Though no one wants to think too much about break-ins, compromised home security, or severe weather damage, these are important factors to consider when building or buying a home. At the forefront of home security is the safety and reliability of your entry door.
Having a secure entryway and a durable front door are keys to ensuring your home is protected. It’s always best to take preventative measures against attempted break-ins, severe weather damage, or other situations where you may be in danger. To give you peace of mind, whether at home or away, we’ve compiled 10 ways to improve your front door security.
1. Pay attention to door material and construction
At the foundation of door security is the type of door you choose, and one crucial consideration is what your door is made out of—doors constructed from fiberglass and steel are far more durable than those made out of glass or traditional wood—making them better equipped to resist break-ins and severe weather.
Fiberglass doors are particularly adept at withstanding various weather fluctuations, and won’t show damage like wood and metal in the face of severe weather. They’re also reliably solid and easy to equip with additional security measures as detailed below.
2. Choose an outswing door rather than an inswing door if possible
Outswing fiberglass exterior doors are naturally more secure than inswing doors since they’re harder to force open from the outside. For maximum security with outswing doors, ensure that your hinges feature non-removable pins, since they’ll be exposed on the exterior side of the door where otherwise an intruder could remove them.
3. Reinforce your door hardware
It’s a fairly simple process to reinforce your door’s hinges and the door jamb, but it can make a significant improvement to your front door security. Using longer hinge screws—at least 2.5 inches in length—will ensure more holding power and support for your front door. This can reduce potential severe weather damage and offer additional protection against an attempted break-in. You can also secure your hinges by installing hinge bolts above and below the hinges. These are small metal bolts that fill a jamb hole when your door is closed.
4. Strengthen your door frame
Most exterior doors are built with sturdier frames than interior doors; however, you can take additional measures to secure your door frame. Choose a door frame material wisely, as the three most common types of door frames—wood/finger joint frames, metal frames, and composite frames—provide varying levels of security.
Wood/finger joint frames are a common choice due to their classic look and value. However, because they are pieced together, they provide less structural support than a one-piece frame. Wood also requires more maintenance to maintain both appearance and security.
Metal frames provide more structural support than wood, which generally makes them a more secure choice. However, there are other tradeoffs to this choice—like steel doors, metal frames are a less durable and weatherproof option when compared with composite door frames.
Plastpro’s Polyfiber (PF) Door Frames are composite frames that, when combined with a fiberglass door, are designed to provide enhanced, long-lasting front door security. While traditional wooden door frames experience wear-and-tear over time, our full-length door frames made of PVC composite material offer a longer lifespan and increased durability. They are weatherproof and 25% more rigid than wood frames, giving them twice the screw-holding power that will help keep your home secure.
5. Upgrade to a multipoint lock
Where hardware is concerned, multipoint locks are a solid, sturdy, and secure option to add support between the door slab and the door jambs. Multipoint locks provide more than one locking point—typically the top, middle, and bottom of the door—as opposed to a traditional lockset, which only provides support in the middle of the door.
The additional supports make it difficult for the door to be forced open, and increases the door slab’s overall stability. This is a particularly important factor to consider for taller doors, like 8’0” heights. More height can create an additional need for stabilization, and multipoint locks help to evenly distribute the movement of the door as it is opened and closed, preventing warping and structural compromise at the top and bottom of the door slab.
If budget is a concern, consider adding deadbolts, surface bolts, or door latches. This is an easy, affordable option that still provides additional support and increased door security. When adding additional hardwares, check with the door manufacturer and make sure you are installing them in areas that can hold and support the hardware.
6. Consider a smart front door lock
Keypad or wireless entry systems help protect your home from break-ins by utilizing a code exclusive to you and whoever you share it with. You can control most keypad entry systems from your smartphone and lock your door from anywhere, providing additional peace of mind while away from home.
While these systems can improve front door security in many instances, keeping best practices in mind will ensure that you maximize your system’s effectiveness. Two basic tips: be mindful of whom you share your code with, and memorize your code rather than writing it down. Minimizing the chances of your code falling into the wrong hands will go a long way in keeping your entryway secure.
7. Protect your glass with security film, or upgrade to impact glass
Many front doors have windows, which provide additional benefits such as natural light and aesthetic value. However, when contrasted with a solid fiberglass, wood, or steel door, glass presents additional security challenges, as it is much easier to break. If your front door does feature glass, it is important to protect it from being easily compromised.
One effective way to secure your glass is to use security film. While this won’t completely prevent the window from being broken, it can add a layer of difficulty for anyone attempting to get into the home. The added time it would take to enter the home could act as a deterrent. And it isn’t only for intruders—the film can also protect against accidental damage or intense weather.
You may also consider upgrading to impact glass, which comes equipped with the benefits of security film. While this is typically a more expensive option and only used in hurricane prone states, impact glass eliminates the need to apply the film yourself, and provides a significant security upgrade over standard glass.
8. Pay attention to door ratings
Another important security consideration is how well the door is built to withstand the impact of extreme weather. You should consider the door’s Design Pressure (DP) ratings, and if it is High Velocity Hurricane Zone (HVHZ) compliant or Wind Borne Debris (WBD) Resistant. These different designations all factor into how well the door will perform in extreme weather conditions, which includes how well it may withstand the impact of flying objects.
Most standard Plastpro fiberglass doors are WBD-rated impact doors—this means they’re difficult to shatter, automatically providing an extra security measure. Meanwhile, for those who live in the appropriate hurricane zones, our HVHZ Impact Door Series was created, tested, and certified to meet the most stringent wind and impact code requirements in the nation and withstand the force of flying objects.
9. Purchase a front door security system
Surveillance systems may act as a preventative defense to potential intruders who don’t want to risk being identified. Make sure the camera has a clear view of the front door, and ensure it’s visible to intruders to attempt to stop them from breaking in.
The right security system can also help you monitor deliveries, children playing, or any suspicious behavior that could indicate an attempted break-in or compromise on your peace of mind—overall, it’s a great investment in securing your home.
10. Consider a fiberglass door
Fiberglass doors are more durable than most other exterior door materials—not only do they resist dents and scratches from basic wear-and-tear, they offer superior security. Plastpro doors come equipped with full-length LVL, which adds rigidity to protect the door from being kicked in, and tightly packed, high-density foam, which provides strong structural support. The full-length lockblock also supports multipoint lock installation and offers flexibility as to where you can install additional security hardwares. Pairing a Plastpro fiberglass door with our composite PF Door Frame creates a nearly impenetrable entryway that, when combined with other security measures, provides ultimate front door security, allowing you to feel safe and secure—whether at home or away.
Check out Plastpro’s Where to Buy page to find the closest distributor for exterior fiberglass doors. For more information on our fiberglass door offerings, visit our website.