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The First step in Home Security – Secure your Doors

We’ll talk about doors first because, well, obviously if a burglar can’t get into your home they are doomed from the start.

Doors or windows, it’s much the same, but when most people think of “how do I get in?” they think of a door first. The story I am about to tell you is a littleheartbreaking. Yes, I work with people who have been robbed. Something about this one, though, just got to me.

A nice young couple had just bought their first home, and it was a fairly new house. They hadn’t been there long when disaster struck. There had been a break in. When I saw what had happened, I almost couldn’t believe my eyes. Someone had literally kicked their front door in half.

The “kids” – as I referred to these young homeowners – were devastated, as you can imagine. What they saw when they came home from their hard day of work was half of a front door.

The doorframe was made out of solid wood; the lock and strike were fitted correctly – which was great. The lock and the doorframe hadn’t budged. But, the door itself was quite another story. Upon inspection, it was found to have been made for internal use only, not external. There is quite a difference!

Solution
First, let’s talk about that difference. External doors must be solid, not hollow. If you really think wood is so attractive that you just have to have a wood door, then go for it, but aluminium is a better, stronger choice. Whichever you choose, make sure it is solid. Forget about a glass front door. If you want glass for your patio or pool area, well, maybe. We’ll talk about those later. But for your front door, no. Yes, I repeated that. Glass is just too fragile for that major entrance to your home.

Once again, solid, not hollow. Why?
Because hollow doors are lightweight, and though less expensive than solid doors, they are very easy to break.

Here are pictures of solid and hollow doors, hollow first.

Imagine punching through one of these with your full weight behind it. Crack the front layer of this hollow door and you get right through it. Notice the honeycomb type pattern at its centre. This is a structural weakness.

It’s much tougher to break a solid one, which looks like this:

Likewise, the frame that holds your front door must be solid. Do not spare expense here. Saving a few dollars now could cost you more later. As a matter of law, some apartments and businesses must be fitted with solid fire doors. In some cases, there is also a requirement of a metal doorframe. Here, you’re killing two birds with one stone.

Solid door, solid frame.
Perfect.