Even though crime rates have dropped dramatically in countries around the world, burglary and break-ins are still an unfortunate reality, especially if you live in the city. The implications of burglary, financial and emotional, can be dire; heavy costs associated with replacing valuables and re-securing your home, as well as a fear of being in your own home, being just a few.
The majority of break-ins occur at night and the favoured entry route into the home is quite surprising; rather than entering through more fragile windows, a majority of burglars prefer using the front door which can be just as easy as breaking a window, with the added benefit of being quieter, if a door isn't properly secured.
This means that securing your front door, especially if you live in a house facing a major public right of way or road is essential. Thankfully, there are a few easy steps you can take towards securing your front door.
The first step is to determine what material your door is made of. If your door is made of wood and is hollow then you will need to upgrade as these kinds of door are very easy to break down with a minimal effort. Wooden doors that are secured through the middle with metal or a similarly strong material should be fine, while uPVC doors offer much more resilience than a hollow door while remaining relatively cost effective.
Having a window in your front door offers a number of benefits; it looks attractive and also allows you to look out and determine who's calling when someone knocks on your door. However, these windows are often close to the interior door handle, making them easy for burglars to smash and thus open the door from the inside.
There are two security options if you have a window in your front door; put mesh in the window or replace the window with a subtle spyhole. The first, while effective, makes for a very unattractive option so it's better to opt for a spyhole which offers the benefits of a window without affecting the aesthetics of your home.
It's also important to consider the kind of locks you have on your door. Generally, spring locks (which are quite common) are considered weak so consider replacing them with deadlocks, which are much harder to break. Consider other security options too, such as a door chain or, if you live in a crime hotspot, a second lock for your door.
Finally, check the hinges and frame of your door as these are two of the most commonly exploited security flaws. The hinges of your door should be tight to the frame - a door on loose hinges can easily be kicked off the frame - so if they feel a bit loose, tighten the screws. Consider attaching more screws to the hinges if you feel they aren't secure enough. If your door frame has seen better days, make sure that you upgrade and strengthen it; metal plates can add an extra layer of security if needs be.
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