The starting point of any home security effort is to make sure that burglars can't get through the front door. Often, if the front door is impenetrable, the thief will move on to the next available, and less secure, house. Here is how to make sure your front door stops any break-in attempts.
A Quality Lock is the First Step
Ask a local locksmith to show you their ANSI Grade 1 hardened steel deadbolts. These locks resist being shattered by a hammer and the bolt cut through. Deadbolts made by casting are much easier to damage than hardened steel components.
Two types of deadbolts are available for your home:
- Standard horizontal locking - This deadbolt lock pushes a steel bolt through the door into a space cut out of the door frame. When the bolt is in place, the door can't be opened. If the burglar can pry the door away from the frame enough, they may be able to get a hacksaw in to try to cut the bolt.
- Vertical locking - This deadbolt operates in a way that prevents access to the bolt. The lock comes in two pieces. The first attaches to the door and contains the steel bolt. The second attaches to the frame and consists of a number of steel rings or channels. When the door is shut and the lock enabled, the bolt slides up into the rings or channels. The bolt is completely enclosed by the second steel component so it can't be accessed to be cut through.
Make Your Door Frame More Secure
With a deadbolt that slides into the door frame, a forceful kick or blow to the door with a sledge hammer could push the bolt through a weak door frame. Your locksmith can also show you special strike plates to prevent this. The strike plate is the rectangular piece of metal with a hole in it through which the bolt passes. The plate attaches to the edge of the door frame. Reinforced strike plates use a metal compartment where the hole normally is. The bolt from the lock slips into the steel box so it can't be pushed through the frame. Using extra-long wood screws to attach the strike plate to the frame also prevents it from being pried away from the door frame.
Fortify the Door
A burglar frustrated by your deadbolt may try to break through the door. Kicking or hitting the door panels could cause them to crack. Door reinforcing kits are available to decrease the chances that someone can get into your home that way. These kits come with steel sheets to place over the door panels and metal strips to attach to the edges of the door.
An alternative to these kits is to replace the door with a solid hardwood door, such as oak or maple. These doors will take a lot of abuse without breaking. Combined with a hardened deadbolt and reinforced door frame, your front door becomes quite a deterrent to any home break-in.
For professional locksmith services, contact a company such as Fradon Lock Co Inc.