A good home burglar wants to get in and out of your home quickly. They will often just try the front door. In some cases, the door and lock are easy to get through because of poor construction or they have been installed improperly. Here is how you can make sure your front door and lock combination deter those thieves so they'll leave your house alone.
The Door Construction is Your First Defense
An impenetrable door will cause a thief to walk away. They don't want to take the time or make noise which might draw attention to their activities. A solid wooden door should be your first choice. These doors are resistant to being cut or kicked open. They are hard to pry away from the door frame enough to get through the lock.
Look at hollow metal doors as an alternative to wood. These doors provide comparable protection to a wooden door and have a long life. They resist fire and cracking, and can be repaired easily in your home. Hollow metal doors come in a variety of finishes and can look like a wooden door, too.
Deadbolts That Defy Break-In
Like the door construction, the way a lock is made determines its durability. Deadbolts made by the casting process can be shattered by a hammer or pry bar. These are the least expensive locks available. A better defense is an ANSI Grade 1 lock with hardened steel bolt. These locks cannot be broken and the bolt is nearly impossible to cut through with a saw.
For the best protection, make sure the bolt slips into the door frame at least one inch. This prevents a thief from prying the door away from the frame enough to push the bolt past the frame. If you live in an older home where the house has settled and there is a space between the door and frame, have your locksmith order a deadbolt with an extra long bolt for added security.
Installation of the Door and Lock Combination is Important
You're not getting the most protection from your door and lock if they aren't installed properly.
- Put spacers on the door hinges to move the door closer to the frame and reduce the amount of space a thief has to place a pry bar between the door and frame.
- Use a reinforced strike plate on the door frame. This plate has a metal box where the hole is for the steel bolt to slip into. Thus prevents any attempt at pushing the bolt through a weak door frame.
- Use extra long wood screws on all components to prevent them from being pried out of the door or frame.
Next time you upgrade the doors in your home, keep these tips in mind.