It might surprise you to learn that the top way a bad guy prefers to enter your house is through your front door.
When a burglar drives down a street, he’s often looking for a vulnerable door that’s shielded by a wall or gate or big bush. So, for starters, you need to make the front of your house more visible for neighbors and passers-by that might catch a burglar at work on your house. As a result, the burglar might drive right on by.
Here are three more tactics to try to increase your home’s security:
Strengthen your deadbolt
You probably think you’re in good shape because you have a deadbolt with a good solid throw on your front door. But you can be more vulnerable than you think.
What’s the problem? Well, when that door was installed, a carpenter put six little holes and six little screws into the doorjamb to hold the strike plate for your bolt. When a burglar comes along, all he has to do is hit that deadbolt jam area with a heavy mallet and blast out the doorjamb. With a push on the door, he’s inside. So, that’s the weakness in your deadbolted door.
How can you prevent that from happening? Simply remove one of the bottom screws holding the strike plate and use a power drill to run a 2- to 2-½ inch screw into the jam instead. A longer screw will run through the strike plate and right into the skeleton of your house. When the mallet hits the jam, the door will hold fast, and the burglar will be on his way.
Securing your double French doors
Over the past decade or so, more and more homeowners have replaced sliding glass doors that face the back patio with double French doors. They’ve done it in part because the French doors offer more security than those sliders.
But the French doors can be vulnerable, too.
With the French door set-up, you have an active leaf or door with a deadbolt that you use to go in and out most of the time. The other French door is an inactive leaf that generally stays locked most of the time with flush bolts top and bottom. You probably throw open those bolts only two or three times a year to open that inactive door.
But a burglar can use what’s called a dry wall hatchet to easily catch the bolts on the inactive door and unlock them. Then all he has to do is push the doors open.
You can thwart him by putting a Phillips head screw just under the top bolt. He can’t use his hatchet to push down the bolt so the inactive door won’t open and the deadbolt will hold both doors closed.
At that point, he’ll be on his way as quickly as possible and might even flee the neighborhood. You can still take out that long screw now and then when you need to open the inactive door, of course.
Consider adding security doors
A strong security screen door on the front of the house as well as on other doors will also serve as deterrents to keep a burglar from entering your house.
You want to put in a full aluminum door that will never rust. A one-inch throw on the deadbolt for the security door is also a great defense.
You also want to be sure that the hinges and frame of the door are securely fastened or welded in place.
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