Improving your front door security takes only a few steps, but it does a lot to keep your home and family safe. Whether it’s to keep wandering pets and kids inside or unwanted visitors out, learn how to secure your front door to make it your first line of home defense.
An average of $2,416 is lost in every burglary, and residential properties account for 67.2% of burglary offenses.1 In 2017 alone, there were 2,538,170 reported household burglaries.2 With gadgets like automated locks, door jammers, and doorbell cameras, it’s easier than ever to secure your front door from the inside.
Here are a few of our suggestions for better front door security:
When it comes to front door security, sometimes the simplest option is the best. You don’t need to be a licensed contractor to know how to secure your front door. In just a few minutes, you can install a security bar or replace the screws going into your doorframe. These quick fixes don’t take much know-how, and they reinforce your current front door from the inside.
If you take a look at your door frame, you might notice a small metal plate screwed into the side. This metal piece holds the locks or latches on your door in place to keep it closed. Chances are the screws that hold this plate in place are far too short to withstand forced entry. By swapping these screws for three-inch stainless steel screws, you can reinforce your front door for a few dollars.3
The best security bars and door jammers are affordable and sturdy. You’ll need to be inside to set up most of these devices, so you can’t use them when you leave the house. But they can add an extra line of defense for anyone who lives alone or needs protection from invaders at night.
Add New Locks
If your door is already sturdy and in good shape, you don’t need to replace the whole thing. New locks and deadbolts are an easy way to secure your front door and boost front door security. There are also a variety of standard locks and electronic locks to choose from.
While smart locks like the August Smart Lock cost more, you can lock and unlock your house remotely. So it’s no problem if you head to work without locking your front door first. These are also a good solution if you’re prone to losing your keys or accidentally locking yourself out. If you’re renting and can make only minimal adjustments, check out locks that can help boost apartment security.
Replace Your Front Door
Your door may be properly installed, but the right material can withstand invasion and years of severe weather. Some of the best security doors are made of solid core wood or metal.
There’s a lot of beauty and craftsmanship that goes into wooden doors, but they can be expensive and high maintenance. If you decide to go with a wooden door, look for one made of heavy material like mahogany or oak.
Thankfully, cheaper alternatives like steel or fiberglass are also secure front entryways. They’re both weather-resistant but can dent or crack upon severe impact.
Avoid doors with a lot of glass—intruders could shatter the glass in your door to enter your home. You can also add a security door or screen door with security bars for extra reinforcement. These added doors can lock just like your main front door and provide an extra barrier to your home. You can find them anywhere from $100 and up in a variety of designs and colors to match your home’s exterior.
Installing a peephole or doorbell camera makes it easy to know who’s knocking before you answer. Like deadbolts, peepholes are easy to install with the right tools, and they’re one of the best ways to secure a door from the inside.
Doorbell cameras are a new solution to the same old security problem. Standalone cameras like the Ring Doorbell Camera can stand alone or pair with a home security system for the ultimate line of defense. When someone rings your smart doorbell, you can see and speak to them through the app on your mobile device. So whether it’s a friendly neighbor or a suspicious character, you’ll know who’s coming.
What is the safest lock for a front door?
Deadbolt locks are sturdy, easy to install, and effective. A standard deadbolt costs under $40 and works better in tandem with your door’s existing lock. Deadbolts are especially effective because they can’t be tampered with or moved from the outside. They’re also much harder to pick than spring bolt locks.
How do you stop a door from being kicked in?
Small reinforcements to the door’s frame, like new screws or a deadbolt, can keep your door safe from a home invasion. It also helps to check the condition of your door and its frame to make sure the wood or metal around it isn’t damaged.
How much does it cost to reinforce a door?
It depends on how much you want to do. A new door can cost anywhere from $100 to $1,400, while longer screws and hardware range from a couple of dollars to $50 or more. We recommend starting with the cheapest, simplest solutions first before investing in more complex, expensive repairs.
Katie McEntire has tested home security systems in her own apartment, installed GPS trackers in her own car, and watched her cat, Toki, nap all day through a live nanny cam feed. As an expert reviewer, she believes that firsthand experience is the best way to learn about new products (even if it requires being the guinea pig). She specializes in pet safety and DIY security and has contributed to publications like DigitalCare.org and TechGuySmartBuy. Learn more