How To Make a Front Door More Secure – Front Door Security Tips!
If you have the most secure front door on the street you are the least likely to be targeted by intruders, your door will be the door burglars are most likely to avoid.
How Can I Make My Door More Secure?
As experienced MLA locksmiths based in North London we have seen time and time again that burglars take the path of least resistance. We have seen many preventable intrusions in areas across London and know how they can be prevented.
What Makes Your Property A Target For Burglary
The properties targeted are those that have overlooked front door security and security in general. They know at a glance if a door is an easy target. You can read more here about what makes your home a target for burglary.
Read on to find out how to secure your front door is and follow our Front Door Security Tips to make sure your home isn’t a target .
What is The Best Front Door for Security?
Tip 1: Make sure you have a good quality door!
You can have the best locks in the world on your front door but it will mean absolutely nothing if your door is made of cardboard! Okay your door isn’t likely to be made out of cardboard but there are some poor quality doors available and these should be avoided.
Many break-ins occur because a door is “kicked in”. When a weak door is attacked in this way it is common for the door to give in despite the locks. Possible outcomes are;
- The door frame splits and the frame comes apart
- The door splits and the lock falls off
A good quality wooden door is preferable to a UPVC or composite door for security. You can read about choosing a secure front door here.
What Are The Most Secure Front Door Locks?
Tip 2: Seek professional advice from a Master Locksmith.
Front door security locks are the number 1 most effective way to secure your front door. CCTV and Security alarms are a good deterrent but when it comes down to it the locks are what will prevent criminals from entering your property.
How to Choose a Good Locksmith?
Choose a qualified experienced locksmith who will know the best locks for your particular door.
A good professional locksmith will ensure the locks;
- Are suitable for the door
- Meet British Standards
- Meet your insurance policy standards
- Offer you the best possible security
London, in particular, has a multitude of property styles from different periods and an even greater range of lock types. If you are based in London it is therefore particularly important that you seek the advice of a qualified experienced locksmith who really knows what they are talking about. Unfortunately rogue locksmiths are not uncommon. Experience and expertise is paramount when it comes to secure front doors in London.
In this post about door security from the Met Police you will see that they recommend choosing a locksmith from the Master Locksmiths Association.
Why Choose an MLA Approved Locksmith?
Choosing an MLA approved locksmith guarantees the locksmith dealing with your security is;
- DBS/CRB Checked
- Charging fair prices
What are The Best Door Locks?
Different locks are required for different doors, so it is important to ensure that you have the right lock for an individual door. This is something you will require professional advice on. Read our professional guide to the best locks here.
The Best Locks for Wooden Front Doors
Wooden front doors are most common in London and having a minimum of two locks is a must on a standard timber door.
- A 5 lever insurance approved deadlock (also know as a mortice lock)
- A Rim Lock (also known as a night latch
What Is The Best Deadlock?
As any London Locksmith will tell you a deadlock is the most important lock to have on your front door…. from a security point of view!
There are many different brands on the market. I recommend Union Locks (previously known as Chubb Locks). Union are high quality locks.
What are The Best Rim Locks for a Front Door?
These are commonly described as ‘Yale Locks’ (Yale being one of the most common brands of Night latches in the UK). Retail prices range from £20.00 to £80.00 depending on the quality of the Night latch. In this case you do get what you pay for.
What are The Best Locks For PVC Front Doors?
You may need a new lock for a UPVC front door if the door is old or the lock was not installed by a professional locksmith. It is important that UPVC front doors have an up to date high quality cylinder lock that does not protrude more than 5 mm over the handle on the outside as a minimum.
Ideally an anti-snap cylinder should be used to prevent intruder access. We would always recommend this to add extra security to your front door.
How to Choose The Best Locks Brand?
A reputable locksmith will use well known, high quality lock brands. Avoid locksmiths offering cheap locks at a cheap price as this can prove to be more expensive in the long term.
Important: Ensure the locksmith guarantees all work completed.
Why not check our lock fitting service on quality lock brands. We cater for a range of budgets whilst always providing high quality products and workmanship.
What Locks Do I Need for Insurance?
Tip 3: Don’t Forget to Lock your Insurance Approved Locks!
Always remember to check the small print of your insurance policy for lock requirements. If you don’t use the right locks and always locks them then you will not be insured.
You can read all about locks required for insurance purposes here.
I see so many cases where people have invested in the best insurance approved locks but fail to actually use them. They are worthless if you have them but don’t use them!
The Problem with Forgetting to Lock Your Deadlock
The presence of a good lock will be a deterrent however a habit of not locking your deadlock every time you go out means;
- Your property becomes a target – intruders monitor homeowner habits
- You will have made access easier for the intruder
- You won’t be covered by your insurance policy
This mistake is painfully common, I see it happening all too often and it is very frustrating for me to witness. It is important to ensure that it is second nature to all key holders to lock the locks when the property is empty and at night time.
Some have more success with remembering that others. If I had a pound for every time I heard someone say “I don’t deadlock my door” I would be a very rich man. I don’t try and force anyone to lock their mortice lock but always strongly advise it. Many people don’t realise that not using the deadlock invalidates your insurance policy!
Auto Deadlocking Nightlatches for Front Door Security
For people who never lock their deadlock I usually recommend an auto deadlocking night latch. It’s not quite as good as a 5 lever deadlock but it’s the next best thing and much more secure than not using any deadlock at all. Some of the higher spec ones can be very hard wearing and can take a substantial amount of force from an unwanted intruder if fitted with additional door reinforcements.
However there is really no substitute to having a proper 5 lever British Standard Mortice lock on your front door for both security and insurance purposes.
How Else Can I Make My Door More Secure?
Tip 4: Consider Door Reinforcement
There are ways to further reinforce your front door to add extra security to your property. For example;
- A London bar reinforces the lock side of the door
- A Birmingham bar strengthens the hinge side of the door
- A lock guard prevents the lock being compromised
- Hinge bolts prevent a door being lifted off the hinges.
A lock guard on your door shows intruders that you take your security seriously. A lock guard is an excellent visible deterrent.
Read more here about cost effective ways to strengthen a front door.
How Do I Protect My Letterbox?
Tip 5: Intruder Proof Your Door Furniture.
Door furniture should be correctly installed by a professional to meet guidelines.
- Letter boxes should adhere to British Standard regulations to avoid intruder access. This is to avoid access to your lock via the letter box or access to items within reach of the letter box such as car keys (which are often left near the front door). The letter box should be positioned correctly at least 40cm from the locks and not along the bottom of the door. Fitting an internal letter box plate and letter basket adds further security.
- A spy hole allows the person in the property to check who is at the door.
- A door chain can help you control access to the property when you are home and unsure about the identity of a caller.
Are Security Shutters Good For Security?
Tip 5: Consider if You Need Security Grilles
When thinking about secure front doors it is important to look at each situation individually.
When talking to a customer about the suitability of security grilles we consider;
- The area – is it a high risk area?
- The purpose – perhaps the owners are feeling vulnerable
- Property contents – high value property contents increase security needs
- The look required
In some situations doors need an extra level of security because they are high risk. Security gates for doors are very popular in areas such as Hampstead, Highgate, Islington and Camden. Security grilles on a front door offer an added layer of security.
Whilst security grilles are not considered suitable in all cases they offer high security front doors where necessary. They are popular with retail and commercial properties and also lend themselves well to residential properties in many circumstances.
They are made to measure and available in many styles and finishes to complement the property. We fit grilles that are;
- Fixed or Collapsible
- Decorative or understated
- Feature or inconspicuous
Front Door Security Tips Summary – 6 Top Tips to Keep Your Front Door Secure!
- Make Sure you Have a Good Quality Door!
- Seek Professional Advice from a Master Locksmith.
- Don’t Forget to Lock your Insurance Approved Locks!
- Consider Door Reinforcement.
- Intruder Proof your Door Furniture.
- Consider if You Need Security Grilles.
I do hope my front door security tips help you to have the most secure door on your street!
For more burglary prevention tips throughout your property read our Ultimate Burglary Prevention Guide. I would welcome the opportunity to answer any questions you may have on the subject of securing front doors. For security advice or a free security survey give us a call.