Door Security

Security starts with a sturdy door

Doors are not just your entryway into your home; they are also the method of entry in two-thirds of all illegal intrusions. Therefore, door security should be one of your biggest priorities for protecting your home.

The two most important elements for keeping your door secure is a heavy, sturdy material (so that the door can't just be kicked down or otherwise negated) and superior locks (that can't be picked or bypassed).

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Door Locks

All exterior doors should have high-quality door locks. Some people concentrate only on the front door, but most intruders have no qualms about walking to another side of the house, so back, side, and even patio doors are susceptible to break-ins too. Make sure that all doors opening into the house have door locksets.

Mortise locksets are door latches or handles and deadbolts together, but they have to be set into a cutout in the door, making them more expensive and harder to change. Cylinder locks can be easily replaced and allow homeowners to select an individually keyed system (in which each lock has its own key) or a keyed-alike system (in which two or more locks, such as those for the front and back doors, operate with the same key). Sliding doors should have both a lock and a keeper bar.

Studies have shown that burglars will most often pick a door that has no deadbolts, so installing a deadbolt on every door could deter a break-in. However, in case the mere presence of a deadbolt isn't enough, you should pick one that won't break if force is applied to it. Do some research and select a strong, high-quality model; it will likely be worth the extra cost.

Of course, the lock least likely to be picked is the lock with no key. Keyless door locks use a number pad installed above the door handle, an electronic card reader or even biometric fingerprint readers to control access to your home. Because there is no keyhole, these electronic door locks can't be picked. However, there are ways to disable them, so caution is still required.

Security Doors

Common exterior doors, especially those that have become popular with newer construction, are typically made from flimsy materials or have door frames that can't withstand much force. Security doors, on the other hand, are usually two inches thick or more and can withstand up to 200 pounds of targeted force. These doors also tend to come within their own steel frames and may even have subframes to ensure maximum security.

Some security doors also come with new lock technology that you can't find with regular exterior doors, such as multiple-pin locking mechanisms and security bolts. These types of doors are more expensive than standard exterior doors and even some less advanced security doors, but they can make the difference between whether an intruder gets in or doesn't.