Optimising Security for Your Front and Back Doors

Most period homeowners cherish their external doors, they may even date to the property so swapping them for something new in uPVC even if it is impenetrable, just isn’t an option.

Double or triple-glazed external doors are energy efficient as well as highly burglar-proof, but they just don’t look right on old or character properties. So, if you have an old door that you love more than life itself or are commissioning a new timber front or back door for your home whatever the property’s age, then how can you make this as secure as Fort Knox? Here are some handy hints.

Secure door fitting

Ask a professional to review the fit and security of your door. A door that is not secure in its frame either because of age or deterioration or just poor installation in the first place will be far more vulnerable to intruders.

Shallow hinges can easily be separated from the door when enough force is applied whereas hinges with longer screws offer better security.

Make sure the strike plate is secure. The strike plate is a piece of metal that attaches to the frame of the door. When the door is closed, the lock and strike plate should line up together and keep the door secure. Old timber doors are notorious for slipping out of alignment as the door expands and contracts with different weather conditions. If the lock is not snug and slips slightly, it just makes it easier for a burglar to gain entry. If your door doesn’t have a strike plate, then think about installing one.

Locks and bolts

There are literally hundreds of lock, key and bolt combinations for different types of doors. A good locksmith can advise you on the latest and most effective designs for your home and you don’t always have to compromise on aesthetics either.

Think about the glazing on your doors

The glass is the weak point on any door but glass panels or a window may be part of the traditional style of your door plus larger glass windows can allow daylight into what might otherwise be a gloomy hallway.

However, before you compromise and trade your cherished partially glazed door for something plain and featureless, you should know that many burglars dislike breaking in through windows because of the sound of shattering glass. It can also be potentially messy and dangerous and runs the risk of leaving DNA traces from blood at the scene of the crime. The same applies to glass in entrance and back doors. If you have glass sections, review the design. It might be worth breaking the glass if a burglar can reach in and open the door from the inside.

If you are designing a new door whether for an old house or a contemporary home, think carefully about where you place the glass inserts and try and keep them as far away from the locks as possible. Choose a reinforced glass product and add security film to it which makes the glass more difficult to break.

Deploy deterrents

Good security measures don’t just stop people from getting in, it also puts off the casual thief or opportunist. One of the best deterrents is a permanent light over the front door or a security light which is motion activated. Always try and install lights in a location which is out of reach as far as possible as this makes it harder for a thief to smash them.

Connect a door alarm, this is easy for any householder to buy and install and you don’t need a centralised alarm system to connect to, they can be fitted for individual doors.

If you have the option of a gravel driveway or path, then choose this material over a smoother surface. Gravel has its drawbacks, but it is virtually impossible to approach a house silently either on foot or in a vehicle on a gravel driveway.

Slowing burglars down

It’s virtually impossible to make a wooden door completely impregnable but the idea with all of these suggestions is to slow down an intruder so either someone hears them and raises the alarm, or it takes them too long to gain entry to the house and they risk discovery from a passer-by. Good security measures are also all about early detection. Breaking into your home should be both time-consuming and noisy.

We offer a bespoke timber door service for all types of property new and old. Design your own door right down to the choice of wood, colour, glazing, door furniture and locks to create the perfect blend of aesthetic appeal and home security. We also retrofit new doors to old frames and restore and repair all types of timber doors. We blend the best traditional craftsmanship with modern materials and techniques to produce a door that is secure, thermally efficient and a complement to your home.

Contact us here to learn more about our bespoke design service and our restoration and repair workshop