How to Burglar Proof your Doors
Burglars love doors; they frequently gain entry by kicking them down and even using less aggression to get into a house — and that includes simply opening the door because it’s not locked.
Don’t believe that if a burglar wants to rob you badly enough, he’ll figure out a way to get in. While there is no such thing as 100% secure, in many cases, you CAN prevent a burglary. Since when do burglars enjoy the possibility of being seen messing around with someone’s front door for 20 minutes? Make it hard for them, make your house a tough target and they will move on.
- Burglar proofing your door begins with making sure you have a decent door to start with, then building up from there. But first, let’s briefly discuss USING the lock that’s there. Often, burglars and home invaders get in by, as already mentioned, simply opening an unlocked door. If the occupant isn’t home, it’s a burglary. If they’re home, it’s a home invasion. If you’re home, even in the middle of the day, have all doors LOCKED. This costs you no time, muscle or brainstorming to pull off.
- A locked door will stop many burglars, but not all. A hollow door is no good. If your door is hollow, you’ll need to replace it. If the door sounds hollow when you knock on it, it probably is.
- To make a door kick-down proof, get a door that opens outward, towards someone standing outside of it. And as impossible as it seems to bust through a door like this, that’s not enough, however. A door should not have windows that could be broke and the locks accessed. Forget the décor and think security.
- Many people don’t like the idea of a door that opens outward, which is all the more reason that more layers of security are needed besides having a solid wood door or a metal fire retardant door with no windows. And that begins with a deadbolt. The deadbolt does not replace the regular lock; it’s an addition. If you already have a deadbolt, look at it. Can you see screws on the outside? If so, replace it with one with screws only on the inside. The throw bolt should be at least one inch.
- Install a peephole. Opening the door to see who’s there defeats the purpose of whatever deadbolt or reinforcements you have; once the door’s open, you’re game. Don’t think for a second that a determined intruder can’t bust one of those chain thingies that connect the door to the frame. The peephole should allow for a wide-angle view and have a cover so that an outsider can’t reverse the view with a reverse peephole viewer.
- Do you know what a lock cylinder is? It’s where you stick the key in. Burglars can work these off. A metal guard plate can be installed around the cylinder to prevent removal.
- Look at the door’s hinges. They should not be on the outside unless the door open out. If they are, they can be secured with non-removable hinge pins. For hinges on the inside, secure them with three-four-inch screws.
- Examine the strike plate — the metal plate that’s around the door’s lock-set screwed into the door jamb. The strike plate should be heavy duty metal but the “stock” one you have is insufficient. The door jamb itself is made up of weak ½ inch pine and can easily be kicked in. Beef that puppy up with “door reinforcement” such as the Door Devil Door Reinforcement Kit. Not having reinforcement makes you an easy target.
- What about the door frame? This counts, too. A weak door frame can be pried with a crowbar. The frame should be secured to the wall with several three-inch screws that reach the wall stud.