or patio doors are the safest and most secure for their home. 

Honestly, expert door installation and upgraded security features are the best way to safeguard your doors from a burglary, no matter what kind of door you purchase. Below are a few things to consider when it comes to safety.

Video: Stop Crime With a Solid Door and Deadbolt Lock

Use door screws

When installing an entry door, it is best practice to use screws — not nails — to attach the frame or jamb of the door to the jack stud in at least nine key areas:

• Three each on the hinge and lock side of frame (top, middle and bottom)• One through the top• Two more in the strike plate of the deadbolt

I recommend a minimum size of 2.5-inch screws so you know you're reaching the stud with about 1- to 1.5- inches of penetration. This type of install is the best way to secure the door unit to the existing studs, making it much harder to kick or force the door open.

keypad and deadbolt lock for steel entry door
A multi-point lock with keypad entry gives your front door an extra layer of security. (Photo by Angie's List)

Install multi-point locking systems

Some added security features for entry or patio doors are multi-point locking systems, which have locking pins that go into the jamb in the top and bottom of lock side, as well as the standard locks in the middle of the door jamb. This makes the door even harder to force open than with a standard lock system. 

This type of multi-point lock system is offered by Andersen® and Therma-Tru® products, among other door manufacturers. You can also add a third bore to your door so you can have a second deadbolt for even more security. 

Consider a home alarm system

The final security upgrade to your home would be an alarm system. Most alarm companies will tell you that most break-ins occur through doors. Although front doors with decorative glass are beautiful to look at and add curb appeal to your home, keep in mind that all glass (even the tempered safety glass required in all doors) can still be broken and access gained to the inside. 

Having a reliable alarm system will frighten away many intruders as soon as they set it off, and knowing that someone is always keeping an eye on your home when you’re away definitely gives you added peace of mind.

The truth is that no house can be made impenetrable, especially since there may be unfortunate occasions where emergency personnel have to gain immediate access. Your best solution is to purchase quality doors, have them installed according to best practices, and use the security measures mentioned here, and you will most likely be perfectly safe. 

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About this Experts Contributor: Jim Sublousky is the windows and door manager for Southwest Exteriors, providing window services in San Antonio. Since 1989, Southwest Exteriors has specialized in the installation of custom replacement windows and patio doors. You can follow this #ALExperts contributor on Twitter @TeamSWEx or Google Plus.

As of April 7, 2014, this service provider was highly rated on Angie's List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angie's List for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie's List.

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