How Can I Improve My Home Door Security?

Home door security can prevent break-ins, forced entry, and burglaries, and can significantly improve the safety of your home.
Written by Kara Vanderbeek
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
There are a variety of security methods that homeowners can easily implement to reduce the threat of forced entry. These include door jammers, security bars, and reinforcement locks.
Home invasions continue to threaten the safety and security of homeowners across the United States, with 1,117,696 burglaries reported by the
FBI
in 2019. Of those, 55.7% involved forcible entry. 
Improving and reinforcing your front door security will act as a primary line of defense in safeguarding your home from intruders. In this article,
Jerry
, the
home and car insurance
broker and
super app
, outlines everything you need to know about keeping your home protected with home door security. 
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Why do I need home door security? 

The odds of a home invasion or burglary in the United States are extremely high—break-ins occur every 26 seconds and 2.5 million burglaries occur each year. With victims of home intrusion losing an estimated $3.4 billion in personal property yearly, the risk of home invasion should be a major concern for homeowners
According to data from the
FBI
, 65% of home break-ins occur by the forced entry of the front, back, or garage doors and 12% of burglars enter with a “hidden” key or walk through an unlocked door. 
If those statistics aren’t reason enough to improve your door security, consider that homes without a security system are 300% more likely to be broken into and burglarized. 
When it comes to the protection of your home, increasing your door security is the most effective method of intrusion prevention. 

Types of door security

The safety of your home can be drastically improved with the use of door security devices. These can range from simple door jammers to devices that need to be installed on your door. 
Here are the different types of devices you can use for your home.

Door jammers 

Door jammers use pressure-mounted extendable bars to tightly secure the door shut and prevent forced entry. They can be an effective security device for renters and travelers who don’t have permission to permanently alter the lock on their door.

Top door jammer: BuddyBar Jammer

Available at
Amazon
The BuddyBar Jammer may be thin, but it is mighty! It reinforces door strength using 8.2 pounds of 16 gauge steel

Door security bars

Hardware-mounted door security bars can barricade within sliding door frames to prevent intrusion. These barricades are attached to the floor with anchors and are designed to withstand strong amounts of force from the outside. 

Top door security bar: Nightlock Original Door Lock Barricade

Available at
Amazon
This product can be installed on marble, tile, or concrete, so it works on most houses. It is easy to install yourself and provides a good second level of security.

Reinforcement locks

Reinforcement locks can be installed in addition to the standard locks on your door to provide higher security with a hardware-mounted locking system.

Top reinforcement Lock: Defender Security Reinforcement Lock

Available at Amazon
These deadbolt devices are highly effective and simple to install. For example, the
Defender Security Reinforcement Lock
is built to withstand 800 pounds of force and can be installed in just three minutes.
Key Takeaway: The most common types of door security mechanisms include door jammers, door security bars, and reinforcement locks.

How to improve door security

The addition of one of the following methods can decrease your chances of a home invasion. For the greatest level of home security, however,  you should implement multiple door security methods

Reinforce your deadbolt strike plate

The deadbolt strike plate is a metal plate attached to the door jamb that holds the deadbolt when your door is closed. Regardless of the quality of your deadbolt, a low-quality strike plate will fail to keep your door secure from forced entry.
Replace the screws on your strike plate with securely attached 2.5-inch screws to increase the door’s ability to withstand forced entry. A box strike plate is also a good option.

Best box strike plate: Prime-Line Products Strike Plate

Available at
Amazon
You can replace the entire strike plate with a box strike plate, like this popular choice. This is a durable plate that holds the deadbolt with a steel cup, rather than a hole. The tighter locked bolt can withstand greater force. Be sure to choose a plate that comes with long anchor screws

Install a high-quality deadbolt

One of the best ways to secure your door from forced entry and door kick-ins is to obtain a durable deadbolt lock
To identify the varying durability of locksets, the
Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association
created a deadbolt security grading system that ranges from 1 to 3, with Grade 1 being the highest level of security. 
When choosing a deadbolt, opt for a Grade 1 or Grade 2 deadbolt. A Grade 1 deadbolt can withstand at least 10 strikes of 75 pounds of force.
If you’re unsure of your deadbolt’s security level, you can check on the bolt manufacturer's website. If your deadbolt is not graded, this is usually an indicator that you have a weak deadbolt lock.

Add a security bar

One of the best ways to kick-proof your door is with the installation of a security bar—a durable steel bar that you can screw into the door frame. 
The installation is fairly simple and can be completed by screwing two bolts on the frame to hold the bar. Remember to ensure the length of the bar fits the width of your door. 

Install a keyless door lock

If you’re looking for an inexpensive, easy method of improving door security, install a keyless door lock These locks increase security by using a passcode—not a key—to lock and unlock the door. While a key can fall into the wrong hands, you can keep closer tabs on who has access to your passcode. 

Best keyless door lock: Smartlock Keyless Entry

Available at
Amazon
This is a great solution for savvy homeowners. The installation can be completed in minutes by screwing the keyless door lock above your door’s deadbolt. Most keyless door locks can withstand 800 pounds of force.

Install a video doorbell or security camera

Another effective intruder deterrent is a doorbell or security camera. 
In addition to recording any suspicious or criminal activity, doorbell cameras can give homeowners peace of mind in knowing the goings-on outside their door. 
Keep in mind that security cameras work best when used in conjunction with other door security methods, and a camera alone may not secure your home from a break-in.
Available at
Amazon
This easy-install camera allows you to monitor who comes to your house, and it sends you alerts whenever motion is detected. And, as long as you have a wifi connection—set up is easy!

Reinforce your door frame and hinges

Reinforcing your door frame and hinges can be a great way to improve your door security and can be done without the help of a professional.
Again, ensure the screws in the hinges are at least 2.5 inches long, as any screws shorter than 1 inch are a security threat
You can further reinforce the hinges by installing hinge bolts below and above the hinges and reinforcing the door frame using a durable jamb reinforcement kit.

Use motion sensor lights

Motion sensor lights are a highly effective and affordable burglar deterrent method. 
Keep in mind that you should install the light at least 10 feet high to prevent intruders from reaching or destroying the lights. 
To avoid “false alerts” from pets or other movements on your property, you can opt for lights with adjustable sensitivity.
Key Takeaway: There are many highly effective and simple ways to improve your door security and reduce the threat of break-ins.

Does home insurance cover break-ins?

Standard insurance policies will cover personal property
losses due to theft
. However, there will be a limit to your personal property coverage. Generally speaking, you can expect 10% of your total personal property coverage, or $1,000, whichever is greater.
In addition, your dwelling coverage will be insured for the replacement cost value, while your personal property will be insured for its actual cash value in most policies. As such, depreciation of value will be factored into your claims payout.
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FAQs

There are many effective methods to choose from to prevent kicked-in doors, including the installation of door-jammers, high-quality deadbolts, reinforced door frames, and hinges, and reinforced deadbolt strike plates.
To install a security door, start by measuring the length and width of your doorway and then purchase a security door that fits your needs. Next, position the door hinge side in front of your door with a ⅛-inch gap between the lock-side and inside edge of the door. After marking the mounting location drill holes, drill the holes, and fasten the door to your existing door with screws. Note that you may also have to install handles and locks.
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