If you have had a break-in to your home in the past you will know how upsetting and distressing it is. Burglars will look for the easiest way to access your property. Research has shown that in order of preference the most common way to break into a property is through the front door (34%). After that is through an open window (23%), or through the back door(22%). Other places are through a garage, a basement, or a window higher up in the property. The good news is that you can try and mitigate the risks. Let’s consider the front door which is the biggest risk.
How to secure your front door?
The weaknesses in a front door are the material it is made of, the locks that you have on it, the door frame, and any windows or panels for viewing.
Front door material
Doors are commonly made from wood, uPVC, or composite materials. A sturdy, thick wooden door of oak or mahogany is a very robust and strong material that will deter burglars from kicking it in or shouldering it. Composite doors are made up of different components materials but they usually have a very strong internal frame that is very secure and an outer skin of uPVC, laminate, or fiberglass which adds strength to the door. Quality Upvc doors are also very strong and can help prevent kick-ins due to the strength of the material.
Cheap and poor-quality locks are not secure. Insurance companies will be looking for a five-lever mortice as standard security on wooden doors. You can also add more locks onto a wooden door which can provide extra reassurance such as a double-locking night latch.
In the past Upvc doors suffered from having a low-quality cylinder lock which was easily “snapped” in seconds by burglars. These devices are commonly seen on patio doors too and provide an easy entry for burglars. Most new Upvc doors will have a multi-point lock has an anti-snap euro cylinder in place. This is very secure and if your front door doesn’t have this, get in touch with a locksmith to change it as soon as possible. Composite doors are usually secured with a multipoint locking system and anti-snap euro cylinder. uPVC doors and composite doors don’t allow any additional security locks, unlike wooden doors.
And remember to get an experienced locksmith to install your locks – don’t DIY it!
These do create a weakness in the door and if they are of clear glass provide a great way for a burglar to see what’s inside your home. But if you do have them, it is important to make sure that the glass is strengthened laminated glass which is shatterproof.
Hinges, door frame
As suggested by the Police, it is a good idea to reinforce the door frame and check if the locks and hinges are British Standard approved. A good locksmith can do this for you.
An easy way in for a burglar to fish for keys left next to the door. So make sure that the letterbox has a guard to prevent this.
Key Fit Locksmiths can provide a security review of your front door and provide recommendations. Why not do this now before you are another crime statistic?