There are fewer overlooked or underappreciated elements of your home’s design than the doors. We take doors for granted — slamming them, banging them, providing little or no maintenance for them, while expecting them to keep us safe from intruders. But there are common elements of door security and design that can make for a safer living environment while maintaining a pleasant living atmosphere.
It most cases, keeping the amount of glass in your door to a minimum will increase a home’s security. Not only will this keep intruders from seeing inside a home, but it makes it harder from them to break in. However, even in cases of doors without glass panels, if the lock is faulty or is just a regular door lock (not a deadbolt), it can reduce the effectiveness of your door. Doors with a deadbolt can offer additional security by adding time and noise to an intruder’s invasion, something most criminals look to avoid. However, in cases of break-ins where doors have been kicked in, often the doorframe itself fails. So unless you are sure your frame is steadfast, going overboard on buying heavy-duty locks won’t make a home safer until the door is properly secured.
Many people don’t want to shutter themselves inside a home without allowing some sunlight to enter through their doors. With many glass-paneled doors though, all an intruder must do is shatter the glass, reach inside and unlock the door, a process that can take only seconds. To avoid this, consider doors that use glass sparingly, or not at all, or if building codes allow, that use a deadbolt that locks with a key on both sides of the door. Doors that have glass panels positioned at their top, away from the locking system, can provide a happy medium between security and design.
As a final note, another overlooked area of a door is the mail slot. This feature can allow an intruder to insert his hand through the door, and thereby unlock or open the door. Again, a door with a lock that requires a key on both sides, a chain lock, or a lock positioned away from the mail slot, can reduce the chance of this type of break-in.