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Upgrade Your Home Security by Starting at the Front Door

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Burglars still prefer to break into a home by trying the front door first. Poorly constructed doors and locks allow the thief to break, pry, and saw their way into your home. Here is how to make sure your front door is the first barrier to a home break-in.

Your Security is Only as Good as Your Door

The best lock made is of little use if your door is cheap and easy to break through. Hollow core doors made of soft wood can easily be cracked or kicked through. They are easy prey to a sledge hammer or heavy boot. Reinforcement kits are available that add steel plates to the door and metal strips to the edges. This makes the door more resistant to brute force efforts to open it.

Even better is replacing the door with a solid wood one. Oak and maple doors are heavy and can take blow after blow until the thief is tired or afraid of being seen or heard.

The Deadbolt is the Next Defense

If a door can be pried away from the frame enough to get a saw blade in, a thief may attempt to cut through the bolt on a deadbolt lock. Have your locksmith show you their ANSI (American National Standards Institute) Grade 1 deadbolts. These have hardened steel bolts which are nearly impossible to cut through.

An alternative to the standard deadbolt design is the vertical deadbolt. This one prevents access to the bolt at all. The bolt travels up into a second piece of the lock instead of into the door frame. No matter how much the door is pried away from the frame, the burglar won't be able to see the bolt.

Prevent Prying Attempts

The burglar may try to force the door open by prying it away from the frame and pushing hard enough on the door to break the deadbolt through the frame. This will be successful if the bolt doesn't go far enough into the frame or the frame is light wood and the strike plate is weak.

When installing a new deadbolt, get one with an extra long bolt. Also have the locksmith show you improved strike plates with a metal box for the bolt. With this strike plate, the bolt slips into a small steel box instead of the door frame. The bolt can't be pushed out through the box. Use extra long wood screws to secure the strike plate to the frame to reduce prying attempts.

For more help and options, contact an establishment like the ND Security Company.