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How do I Choose the Best Residential Security Door?

T. L. Childree
T. L. Childree

There are several qualities that you should look for when choosing a residential security door. According to most industry standards, both the door and its frame should be fabricated from either steel or solid hardwood. The total thickness of the door should not be less than 2 inches (5.08cm), while the central core of the door must have a minimum thickness of 1.5 inches (3.81cm). The door’s frame should have the same overall strength as the door itself and fit the door proportionally. A residential security door should also have additional horizontal and vertical inner reinforcement beams. It is important to make sure that the residential security door you choose conforms to these basic standards.

Recent crime statistics have proven that perimeter doors are a burglar’s typical method of entry into a home. If you are thinking about improving your home’s security, perimeter doors are where your efforts should usually begin. Most of the time, a burglar’s primary concern is to enter a home quietly and quickly. The appearance of a strong and well-secured door will often prevent a burglary attempt from occurring at all. In addition to appearance, there are a few other factors you should consider when choosing a residential security door including installing high grade locks, door viewers, and door chains.

Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

A strong residential security door isn’t really worth much without a strong lock to go along with it. The overall quality of a door lock is typically categorized in grades from one to three, with one being the best. For optimal protection, every lock used for a perimeter door should be grade one. A deadbolt type lock is usually recommended for use with a residential security door.

There are two different types of deadbolt locks: double cylinder and single cylinder. Double cylinder deadbolts have a keyhole on both sides, while single cylinder deadbolts have a keyhole on the exterior side and a handle that is used for locking and unlocking the door on the interior side. A single cylinder deadbolt should never be used in a door with breakable glass panes near the lock, since a burglar could easily reach in and unlock the door. It is a good idea to keep a key in the interior keyhole in case you need to open the door in a fire or other emergency situation.

Door viewers and door chains are also recommended for use with a residential security door. Door viewers are inexpensive devices that can also enhance the security of perimeter doors. These peephole type viewers enable you to see outside of the door without having to open it first. Door chains are usually attached to the door at one end and the door frame at the other end. These small chains provide enough space for you communicate with strangers on the outside without completely opening the door. A door chain is usually strong enough to prevent an intruder from forcing the door open and entering the house.

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