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How to make your front door and home more secure

Are you looking to make your front door and home more secure? Then look no further. Carry on reading and learn the many ways that you can increase the security of your door and home.

UPVC and composite doors

Quality of the door

Something that is often overlooked when it comes to door security is the quality of the door. A decent UPVC or composite door will be stronger, have a stronger frame, and will have a better multipoint locking system. Cheaper doors, especially those with panels are easily broken into by kicking in the door or the panels.

British standard 1 and 3 star Euro cylinders

British standard locks have been tested against all of the main burglary techniques so having British standard locks, ensures that you are guarded against the most common forms of attack. Most insurance companies require British standard locks as a minimum so it’s worth also bearing this in mind when choosing your locks. For more information on euro-cylinder security features, check out our guide here.

Snap proof locks

One of the more common break-in techniques that criminals tend to use is lock snapping. It’s a very devastating technique that allows criminals to gain entry to a property very quickly. Having locks that are anti-snap helps to prevent the lock from being snapped, removed and the door mechanism manipulated. There are various levels of security for anti-snap locks but even some of the cheaper ones offer decent security upgrades when compared to the standard locks that most people already have on their doors.

2 star rated door handles

One of the most common break-in techniques involves snapping the handle so having decent handles can really make a difference when it comes to security. 2 star rated handles are thicker and stronger than standard handles and when added to a 1 star cylinder, give a full 3 star security rating.

Cylinder guards

Cylinder guards come in 2 pieces and fit either side of the lock. They are usually fixed together with a couple of screws and when in place, give the lock a lot of additional strength and security and will help prevent lock snapping.  In most cases, they are 2 star rated so if you add them to a 1 star rated cylinder it will give you a full 3 star security rating.

Hinge bolts

Hinge bolts are used to increase the security of outward opening UPVC doors. When the door is shut and the hinge bolts are in place, they stop the door from being forced open and off the hinges.

How well the cylinder is fitted

Something that is often overlooked is the size and fit of the euro cylinder. If too much is protruding out past the handles, it can be easy to break in and gain entry. Having the correct size ensures that it is harder for any would-be criminal to get in.

Restricted keys

if you are worried about the possibility of someone getting a key cut without your knowledge, thus bypassing any door security that you have, then choosing a euro lock that has restricted keys is a must-have feature. These types of locks usually come with a registered card that the owner will use to get new keys cut so you can be assured that only you will be able to get the keys copied.

Sash jammers

Sash jammers are used alongside the other security features that are on UPVC doors. If someone bypasses the lock or other security features, the sash jammer stops the door from being opened by holding the door to the frame. They are available as locking and non-locking versions and they can be relatively cheap to fit, making them a great option for additional security.

Wooden doors

Quality of the door

As above, something that is overlooked when it comes to the security of a wooden door is the quality of the door and frame. Having a decent, solid wooden door and frame is a great start when it comes to the security of your home.

Door chains

Door chains offer additional security for wooden doors. They are especially good for stopping criminals from pushing their way into your house as you open the door. If you decide to get a door chain, make sure that it is either TS003 rated or secured by design accredited which is also known as being police approved.

Spy hole

Spy holes are a great addition to any front door. Being able to look out through the hole before opening the door can help to prevent any surprise blitz attacks which tend to happen as you open your door.

Mortice locks

In my opinion, every wooden front door should have a British standard approved mortice lock fitted. They offer a huge level of additional security when compared to just having a standard rim cylinder and night latch fitted. They come as either a deadlock or sashlock version. The deadlock is just a lock and used alongside a rim cylinder, and the sashlock version has the deadlock part and a latch operated by handles. For external doors, you should only use a British standard, 5 lever lock.

Hinge bolts

As above, hinge bolts can be used to increase the security of outward-opening wooden doors. When the door is shut and the hinge bolts are in place, they stop the door from being forced open and off the hinges.

London bar/Birmingham bar

London and Birmingham bars add a decent amount of additional security to your front door and home. Both bars are made from a strip of metal and go down either side of the frame. The London bar is fitted down the side of the frame that has the lock and it goes over the night latch keep, reinforcing it so that if the door is kicked or rammed, it holds the frame and keep in place. The Birmingham bar is fitted down the hinge side of the frame and helps to prevent the door from being kicked in or the frame from splitting.

Letterbox restrictor

Letterbox restrictors are a great additional door security feature. They stop people from putting things through the letterbox hole and manipulating the lock or handles. This is especially important if your door has keyless egress (your lock can be operated without a key, like a thumb turn lock)

British standard night latch

Changing a standard lock and night latch to a British standard night latch will increase the security of your door tenfold. They offer an auto deadlocking feature when the door shuts, which can prevent various break-in techniques and they also have the option to further deadlock the latch from the inside with a key. There is also a version that does not have the internal locking feature which can be used when there are multiple people living at a property and keyless egress is important. Both versions are approved to BS3621:2007, are secured by design, and are insurance company approved.

Summary

I hope this has helped you to better understand the various options for front door security. If you live in Essex and need further advice or would like any of these security options installed on your front door, get in touch as from my base in Chelmsford, I service the whole of Essex and will be happy to help you. If you’re looking for a free quote from our team of Chelmsford locksmiths, call us at 073762 49965.