The old adage that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link rings true with home security too. A home is only as secure as its weakest door, window or lock. So in this post, I'll address means of egress: doors.
Front doors are often decorative and, most often, heavy with a solid core, giving the impression of security. What's funny to me is that all a burglar has to do is go into the back yard to find a flimsy wooden door that often has up to nine panes of glass. This is called a "9-Lite Entry Door" and is often an easy target for thieves. The reality is that all a burglar has to do is break one of the nine windows nearest the doorknob and reach in to open. We've all seen this in a movie when the villain is going after his target. Side-entrance garage doors and walkout basement doors are often constructed the same way.
Protect your alternate entrances:
- Solid-core doors: The obvious solution here is to install solid-core "front doors" with minimal (or no) windows at the garage, side entrance, walkout basement and back door.
- Doorjamb reinforcement: Consider door reinforcement technologies that beef up the hinges, strike plate, doorjamb and wrap around the knob and deadbolt.
- Camera surveillance: Rear entrances are attractive to criminals because they are often hidden and out of plain sight. Installing security cameras with signage may make a burglar think twice.
- Home security: Install a monitored home security system--or, at a minimum, install motion sensors, stickers and signage alerting a burglar your home is alarmed.
- Lock your doors: It's not enough to have quality locks like Schlage locks as your doorknob and deadbolt--you also have to lock them! Many burglaries happen simply because people don't lock their doors!