Door and Window Security Tips for Your Home or Apartment

How To Properly Secure Your Doors

  • To begin, be sure to get rid of any shrubs or bulky landscape materials you have currently placed near your entries. These types of plants can easily allow thieves to hide within them and catch you off guard as you unlock your door.
  • A good way to deter thieves is to use motion activated or timed lights above all entry doors.
  • Always be sure you’ve installed high quality deadbolt locks on all exterior doors.
  • Only use exterior doors with peep holes and doors with high quality construction. Stay away from doors with glass inserts.
  • Dead latch locks and deadbolts will prevent someone from using a credit card to easily pick your door’s lock.
  • The best type of lock to use is an auxiliary 1" deadbolt lock with a single cylinder guard and thumb turn latch. If you want even more security, you can use a deadbolt lock with a one inch throw and case hardened insert. Be sure not only to install a deadbolt but use it and lock it at all times. Sometimes it’s advised to not use a double cylinder deadbolt, as it might make your escape during a fire a little more difficult.
  • If you have windows in your door or near the doorway, cover them or replace them with shatter resistant glass or Plexiglas.
  • If you want to save money, go with a rim lock. It’s a one inch deadbolt and is secure but it’s much less expensive.
  • Flush bolts are the best choice when striving for maximum security because they can not be accessed from the outside.
  • To prevent any criminals from taking off your hinges to get into your home, they should be on the inside of the door. To remove the hinge pins, simply remove the two opposing screws on the hinge. Then drill out the other screw hole. If you have trouble, close the door so you can have easier removal.

How to Secure Your Home’s Windows

  • First, be sure you’re always using a great quality glass in your windows. Laminated glass is the best choice because it has a layer of vinyl (or sometimes plastic) in the center and glass on the inside and outside. This material is difficult to break and in the time it would take someone to break a window of this nature, the thief could easily be noticed.
  • Another good choice is tempered glass. Tempered glass is a material that’s heated until it’s almost melted. Then it’s cooled very quickly to give it an outer layer that is actually four to five times stronger than traditional glass.
  • For added security, wired glass can be used. In this type of window, the glass must be broken and then the wires must be cut individually for access to be gained.
  • If you’re one of thousands who prefer plastic windows, you can choose from acrylic or polycarbonate. Most acrylics are called Plexiglas and they are about ten times stronger than normal glass, but are also about as thick. Polycarbonate sheets are about 250 times stronger than regular glass and about 20 times stronger than regular plastics.
  • Be sure to never lock your window in the ventilation position. If you do, a thief can use a crow bar to gain entry access. In addition, key lock devices can actually be more harmful to you in case of a fire as well.
  • If you have double hung windows, security can be an issue. In this case, you may want to screw the windows shut by using a screw angled into the lower frame (and the top frame as well).
  • While security is important, be sure to always have an operational window easily accessed from the inside in every room. Also, never install decorative bars over a window because in case of a fire you may be preventing your family from exiting quickly.