Do you live alone? How many people know or can see that you live alone? Wha is the neighborhood like where you live? For you and your family learning how to secure home doors could be what keeps an unwanted visitor out.
You may think where you live is perfectly safe. In reality, nowhere is 100% safe. There is always a chance your home could be a target for a break in.
There are different ways to break into a home
Bypassing lock – This is by far the easiest way to get in through an exterior door that does not have good locks. It is as simple as taking a credit card and sliding it between the door and door frame. This will push in the latch. Now the door can be opened. It takes about 3 seconds to do this
Brute Force – Someone who wants to gain entry into your home can just kick your door. They can also use their shoulder to pound on the door. If they can produce enough force, it will open. The door frame will give and the latch will tear the frame. The door will open.
The weak points are the hinges and the latch. The hinges may tear from the frame too.
The other thing that could happen? A hole will end up in the door. Then an arm can reach in and unlock it from the inside. The hole may be big enough for a person to get through too.
Cutting – Although this uncommon, it does happen. Use of a hacksaw or saws all is all that is needed. The saw is placed between the door frame and the door. The throw (the thing that pops out of the door into the hole in the frame) is cut. Now the door will open.
This method is rare. It takes longer and makes a lot of noise. Whoever is doing it will probably be noticed.
Picking the lock – All locks can be picked with enough knowledge and patience. People think this is the way most criminals would get into your home. This is not true. This is another of the least popular ways to break in. People may think this from TV shows. There is always someone picking a lock.
The scary thing about someone gaining access to your home with this method? You probably won’t know they did it until discovering that a robbery has taken place. Even scarier is that they may still be in the house and you wouldn’t know since there would be no sign of a forced entry.
Bumping – I never knew this was could be done. All the locks you get with doors and other things are standard. Bumping is taking a standard key and cutting all the key grooves as deep as you can. This will open all of those locks that have standard pin tumblers.
Drilling – This is just what it says. The person trying to gain access to your home illegally will drill the lock. They have to know that they are doing and where to drill.
This is very uncommon. Not many people would even know where to drill to get through the locked door.
This would be really noisy too. They would have to be carrying or have access to a drill and drill bit that is made for getting through whatever material the door and lock is made of.
Steps you can take to secure home doors
Replace screws with longer ones – If you have ever taken the screws out of the hinges of a door it’s obvious they are not very long. It would not take that much force to rip them off the hinges.
The screws that hold the strike plate in the door frame have the same problem. They are short. Again, it wouldn’t be hard to get them to rip out of the frame.
You should replace these screws with longer ones. 3 inches screws are a good size. They go deeper into the wood and door. This gives them a
whole lot more strength and will make it much harder to rip out of the frame.
This is the least costly thing you can do and one of the best things to do.
Use hardware covers – Where ever there are holes drilled is a natural weak point. Removing material from a solid object naturally makes it weaker at that point.
By using hardware covers, you can add back some strength to these spots. They will also cover up the screws and make your door look nicer. You could get brass, nickel or some other cover that looks nice.
The quality of door – How well your door is made and what it is made out of are 2 big factors. What you don’t want is a hollow door being used as an exterior door. A hollow door is pretty weak. Just having a child hang on it could rip the screws out of the hinges.
You shouldn’t us a composite door either on the exterior of your house.
What you want for an exterior door is a solid one. Ideally one made out of solid wood or one that has a metal core. These types of doors make it nearly impossible to kick a hole in.
Tthe strength of the solid wood or metal core door combined with better locks and longer screws will make it so much harder for this entry point to be breached.
Use better locks – Change out the locks that came with the door. Be sure and use a trusted brand. You don’t replace what you had with something that’s just as bad.
Install a deadbolt – This provides a lot more locking power. You have a solid piece of metal going into the door frame and strike plate. Use a deadbolt that is made of a strong metal and is solid. You don’t want a hollow deadbolt as it will bend and probably break if someone is using force to try and get in.
Make sure the deadbolt is resistant to cutting and it is graded as number 1 or 2.
Install a better strike plate – As with the lock, a stronger strike plate will make your lock even more sturdy. The longer the strike plate the better. If you have one that is long, it will absorb the and distribute the energy across the whole plate. This makes it stronger to resist entry by force.
Get one that is made out of a strong metal so it won’t bend.
Using those longer screws makes it even stronger.
Don’t use glass for an outside door – Glass is easy to break (unless you put protective window film on it). Once broken an arm can get inside to unlock the door.
Try and have your door visible – Try and let the door be visible to your neighbors and the public. Don’t obstruct the view with landscaping. Criminals don’t want to be seen being criminals.
Connect the door to the alarm system – If you have an alarm system, be sure to connect the exterior doors to it. Someone that is going to break in will most likely look for a home without an alarm system.
How are you doing with securing home doors?
Have you taken a look at your exterior doors and evaluated them?
You should consider “beefing them up” with the suggestions above. Your home will be that much safer and that much harder for a robber to gain entry through here.