The hinged door is the most common door type used in front entries, porches and from garages and basements into the living area of a residence. That makes it especially important to make sure these common points-of-entry for burglars are properly secured. When evaluating the security of your doors, the door itself, as well as the hinges, locks, and other hardware, must be considered.


Be sure all exterior hinged doors are of solid core construction (1.75˝ thick if made of wood) or metal clad. Hollow-core or composition board doors can be easily kicked in or bored through.


The most common lock found in hinged doors is the key-in-the-knob latch lock. If you use this type of lock, be sure it includes a deadbolt that extends at least one inch into the door frame. If there are no glass panels in the door itself or within 40 inches of the locking mechanism, doors can be equipped with a single cylinder deadbolt lock with a one-inch throw. The lock is key-operated from the outside, and is operated from the inside by a thumb turn. If your door has glass panes or if there are windows within 40 inches of the lock, a double cylinder deadbolt lock is recommended. Double cylinder deadbolt locks are key-operated from both the inside and the outside.


Doors with glass panels may require special treatment such as security screening or decorative grilles securely mounted using non-removable screws. Another alternative is to reinforce the glass with clear acrylic plastic or polycarbonate sheeting to prevent it from being shattered. Doors from the garage or the basement into the main living area of the house should be of solid core construction and equipped with secure locks. For solid panel exterior doors, a peephole viewer is recommended.


Sliding glass doors present a major security problem if they do not have the proper locks and steps are not taken to prevent removal of the door. An inexpensive security measure involves placing a dowel in the bottom track to prevent the door from being pried open. However, a sliding glass door can be lifted from its track by an intruder. To prevent this, insert two or three sheet metal screws into the track above the sliding door. Adjust these screws so that the top of the door barely clears them when it is operated. This will prevent the door from being lifted out of its track from outside. The best lock for a sliding glass door is a deadbolt lock, which utilizes a bore pin tumbler cylinder and can be opened with a key from the outside. The lock bolt should engage the strike sufficiently so that it will not be disengaged by any amount of movement.