Safety is a top priority to all of us. Whether you are shopping for a car or a stroller or a microwave, safety is always on our minds and rightfully so.
With all the attention that we pay to safety, are you sure that single thing that protects your home from the outside world and potential intruders is keeping you and your family safe and secure?
You want you to sleep well at night knowing that you are well protected so here are a few things to look for and to ask yourself to know if your doors are safe or if you may need to consider upgrading.
1. Do your doors have any light or air coming in?
While this may seem like it would be more toward energy efficiency (important there too), if there are any visable gaps, that is easier access for a potential thief to try and pry their way in. Even a small gap near hardware could give the crooks an advantage that you do not want them to have. You can move your strikeplates (on the frame where the latches from the handle and deadbolt catch) back toward the frame more so that the door closes tighter and does not allow anything to be slipped in between the frame and the door.
2. Do your doors swing in?
While it is not accurate to say that if you have a door that swings in, it is "unsafe" - it is correct that most doors that are broken into are "kicked in". 83% of burglaries in the last 5 years have occured when the thief has gained access through a door, the majority of which by kicking the door in. If the door swings out, it can't be kicked in because it can't go through the thick part of the door jamb and threshold. When an inswing door is kicked in, the door typically does not fail, but the deadbolt breaks through the door frame. You can also make sure that your door hardware is up to date and adding a door lock guard near the handle and deadbolt are also steps to improve. However, the best way is to install a door with a multi point locking system (www.heckardsdoor.com) to where the door has a steel rod that goes through the top and bottom along with the deadbolt in the center.
3. Do you have sliding glass doors? Sliding glass doors are a prime target for crooks. They are easily popped out of the track from the outside with many common tools. Less work than kicking in a swinging door, the bad guys can gain access to many sliding glass doors in just seconds and barely make a sound. Scary huh?
"We woke up in the middle of the night to find 2 guys standing in our living room," said Marcia Weik of Gainesville, Fl. "They popped our sliding glass doors right out and were in in like it was nothing. We called Heckard's Door first thing the next day and had French Doors put in and we know that we are much more secure."
Even if the doors are not easily popped out, the hardware and locking mechanisms of sliding glass doors are not nearly as strong as swinging door locks and hardware, nor are the frames.
The best solution for improving the safety of this area is to simply get rid of the sliding glass doors and replace with french doors or swinging doors. This not only improves the safety a great deal, but also has positive impact of the function, feel, look and energy efficiency of the home.