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Choosing Security Door Locks

Choosing security door locks. The stronger the security door locks on your home’s doors, the more difficult it is for intruders to get inside.

Make intruders work hard to enter your home, and they’ll likely turn their sights elsewhere for that easy payday. Most burglars are not exceedingly skilled at their game. Most teens or young adults are on the prowl for an obviously unsecured home.

Few have high-tech lock-picking devices; their tools are usually as simple as their methods – they’ll pry open a sliding glass door with a screwdriver, stand on a patio chair, or shimmy up a drainpipe to reach an unlocked window.

The beauty of your antitheft strategies is their simplicity. A few straightforward precautions are often enough to deter all but the most determined burglars, giving you the power to safeguard your home with ease.

Understanding that the foundation of your home’s security against intruders lies in the selection of the right security door locks, here’s a comprehensive guide to help you make an informed choice. 

Choosing Security Door Locks for Sliding Glass Doors

Doors leading outside are where more than three-quarters of all burglars gain entry, and your efforts are most likely to dramatically impact your family’s safety and home security.

Security door locks are essential for doors leading outside. Sliding glass doors are most vulnerable to break-ins, as their rudimentary locks are easy to pick.

The simplest solution is to place a metal bar or a length of wood dowelling (a section of broom handle also works) in the lower door track.

However, determined thieves have been known to circumvent these by lifting the glass panels out of their tracks.

Make it harder for them by adding a pin lock. You can buy one from your local locksmith or your neighborhood hardware store. Or, you can do it yourself with a drill and nails. 

Better yet, look into security door locks. You can create your pin lock by drilling a hole through the top of the inside sashes and three-quarters of the way through the outside sash at a slight downward angle.

Slide narrower-diameter nails or eyebolts into the holes, leaving enough of the heads exposed so you can quickly remove them when you need to open the door.

You can remove the nail from the inside, but a burglar won’t be able to without breaking the glass. As an added security measure, cover the glass with a polycarbonate glazing.

Choosing Security Door Locks for Front Doors

Choosing security door locks for front doors. Look at your front door – nearly a third of all burglars gain entrance here. Your door should be either solid wood – at least one and three-eighths (3.5cm) thick – or steel.

Replace any thin, hollow doors, which are a snap for determined thieves to kick open. 

Whatever type of door it is, the hinges should not be on the outside, as the pins could easily be removed and the entire door taken off its frame. If the door has exterior hinges, replace them with hinges whose pins can’t be removed.


Make sure the door lock is equally solid. Deadbolt security door locks should, as a rule, have a 1-inch (2.5cm) throw bolt and an interlocking frame.

And yes, your door lock needs a deadbolt in addition to the keyed door lock knob set. Don’t use a dual-cylinder lock – the kind with a key for both sides: This can trap you in the house in case of emergency. If you have one now, replace it. 

You may also want to install deadbolt locks on the door from the garage into your home.

If your door has a window or a glass panel, secure it with a decorative grille that has nonremovable screws, or install over the glass a break-resistant plastic panel.

If a window lies within an arm’s length of the door, ensure that the door lock is out of reach should an intruder break the glass in the window and reach inside. Cover the window with a curtain or shade to keep prying eyes out.

Always draw all the shades or
close the blinds at night to prevent intruders from looking inside to
determine what you are doing, whether you are alone – or whether anyone
is home.

Knock Knock: Who’s There?


Can you detect who’s knocking before you open the door? If you don’t already have a peephole, hire a locksmith to install one in your door when they come to install your new deadbolt door lock.

If you’re handy, a simpler – and much less expensive – approach is to buy a peephole and install it yourself. 

Choose the type with a fish-eye lens; its wide-angle view will allow you to see almost everything – and everyone – on your doorstep before you throw open that deadbolt and open the door.

Ensure your porch light is at least 40 watts to illuminate nighttime visitors properly. Secure gate latches and garage and shed doors with sturdy padlocks designed to resist prowlers and withstand rain and freezing temperatures.

Now, consider your “oops” key. Does the spare key that lets you in when you lose your house keys sit beneath the doormat, in the mailbox, or underneath the potted plant next to the door? 

These are the first places thieves look for keys in hopes of easy access to your home. Move the spare to a different, more creative location.

Motion-Sensor Lighting

Although most burglaries occur during the day, motion-sensor lights, affixed well out of reach in your yard and around the perimeter of your home, may discourage a nighttime prowler. And keep your outside porch light on all night. 

Lights are your least expensive insurance policy against theft since the last thing a burglar wants is to be seen.
Whenever you’ll be gone for more than a few hours, play the radio or the TV.

During nighttime hours, keep several indoor lights on timers that have been set to various schedules.

Place a sign stating “Beware of Dog” prominently as a finishing security touch. Whether you have a rottweiler or not, these signs often deter thieves.

Keeping Records


Taking the precautions described so far will significantly reduce the chance of your home being burglarized. But should it happen, filing a police report will be easier if you’ve kept a record of your valuables.

A record involves more than just making a list: You’ll want to write down particulars such as the price, year, and place of purchase, in addition to a detailed description of each item.

This will help the police in the event of a burglary and make it easier for you to file a claim on your home insurance policy. Be sure that you include serial numbers if the items have any.

If your stolen valuables are recovered, the serial numbers will give police identification to trace the items back to you.

Photograph or videotape the items for backup, then store this record where thieves are unlikely to look, such as in the garage or the back of a child’s closet.

Better still, Store this information off-site, such as in a safe deposit box.

Choosing Security Door Locks: Lock Talk

What to know about your options when choosing security door locks.

Single-cylinder deadbolt lock:

  • Opened with a key on the outside and a thumb-turn on the inside.

Dual-cylinder lock:

  • A bolt lock that has a key for both inside and outside. Replace it with a single-cylinder lock, which is safer.

Privacy lock:

  • A commonly used interior lock that has a push button or thumb turn on
    the inside, with a hole on the outside that allows someone to open the
    door with either a special key or a straightened paper clip in case there is an emergency.

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