How to secure external doors
Making sure that your external door is secure should be a priority in any home. Not only does it ensure that your family, and possessions, are as safe as possible, it gives you a sense of security in your own private space.
Here, we have plenty of tips to make sure your external doors are as secure as possible.
Consider a new set of locks
There are a number of reasons why changing the locks on your door can be prudent. If you’ve just moved into a new property, you have no way of knowing who has keys that can access your home. While the previous owners, or tenants, may leave their own copy, there can still be family and friends of theirs with keys. Depending on how long it’s been since the locks were last changed, there could be many copies of your key floating around!
You may also want to consider a new set of locks if you are living in a shared property where someone has recently moved in for an additional sense of security.
When to rekey your locks
If you’re happy with the security of your locks, but want to make sure old keys can’t work, consider rekeying your locks. You can actually buy a rekeying kit from your local hardware shop or online. Many homeowners will already have the tools they need to then rekey their locks but, if DIY isn’t your forte, it may be worth calling a qualified locksmith. It is a relatively inexpensive job and doesn’t take too long. If you buy your own rekeying kit, make sure it matches the brand of the door handle and lock you currently have.
Rekeying doesn’t change the entire lock system, it simply changes the key pins inside the lock. A rekeying kit will often come with multiple keys so you can change multiple locks to all use the same key.
When to choose a new set of locks
If your door is much older and has a very simple lock system that can be easily picked, it might be time to look at a brand new set of locks. While this is a more expensive option, it also gives you the opportunity to change the design of your hardware.
Choosing a new set of locks allows you to upgrade to a multi-point lock system that bolts the door in the frame and locks at multiple points with one turn of the key. This gives a high level of security compared to single-point systems which only need to fail at one point. You could even look at high-tech options such as fingerprint and electronic locks.
Look at replacing glazer in older doors
Glazed external doors have remained a popular choice for their cheery appearance and variety of designs. It helps let in natural daylight to your hallway, which often doesn’t have any windows and creates a sense of space. Glazing can look just as wonderful on cottage style doors as it does contemporary doors.
With older doors, glazing can be a huge safety concern though. You can call a professional to replace the glazing in your door and choose a toughened glass that is incredibly difficult to break. The additional benefit is, this will also offer better insulation for your home in colder months.
Replace your door hinge screws
One important thing to note is that no matter how good your locks are if your door can simply be kicked off its hinges. You’ll find many older doors simply haven’t been installed with durable screws. Some are even as short as ¾ inches.
You can easily replace the screws on your hinges and should choose a hinge that is at least 3 inches. This will make sure the door is securely attached to the frame of the door, offering an extra level of security. Of course, this does rely on your door itself being made of a solid material.
Install a peep-hole or security camera outside your external doors
While this won’t make the door itself more secure, it does offer many safety benefits. A simple peephole can be easily fitted and will allow you to check who is outside your door at any time. If you don’t recognise the person or aren’t expecting visitors or deliveries, you can keep the barrier of your door between you.
Security cameras are especially useful, although more expensive, and can be placed outside your front and back external door. This is not only a visual deterrent but most security cameras keep at least 24 hours of footage stored. If someone does attempt to enter your home, you’ll have visual imagery you can pass on to the relevant authorities.
Add a deadbolt or chain to your external door
A deadbolt or simple chain is a simple addition to your door but is a very effective safety feature. A deadbolt or chain cannot be opened from the inside so even if someone was able to pick a lock, they still couldn’t open the door.
They are not as useful when you’re not in your home though, as once you close the door behind you, you can’t use the deadlock or chain. They shouldn’t be relied on as your only safety feature, but are a great addition to other safety features.
It might be time to replace your front door altogether
If you find you need to consider updating your locks, changing your glazing and replacing the hinges… It may be time to consider a brand new external door altogether.
This is especially true if the material of your door is easy to compromise as no matter how many safety features you add, you need a solid core. Materials like uPVC can often be opened with a simple hard kick to the front. If you live in a period property with an older wooden door that hasn’t been properly maintained, there may be problems like wood rot that compromise the door’s integrity.
At Doors and More, we have a huge range of external doors with a wide range of designs and materials. This means you can easily find an external door with the security you need and in a design you love. All of our external doors have 44mm thickness for extra security and come without hardware so you can choose an appropriate lock.