The DIY World
The Home of DIY and Home Improvement
Welcome to 'Features' - find out about different products

  Bookmark and Share  

Burglary is an unfortunate part of life these days, don't just be a victim of crime, fight back!  I'll show you how it can be done

Home How To DIY Projects Features Security Electrics Tools Support Glossary of Terms Contact

Door Security


Door Security and Deterring the Opportunist
Where security is concerned, the first thing to consider is the doors themselves.  Understandably, entrance doors should be high on your security agenda, after all, this is how people usually get in and out of houses!  The entrance doors should be of strong construction, with security locking devices fitted to them, so that one could only conclude (just by looking) that the door would present some problems if attempts were made to force it open.  Consider too the condition of the doors, a door in poor condition, or poorly fitted, drastically reduces its strength and your security.


Some design of doors give better security than others.  What would be classed as a strong, secure door would be one that has a 'solid core' and a flush finish. 'Solid core' doors as the name suggests are made of a solid material which can either be; solid chipboard core or solid timber that is made up of timber strips that have been glued together.  Whichever method used, both sides of the door is covered with plywood providing a smooth plain finish. Though secure, the appearance of this type of door is not the type you would normally have as your front door. Manufactures do recognise this and now produce a solid core door with various decorative external finishes.

Front Door
Traditionally, front entrance doors are panel doors, that is doors made in the traditional way with two vertical side members and a horizontal top and bottom rails.  The main body of the door is divided-up by means of additional horizontal and vertical members, the number of which is determined by the design of the door and the number of panels that it has. The panels are usually the 'raised' type and held in place by grooves that are machined into the door rails and stiles.

Locking Devices
It is recommended that as a minimum, a five lever mortice sashlock be fitted to the centre of the door, with bolts top and bottom. Bolts can be either surface mounted, or inserted into the door itself.
All bolts rely on the 'keep', which is the part that fits onto the door frame to keep them from being forced open.   The 'keep' of the surface mounted bolts is also surface mounted, which means that they rely on the screws that holds them in place aginst any force imposed. Unfortunatley the screws usually provided for fixing the more decrotive bolts are woefully inaduate for the job. The mortice type of bolt (as shown below) is a better option for a number of reasons;The bolt and 'keep' is consealed within the door and frame, the bolt can only be open with a key and the strength of the bolt does not rely solely on the screws for their strength.

Door Viewers
You may decide not to have glass panels in your front door, or to use obscure panels, in which case you should consider a 'door viewer'.  These are a good feature which can provide 180 degree vision to the outside of the door, they are relativly cheap to buy, easy to fit are are unintrusive when fitted.  They are finished in either brass or chrome. 

Door Chains

Door chains only allow the door to be partly opened, sufficient for an item to be passed through the gap or to allow comunication to take place without fully opening the door. One end of the chain is fixed to the door frame while the other is inserted into either a slot that is fix to the door that allows the chain to slide a short distance, or as the type illustrated here, a specially designed chain that has a larger 'stop' link.  If the caller tried to remove the chain by reaching through the gap, it would not be possible, because the chain would be at its maximum length in relation to the restraint.  Before the chain could be removed, the door would first need to be closed allowing the chain to be pulled back to its point of entry, which would be impossible from the outside.

Postal Letter Plate

The postal letter plate should be positioned on the middle rail of the door rather than the bottom and the locks should be positioned so that they are at least 400mm away from the letter plate aperture.
Rear Doors
Rear panel doors are often the two panel type (2XG), which has glass at the top and plywood at the bottom.  Other than the obvious problems with glass, the bottom panel is usually made of relatively thin plywood, that would not be too difficult to force.  For this reason I would not personally recommend this type of door as a suitable secure back door.  I would recommend a solid core flush door without glass with a five lever sashlock fitted at the centre, with bolts top and bottom.
Whichever style of door used, you should ensures that it is the correct thickness, 44mm rather than 40mm.

Door Frames

The door frame also plays an important role in door security.  It should be of good construction and be of an appropriate external door frame section size, and securely fix in place.


Useful Resources


Please note that the contents on this page is protected by copyright
Please note that the contents on this page is
protected by copyright

© Copyright 2000-2015 The DIY World - All rights reserved

Page 1/1