Most burglars break in through the front or back door of a property. That means having a secure door is vital. Doors come in a variety of materials so what would I recommend?
Three factors need taking into account: Cost, door material, and the type of lock fitted to the door.
Common types of front (or back) door
Wood is a strong, solid material for front doors but needs regular maintenance to keep it in good condition. Wooden doors are more expensive to buy but have the advantage that additional locks can be fitted to them to boost security and convenience e.g. a nightlatch or rim lock
UPVC doors are very popular due to their affordability and low maintenance. They are also thermally efficient and a stylish option for many people. On the downside, additional locks cannot be fitted to this type of door.
Composite doors are made from a number of different materials compressed together. Cost-wise, they fall somewhere between wood and uPVC. A good quality composite door will be very strong, durable and low maintenance. Additionally you could still add a chain or bolts for extra piece of mind.
Most secure lock for a front door
The 5 lever mortice deadlock is the most secure type of lock for timber doors. It should also be BS3621 compliant. You can check this by viewing the lock when the door is opened. BS3621 should be visible somewhere on the lock face.
uPVC doors use a multipoint locking mechanism connected to a euro cylinder lock. Although the multipoint locking mechanism is extremely strong, many old uPVC doors are fitted with cylinder locks that can be easily snapped. This technique is called locksnapping and even today this flaw is responsible for many break-ins. Fortunately, anti-snap euro cylinder locks have been developed which fix this problem. As well as being fitted on new uPVC doors, they can also be retro fitted on older uPVC doors to make them extremely secure.
Composite doors are similar to uPVC doors and are usually secured with a multipoint locking system and anti-snap euro cylinder.
Additional security for your front door
Other features you can add to your front or back door to increase security include
- Door chain
- Door alarm – a beep sounds when opened or closed
- Letterbox cage – to prevent burglaries through the letterbox e.g. fishing for car keys, house keys through the letterbox