Exterior doors should be of solid core construction and installed at all exterior dwelling entrances and attached garage entrances.
The solid core door should fit snugly into the properly constructed frame to provide adequate strength and security. The frame should be reinforced by blocking or filling at lock height to provide extra strength to help deter the burglary method of “spreading”.
Glass inserts to solid core doors and glass sidelight panels on one or both sides of the door should be considered when target hardening the entry. A burglar can smash and reach inside to cheat the locking mechanism. Reinforcing the frame area adjacent to the window area beside the door and replacing glass with more secure glass, plastic or shatter resistant plastic film adhered to the inside surface will help to increase the level of security.
Door and Frame Security Tips:
- Outside doors and frames should be made of solid wood or steel, which are harder to force open than hollow-core doors. Frames in outside doors should fit snugly (within 1/4 inch) against the door.
- Glass in outside doors should be at least 40 inches from the lock or be unbreakable.
- Secure all outside doors with deadbolt locks.
- A key is required to lock and unlock a deadbolt from outside.
- Ensure that the lock's (bolt) extends at least one inch past the edge of the door when locked.
- Install a peephole viewer (180 degrees) on the entrance door.
- Make sliding glass doors and windows more secure by placing a wood stick or metal bar between the frame and sliding door. Or, install a screw or pin by drilling a hole through both the sliding and fixed doors. To keep the door from being lifted off its track, limit clearance by installing screws that protrude down from the top track.
- The strike plate is the flat metal piece on the doorframe that receives the lock's bolt. Attach a six- or eight-inch strike plate with screws long enough (about three inches) to pass through the doorframe and into the wall stud.
- Hinges should be large enough to support the door, attached securely by screws that go through the doorframe into the supporting stud, and not exposed on the outside. Replace outside hinges with non-removable hinges that are available commercially.
- Modify your hinges by drilling a small hole into the middle of the hinge pin and tapping a small screw into the hole.