An inescapable reality of home burglaries is that the most common place for illegal entry is through the front door. Front doors are larger than other doors, close to the street and driveway and make it easier for the experienced burglar to enter quickly, grab a number of valuable items and exit to a getaway car, van or truck and be gone in minutes.
It seems simple enough to prevent this type crime, doesn’t it? Yet, in the UK, we are still very lax about home security. If we invest in front door defence, we significantly reduce the chance for illegal entry and personal loss of valuables. If we do not secure our front door, we are not seriously proactive in discouraging home burglaries.
Front Door Security Basics
uPVC –uPVC Front Doors Are Unsuitable – The primary mistake that most homeowners make when it comes to their front door is believing that UPVC doors are as secure as steel security doors. UPVC doors are not strong enough to support devices mounted with steel screws unless significant changes are made to the internal metal framework. However, if security is your goal and you have to modify these doors, you may be endangering the warranty that is attached to the door. If in doubt, consult with the door manufacturer to verify that the necessary modifications do not jeopardise your warranty or infact, the structural integrity. With the initial cost of the uPVC door and then purchasing additional security accessories, this can turn into quite a costly affair.
Door Design – A secure front door is usually a minimum of 50mm thick. A front door constructed with steel is always recommended and a security steel door with this thickness presents a major obstacle for the would-be burglar. Other design elements should be that the door be fitted with a 5-lever mortice deadbolt or if the locking system uses a euro profile cylinder, it must be a kitemark certified euro cylinder.
Most police and security experts will recommend that either a London Bar or Birmingham bar be used to provide additional support to the door’s frame. This will help prevent forced entry by an unwanted perpetrator. Another important decision involves the mail slot that is sometimes used for front doors. If you opt for the front door letterbox, be sure to install an internal cover plate. This will minimise the ‘rod and hook’ method for burglars looking for an easy access solution.
Door Windows – Today’s steel doors can be ordered with glazed panels. Remember that steel doors can be finished in many different designs. Most security experts do not recommend glass panels and if they are included in the design they should be glazed to prevent curious sightseers. We currently offer the preferred anti-bandit 11mm+ laminated glass units which can be obscured if needs be. Or you could opt for the popular spy hole.
About Locks and Frames For Steel Doors – Every door is only as secure as the locking device and the door’s frame. Steel doors require secure frames that are inherently difficult for burglars to penetrate when the doors is properly secured. We recommend our fixing kits available as an optional extra when purchasing our doorsets. Competitively priced at £12.50+VAT which includes helpful fitting accessories dependant of the material of your structural opening.
A good lock should be selected with security in mind. With a steel security door, a weak locking device can defeat the purpose of the high security door.
Even more important is the strength of the door frame. The frame should be of “substantial construction,” at least 60mm thick which will give the mortice lock adequate support. The door should be hung on three strong hinges at least 100mm. The rim latch and mortice should be fitted 45 to 60 cm apart.
The best thing about improving the security of your home is that steel doors are the same price as any normal UPVC door, but are significantly stronger. Steel doors are an investment in your home’s security, and they also look the part.
We now offer a high security steel front door special offer starting from as little as £450.00+VAT! This includes the choice of colour, letterbox, door viewer, door knocker and our level 2 security upgrade package. Please click the link below to create your new front door.