Here are some ways to ensure your front door entryway has what it takes to provide security and protection for your home around the clock:
Upgrade your Locking Systems: Unlocked or improperly locked doors and windows are responsible for nearly half of all home break-ins, according to the Home Safety Council. You can upgrade your locking system by adding a surface-mount, rim-mount or vertical deadbolt lock. Better yet, choose a front door with a multi-point locking system that engages the door frame at three points instead of just one.
Alt=front door entrancesChoose Durable Materials: Whatever locking system you choose, your front door's weakest point is generally the area surrounding the lock, especially if it is a wood door, which can warp or crack over time, making it an easy target for an intruder to kick in and enter. That's why it's important to choose an entry door made of an exceptionally durable material, such as fiberglass.
Doors made of fiberglass are great for entryways because they can provide the rich look and style of wood doors, but they are extremely strong and won't warp, crack, rot, swell or split like wood, or rust, ding or dent like aluminum and steel. They can also withstand temperature extremes, high humidity, and they're easy to stain or paint.
Manufacturers offer a wide variety of fiberglass door lines to choose from, available in dozens of designs to complement the most popular types of home architecture. Some leading door makers also offer fiberglass doors that replicate the look and wood-grain texture of mahogany, walnut and cherry.
Be Wise with Windows: For the safety of your family and property, choose windows or door sidelights for your home - especially near the entryway - made with tempered safety glass. Two panes of glass are adhered to a durable plastic interlayer, much like a car windshield. If someone tries to break it, the glass will shatter, but broken pieces remain adhered to the interlayer, preventing glass from falling into the home. Be sure to only open windows that young children cannot reach. Some manufacturers offer windows with ventilation locks that allow windows to be partially opened for fresh air while remaining securely locked.
Protection for Patio Doors, Too: Patio doors have a reputation as easy targets for intruders. In addition to security concerns, many patio doors are susceptible to air and water infiltration.
Look for a patio door system such as Therma-Tru's Tru-Defense System that offers a Design Pressure rating of 40 or higher. This means that the system can withstand structural test pressure of 60 pounds per square foot; the equivalent of 150 mph winds; will not allow air infiltration under 25 mph winds; and prevents water penetration under test conditions equal to 8 inches of rain per hour driven by 49 mph winds. Ask for a high-performance sill that will resist rotting and swelling, especially if you live in a rough coastal climate.
Adjust Landscaping and Lighting: Take security a step further by adjusting landscaping and lighting at your front door entryway to eliminate places where burglars can hide in waiting or enter unseen. Trim shrubbery near doors and windows and illuminate porches, garage doors and rear and side doorways.
In addition to lighting your front door entryway, inside lighting is important too, so install timers that automatically turn on lights at a certain time every day, even if you're not there. Lighting manufacturers also offer one-touch lighting control systems that let you turn on lights from anywhere, even in your car - so you can avoid entering a dark house.