Approximately 70% of all home invasions occur through an entry door of a home such as the back door, garage entry doors, or front door, as opposed to a window. In fact, at least one-third of all perpetrators of home invasions simply go through the front door when they’re breaking in. To us law-abiding citizens, it might seem counter-intuitive to break into a home through a door rather than a window, since doors are made of solid material and even a child can break a window unassisted. However, knowing these statistics gives us the opportunity to learn how to protect our homes better.
Five Tips for Protecting Your Entry Doors From Break-ins
- Replace your old or hollow doors with solid ones.
Many front doors look solid, but are actually made of thin pieces of wood glued together and have a hollow interior. These types of doors are fairly easy to kick in. Put your ear against your door and lightly tap on it. If you hear an echo that indicates it has a hollow interior, it’s worth the money to upgrade it to a fiberglass, solid wood, or metal door. If you opt for a metal door, ask the supplier about interior reinforcement, to ensure that a bad guy can’t bend it with a crow bar.
As an added perk, investing in a nice front door adds value to your home. According to the “2015 Remodeling Impact Report”, installing steel entry doors adds about 75% of the cost to your homes value, and sturdy fiberglass entry doors adds about 82.3% of the cost to the home’s value.
- Choose a door without windows.
Most of the home invasion you see in the movies typically occur the same way. The perpetrator smashes the door window, reaches through it, and unlocks it. By having the window in your door, you are giving yourself the vulnerability that both windows and doors have in one.
We know. Having a glass front door adds to the aesthetics of the house and contributes sunlight to the interior. If you really prefer a glass door, at least invest in unbreakable glass, or consider a steel screen door as a extra layer of protection.
- Keep the front area clear of large bushes or obstructions.
One tactic that the bad guys sometimes use to get into a home is to hide in the bushes and watch for the inhabitants to leave. Moments after they’re gone, the perp goes in the same way the owner just left. Keeping your entryways free of obstructions is one way to make it hard for a burglar to post a steak out of your home.
- Treat yourself to a high-quality deadbolt.
Your door’s security is only strong as the lock that holds it. The deadbolt on your entry door is a relatively small expense compared to all of the valuables inside your home. Spending a little extra on a break-in proof deadbolt lock is a great way to add insurance on your home’s safety.
The standard screws that come with the strike plate on the door frame that the deadbolt locks into are 3/4 inch long. If you replace those screws with longer ones — preferably three or four inches long — it is nearly impossible for a perpetrator to kick the door in and break the screws from the holes. Take it a step further, and screw them in at a slight angle to make your deadbolt even more secure.
- Install an extra internal lock.
While you want to protect your possessions from break-ins when you’re not home, absolutely nothing is as important as the safety of the people in your home. Installing a deadbolt on the inside of your door that can only be locked and unlocked from the inside makes your doors nearly impossible to penetrate, and ensures that you and your loved ones are safe from invasion when you’re home.
Do you have any other tips to add to our list of ways to protect your doors from break-ins? We would love to hear your input! Please contribute it in the comment section below or contact us.