When you think about ‘door security’, what comes to mind? A solid door, a key that works and it can be easily closed and opened. It’s the entry to your home from the outside world. But door security is so much more important than that. It’s not only what is on the door but also everything around it that makes it secure. Getting the most out of your door security requires research, planning and of course, getting the professionals to install it all for you.
Factors to consider when securing your door
This can either limit or widen your choices when it comes to the types of door locks you can install on your door. So, if you’re planning to upgrade to a new door, take a look at the door compatibility info pack for your chosen door lock. It is important to stick to these recommended dimensions. But, if you are using your existing door, then you need to ensure that the door lock will fit properly and securely on it. So what are the door dimensions that you should look for? the door thickness, height and width.
What is your door made of? It is important to note that certain locks, such as smart locks will only operate on wooden doors. The design of your door also plays a key role in determining where you can install the door hardware. For example, if the design has a trimming or moulding, this limits the locations for the door handle, peep viewer and door knocker.
What other elements on the door design that can influence the positions of door hardware or the security of your door? Glass panels. Although glass panels are aesthetically pleasing, they may not necessarily be secure. It depends on the composition and placement of the panels. If you do opt for one (or two!) then get these double glazed. It improves its strength and becomes less susceptible to breakage. Glass panels shouldn’t be within easy reach of the door lock either. Should the glass break, you don’t want the thief to be able to easily reach through the broken panel to unlock the door.
We’ve touched lightly on this one in the previous section, now let’s go more into detail. The first must have is to invest in a high quality door lock. Most residential homes have either a double cylinder deadbolt or deadlatch. With a deadbolt, the bolt is engaged when a knob or key being turned, rather than by a spring. A deadlatch has a spring-bolt latch where the bolt will self deadlock. It can then be retracted by turning either the doorknob or key.
The second must have item is a door peep viewer. Because it’s always a good idea to see who is outside your home before opening the door. A door peep viewer can also work as a back up to a video doorbell. For example, if your video doorbell runs out of battery or is broken.
Consider a security screen door
A security screen door prevents bugs, pests and debris from entering your home. Plus with the right type of screen or mesh, it’s also an extra layer of security. Again, it is worth doing your research and investing in a high quality security screen door. It should be able to resist from a variety of attacks, such as brute force, knife shearing and tool jimmying. Security screen doors are made of steel or aluminium and include non-removable hinges. Your security screen door should also be able to be locked from the inside with or without a key.
Security around the door
Clear the space around the door. You should have an unobstructed view of the area in front and near the door. Trim trees and bushes that are located near your front door and windows. By having a clear line of sight on your front yard, it eliminates any possible hiding spots for thieves to scope out your home beforehand. Motion-activated lights provide that extra bit of security to the front of your home at night. So have one installed at your front door. It gives you a clear view of what is happening outside. Thieves prefer the cover of darkness, so if the streetlights in your neighbourhood are broken, get these reported immediately.
If you are in an emergency situation, it helps emergency responders to clearly identify your house, so ensure that your house number is clearly visible as well.
Maintaining your door security
Once you have kitted out your door with the best in door hardware and security, it is time to maintain it. Just like your car, it requires regular maintenance to keep it in top shape. But what does this look like?
- If you’re in an area by the ocean, it’s a good idea to regularly wipe down your door lock to avoid the build-up of salt crystallisation;
- Check the door lock isn’t loose, or that it’s too difficult to get the key into the keyhole;
- If there are holes in the security screen, get these fixed asap. Otherwise, if the holes get bigger, it can render the security screen useless against thieves (and flies).
- If the door drags or doesn’t close easily, check the hinges are screwed tightly. This can come loose over time as a result of simple wear and tear.
- Avoid bringing extra dirt into your home by wiping down your security screen and main door.
- Does any area of the door look as if it’s been tampered with? This could be the sign that someone has attempted to break into your home. Consider other options to protect your home, such as outdoor cameras and motion-activated lights.
Remember, if you are not satisfied with your door security, call in the professionals. They will conduct a full review of your door and provide you with suitable alternatives.