According to some surveys up to 74% of burglars enter homes through the front door. This startling statistic underlines the need to ensure that your front door security is up to scratch. We’ve spoken to Steve at Locksmith Coventry who’s given us 8 great tips on how to keep your property protected by making certain that you’ve thought about every aspect of making your front door secure.
1. Start with the doors
Whatever other security measures you decide to take to make your home safer they will make little difference if the door itself is flimsy. A poor quality door is much easier to ‘kick in’ and gain entry that way. The most secure type of front door is a solid door, rather than a door with a hollow core. Glazed panels also compromise security. If you must have glass in the door either ensure that the glass is toughened or fit metal security grills behind it.
2. Check the hinges
Once you’re happy that your door is strong enough move on to looking at the hinges. You want to make sure that they are securely fixed to the frame. You could also think about fitting solid steel bars to reinforce the frame. Birmingham bars are used on the hinge side of the door to reinforce against kicking in, while London bars can be fitted on the lock side to strengthen the frame. These help to prevent forcing of the door.
3. Now look at the locks
The lock on wooden front doors for the best security should be a five lever mortice deadlock that conform to British Standard 3621. The easiest way to check whether the lock on your door conforms to these standards is to look at the faceplate of the lock which should have both a kitemark and the standard number engraved on it. If you’re still not sure you could ask a local locksmith to check for you.
On UPVC and modern composite doors Euro Cylinder type locks tend to be used, with or without multi point locking (multi point being best). Again for the best security anti snap SS312 Diamond Approved or TS 007 3 star kitemark locks are best.
The advantages of these type of locks is that they have been tested and resist well against some common burglary techniques including lock picking, snapping and drilling.
4. Light up your doorway
Burglars like the dark, so ensuring the area around your front door is well lit is an effective way to deter them. You can opt for an external porch light, which you switch on indoors, or for even more security invest in a security light with a motion sensor.
5. Fit a security chain
A security chain will slow you to check the ID of anyone who asks to come into your home before they gain entry. If you have any doubts about the identity of the caller, ask them to wait while you check with whichever organisation they claim to be representing. A genuine caller won’t mind you checking. Always close and lock the door while you’re away from it.
6. Install a spyhole
If you can, then consider having a spyhole fitted to the door. Combined with external lighting this will allow you to check who is at the door before you answer it. If you’re not sure, don’t answer the door.
7. Consider a smart doorbell
Smart doorbells with built-in cameras also let you see who’s at the door before you answer it. However, they also have a range of other advantages. Cameras will record anyone who rings the doorbell and the footage can be viewed remotely. So even if you’re not at home you can see who’s calling. They also allow you to communicate with whoever is at the door, wherever you are. Importantly the presence of a smart doorbell may act as enough of a deterrent to put burglars off targeting your home.
8. Show you’re protected
Whether you’re part of a Neighbourhood Watch scheme or your valuables are marked with Smartwater, let callers know. Displaying stickers on your door that inform callers of the steps you have taken to protect your property tells them that you take your security seriously.