Security is a major concern for any homeowner. From pay-per-month surveillance subscriptions, nanny-cams, and front porch video recorders to alarm systems, motion lights, and maybe a Rottweiler, there are lots of options to keep you and yours safe and secure. But sometimes in our modern quest for the newest and the best, we can forget the basics. If you’ve recently installed a new pre hung exterior door and you’re looking to add some safety to the beauty you picked out, here are the top-five, low-tech safety moves you can make.
1. Strike Box
A solid front door is only as safe as its strike plate. A strike box, and a door reinforcer plate while you’re at it, make the lock and deadbolt on your door more effective. The strike box works by replacing a standard strike plate with a metal box that is connected directly with a wall stud behind your door jamb. A door reinforce plate actually wraps around the handle and lock portion of your door to add stability. This kind of physical security can help your lock and door last longer if a burglar tries to pry it open.
A deadbolt gives you another layer of security after you lock your door. This is a low-cost addition to your door and can be a serious deterrent to someone breaking in. Be sure to get a deadbolt with a grade 1 rating, as this will ensure the most security.
3. Wide-angle Peephole
A wide-angle peephole will give you a wider view of who is knocking at your door. One of the best ways to ensure your safety is to not let an unknown person into your home in the first place. As a side benefit you can also avoid any unwanted door-to-door salesmen, political canvassers, and annoying neighbors.
4. Re-Key Your Locks
If you are buying anything but a new construction home, you should re-key your locks. There’s no way of knowing how many key copies were made for family and friends of the previous owner. It’s a small expense that can give you peace of mind.
5. Ditch the Extra Key
Everyone has seen those “hide your key in a rock” television ads, which means that little plastic rock isn’t fooling anyone. The first place a burglar is going to look for an extra key is under the front door mat, the back door mat, taped under a window, or in a planter by the front door. Don’t leave extra keys laying around the outside of your home. If you are a chronic key loser, think of leaving an extra with a neighbor, but don’t leave it out for a burglar to find.
High-tech safety is one of the perks of living in the information age, but sometimes the simplest solutions make the most sense. A solid door, strong locks, and a way to see who is at your door can be some of the best protection you can get. And the Rottweiler really isn’t such a bad idea.