How To Burglar-Proof Your Doors

Preventing a home invasion begins with secure doors, as 34 percent of intruders enter through the front door and 22 percent enter through the side or back door, according to the Burglary Prevention Council. Here are a few tips to burglar-proof your doors and keep your family and possessions safe from potential intruders.

Get the right doors:
Are your exterior doors made of metal or solid wood? Are all doorframes strong and tight enough to prevent forcing or spreading? Hollow doors are easily kicked in, so make sure all exterior doors are of solid core construction or metal clad. If an unstable doorframe needs replacing, consider installing a fiberglass door that swings outward to absorb any type of forced entry. If locked, a screen door or storm door can offer additional protection.

If you have glass windows on or next to your doors, consider installing a double cylinder deadbolt, which requires a key to open the window from the inside and outside.  

Lock up:
Unlocked doors make your home an easy target for potential burglars, so get into the habit of locking up when you leave and return home.  

Upgrading locks can also help deter burglars:
All exterior doors should have a high-quality deadbolt with a one-inch throw and reinforced strike plate with three-inch screws in addition to the lock built into the doorknob. A dead-lock is one option that does not have an external key and cannot be broken into without destroying the door, frame or lock itself.

Install peepholes:
If you have to open your door to see who is on the other side, locks won’t do much good. Install wide-angle 160° peepholes no higher than 58 inches on all exterior doors. Try to find peepholes with covers to prevent potential intruders from looking in with special tools.

Install additional lighting:
Installing additional lighting near exterior entryways can help deter burglars, as landscape lights will leave no dark or shadowy places for potential intruders to hide while trying to invade your home. In addition, if you regularly come home from work after dark, consider installing motion-sensing lights that will detect any movement around your home and safely guide the way inside.

Can your front door be observed from the street? Are exterior doors and windows free from concealing structures or landscaping? Trim overgrown bushes or shrubs that block the view of your front door so you home’s address is visible for police and passersby. Also remove any concealing structures near windows and doors so you have a clear view of your yard and any strangers lurking nearby.  

Rethink spare keys:
Never hide a spare key near the entrances of your home - especially under a welcome mat or nearby rock where an intruder will undoubtedly look. If necessary, keep a key with a trusted neighbor in case you are ever locked out.

Install a security system:
The best way to burglar-proof your doors and protect treasured valuables within your home is to install a security system. The simple sight of a home security sticker on your front door is often enough to deter potential burglars.

Marie Bumbalough is a home improvement content wrangler for topics that range from home security to heating and cooling.


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  2. Great ideas! Thank you for sharing. Security is an important aspects for homes and property. For an added level of security, I love to consider doorbell camera and smart door lock.