Keep your home safe by trying out these ways to secure your door from being kicked in.
Every day, about 3,000 burglaries occur in the United States. That equates to one break-in every 30 seconds. Forced entry is used in 55.7% of these burglaries. Burglars seek residences that are easy targets and salivate at the prospect of a weak door that is easy to kick in.
The doors of a house—front, rear, side, garage and patio—are what separate its occupants from the outside world. When a resident locks a door behind them, they want it to remain securely shut. Most burglars will not take the time to precisely pick a deadbolt lock; instead, they will smash the glass and reach in, or simply kick the door in. The truth is that if someone truly wants to get in, they will work extremely hard to do so. How many individuals understand how to prevent a door from being kicked in? Residents of a residence can make it far more difficult for intruders to effectively enter their domain by adding layers of security to the door.
Here are a few ways to make your door tougher to break through.
Replace with a Sturdier Door
Before beginning the process of fortifying the space around the door, a homeowner should inspect the door itself. They will be able to secure the door by adding stronger hardware and other security elements if it is a sturdy, solid-core door in perfect shape with no rot or rust. If, on the other hand, the door is a builder-grade hollow core door or a lightweight decorative door, or the sections where the locks, knobs and hinges join are mushy or rusting, the homeowner should invest in a new, tougher door. Regardless of how sturdy the lock is, the existing one will be far too easy to open.
The strongest doors are often made of solid wood or steel, although there are some very tough fiberglass doors, some with wood cores, that provide a bit more beauty. These doors will present a significant challenge to anyone attempting to break in and will be firmly secured by upgraded locks and hardware. A homeowner should carefully measure the current door and determine whether to buy the door itself or a pre-hung door that is already installed in a frame. Pre-hung doors are less difficult to install, and the homeowner receives a new doorframe for the installation of a deadbolt.
Install Strike Plate Reinforcements
The striking plate is the most critical reinforcement after a good door. It’s also one of the simplest and least expensive enhancements. If the strike plate on your lockset is weak, a single kick could remove the bolt from the doorframe. There are two techniques to strengthen the striking plate.
- Improve the mounting screws.
- Improve on the typical strike plate
The majority of strike plates are mounted with 1″ screws (some even shorter). Indeed, many deadbolts, even high-quality ones, come with short strike plate screws. These should never be used. Instead, use at least 3″ wood screws and as large as the strike holes will allow (typically thread size #8). This inexpensive and simple modification, believe it or not, makes a considerable difference in the strength and sturdiness of your door. Consider upgrading to an elongated deadbolt strike plate if you wish to stiffen the strike plate even more. These plates are often longer and secured with more screws to help diffuse the force of any contact on the door.
Protect Your Door Hinges
If your door swings open, it has hinges that swing open. While most modern homes have doors that swing inward and hence have hinges on the inside, many older homes have doors that swing outward. Many years ago, it was regarded as wise to have an outward swinging door to save on interior space and to make escape simpler in the event of a fire. Pay close attention to this section if you have one of these outward-swinging doors. Having an extremely secure lock on one side of the door is pointless if a robber can just take the door off the hinges on the other.
Instead of brute-forcing the door down, a savvy thief may merely attempt to unscrew the hinges. Suppose you want your door to be safe from intruders. Make sure your hinges are well-protected. The hinge pin is the most vulnerable point. If the hinge pin can be removed, the door can be completely removed. If the door can be removed from the hinges and frame, the lock is rendered ineffective.
Reinforce the Door Frame
Replacing the striking plate and hinge screws can help secure a door to the frame. But what about the actual frame? A normal wood doorframe, particularly one that has been exposed to the weather for years, may not withstand repeated kicking or shoulder strikes for long. Once an experienced burglar discovers the lock and hinge are secure, the frame itself may shatter or break away from the doorjamb more easily than expected. The frame can be replaced with a tougher wood species that is less prone to splitting, or a product designed expressly to reinforce doorframes can be used. Several firms manufacture a metal product developed for doorframe reinforcement that blends into the appearance of the doorframe while protecting it from bending, warping, or splitting under pressure.
Use a Good Deadbolt
A good lock is one of the most crucial pieces of security hardware you will ever possess. However, it can also be the most difficult to purchase. To make things simple, only three aspects of a lock are genuinely important.
- ANSI Grade: You want a lock that is sturdy and will not bend or break under pressure. ANSI lock ratings are a helpful metric to look at when looking for strength and durability. For residential use, ANSI grade 1 or ANSI grade 2 will provide the most protection. Avoid using grade 3 or ungraded deadbolts.
- 1″ Throw Bolt: Ideally, you want a 1 “bolt. The more your lock protrudes into the doorframe, the more force it will require to engage. All ANSI grade 1 deadbolts have a one-inch bolt throw.
- Pick, Bump, and Drill Resistance: While most burglars do not pick locks, you should always be prepared and get a deadbolt that protects against lock picking, lock bumping, and drilling. Near sensitive places, look for locks with anti-bump pins and hardened steel inserts. Avoid anything labeled “pick-proof” because such a thing does not exist, and that brand cannot be trusted to be truthful.
Use a Door Barricade
Renters who are concerned about apartment door security may have fewer options to lock their door, particularly if the landlord refuses to let them replace the deadbolt (or, worse, they might not have a deadbolt at all). A flimsy hollow-core door, which is easier to break down than a sturdier, solid entry door, may also be found in an apartment. Even homeowners with a robust entry door may want additional security if crime in their community has recently increased. One of the greatest door security bars or door barriers can provide that extra layer of protection.
Screw door barricades into the floor near the door. They are flush with the floor and unobtrusively out of the way when not enabled. They protrude from the floor near the entrance when engaged and prevent the door from opening past the barricade. They have a modest profile and are extremely powerful. Door jammers are another type of door barricade that fits snuggly beneath the door handle and braces against the floor with a rubber foot, providing pressure against the door and the floor if the door is forced open. Door jammers have the advantage of being simple to install and uninstall, and they can also be useful when traveling. A security bar is a metal device that spans the entire width of a doorframe. When it is locked at both ends, it makes it nearly impossible to open a door.
These alternatives have the advantage of being quick, simple to install, and secure. They are also removable, making them excellent for renters who don’t have many other options if their landlord refuses to install a reinforced front door.
Add Security & Lighting
Most burglars start by looking for residences with limited visibility from the street. The less visible they are, the easier it is for them to jimmy, pick, and force their way into a residence. Making your home a less appealing target is one of the most significant adjustments you can make to reduce the likelihood of your doors being kicked in. Lights, security cameras, and good street views are all ways to make your home a less appealing target in the first place. Your door cannot be kicked in if it does not appear to be worth kicking.
A would-be thief approaches your door and is met with a flare of light. Because they are suddenly in the spotlight, the intruder may decide not to attempt to break in. Motion-detected lights are inexpensive, simple to install, and typically useful to homeowners. Coming home late and having trouble finding your keys? A little light may be beneficial. Motion-activated lights are beneficial to you and deter crooks.
Wouldn’t you like to see the intruder after you’ve lit it up? Security cameras can help police catch intruders, and they can often stop house invaders before they strike. The higher likelihood of being apprehended after being recorded on camera may cause them to reconsider going after your house. Did you know that the majority of house invasions occur during the day? The majority of burglars prefer to strike when no one is at home. In broad daylight, lights are unlikely to scare someone away. A camera, on the other hand, might. There are plenty of excellent home security systems available. However, an increasing number of people are employing smart doorbells as a camera system. Smart doorbells allow you to set up motion alerts, which will capture video after motion is detected and send you a notification directly to the recorded video on your phone. If you observe someone doing no good, notify the authorities and make sure your home is secure before returning home.
If someone can stand on your porch and feel shielded from view from the road, they’ll feel a lot more comfortable breaking in, including kicking in the door. Anything you can do to eliminate sightlines by trimming bushes, cutting trees, or removing other impediments can deter house invaders from targeting you. As the number one motive for targeting property for a heist, many burglars hunt for concealed spots. If you don’t want someone to try their luck, make them feel exposed when they come to your door.
Get a Guard Dog
This is most likely the most effective (and enjoyable) approach to keeping intruders out of your home. Dogs are natural defenders and will bark at anything out of the ordinary. A burglar will be discouraged from attempting a break-in if they have to deal with a barking dog. If you are not made out for owning a dog, you can utilize a barking dog alarm, which will emit a barking noise whenever the sensor is triggered. However, if you’re up for a dog, we highly recommend it. You will not only have a furry security system but also a faithful companion.
The aforementioned measures will make your door more resistant to kicks and keep your home safe from the ills of the outside world. Before installing extra hardware or security hardware, strengthen and reinforce the four main pieces of your door: the strike plate, lock, hinges, and the door itself. Once these components are in place, start layering in extra reinforcements such as door coverings, night locks, barricades, or security systems. Some solutions are more effective than others, but having numerous layers of security is the most effective approach to repelling criminals. Remember to always lock the door, even when you’re at home!