5 Ways to Make Your Front Door More Secure

No matter how solid your door, it’s ultimately only as strong as its heavy metal. Here are a few hardware upgrades to consider if you want to beef up your home’s security.

1. Add a heavy-duty dead bolt. A dead bolt is a low-cost, high-value addition to your security system. Varieties include double-cylinder dead bolts, which are keyed on both sides, and single-cylinder dead bolts, keyed on one side. Whichever type you choose, make sure it has a grade 1 security rating, and follow the next suggestion below to connect it securely and solidly to the frame.

2. Add a strike box. A strike box toughens up your entry and deters intruders by replacing existing strike plates with a structure that includes a metal pocket, over-sized plates, and a solid connection into the wall stud behind the doorjamb with 3-inch screws. To accommodate this addition, you’ll need to enlarge both the hole in the jamb and the cover plate recess.

3. Add a reinforcer plate. Three-sided metal reinforcement plates add an extra layer of security by encasing a door around its handset or dead bolt. To select the correct size for your door, measure its thickness, the handset or dead bolt hole diameter, and the distance between its edge and the center of the handset or dead bolt (known as the setback). A reinforcement plate will typically extend the door’s edge a bit, so you may need to deepen the hinge mortises on the other side of the door to prevent catching and sticking.

5 Ways to Make Your Front Door More Secure© Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Thinkstock

4. Re-key the lock. If you’re not the first to live in your present abode, re-keying the entry locks is yet another way to enhance its security. Re-keying kits matching most lock brands can be found at hardware stores and home-improvement centers and work on both entrance and dead-bolt locks. They also allow up to six locks to be re-keyed for the same key.

5. Install a wide-angle peephole. You’ll be able to do a larger scale screening of unexpected visitors with a wide-angle peephole viewer. This easy-to-install safety accessory is designed to fit any door up to 2 inches thick.