If you’re worried about your front door being secure, there are many ways you can improve your security measures to make your home as safe as possible. This will prevent burglary and help your household feel safer, whether you’re at home or away. By following these standards, you’ll have done everything in your power to secure your front door.
1. The best locks for your door
For maximum security, you should install both a rim latch lock and a 5 level mortice deadlock, despite most insurance companies accepting a rim automatic deadlock. Both your rim latch lock and your deadlock need to conform to British Standard 3621 or the equivalent European Standard EN12209.
It’s important to note that Fire Safety Officers advise that the mortice deadbolt shouldn’t be locked whilst people are in the house, as searching for a key presents a dangerous delay in the instance of fire. If you feel like fire safety needs to be your priority, you could obtain additional security through fitting draw bolts to the top and bottom of your door.
2. Your door and door frame
Your locks will only be as strong as the door and frame you have attached them to. Make sure that your doorframe is sound and that the door you have is designed for external use. It should be a solid construction, at least 44mm thick, so it can support a mortice lock. You will need to hang the door on three strong 100mm hinges. Your locks should be 45-60cm apart, and any decorative panels should be at least 9mm thick.
Your timber frames should be screwed or securely bolted to the walls every 600mm around the entire frame. You may want to consider fitting a London or Birmingham Bar to support the strike box and door on the hinge side.
If your door has glazed panels, it’ll be weaker than a solid door. You may want to consider replacing ordinary and toughened glass panels with laminated glass, offering a far greater resistance to attack.
3. Letter boxes
Letterboxes can be used by criminals in a number of ways, such as taking goods from within proximity to your door (keys) or unlocking devices from the inside. Letterboxes shouldn’t be positioned closer than 400mm from the door lock and they should never be fitted to the bottom rail of the door. You can use an internal cover plate for adding extra security, as well as a letterbox with no bottom to prevent theft of mail.
4. Spy holes and door chains
Spy holes, door chains and door limiters all offer you a way of dealing with callers, whilst maintaining control and security of your house.