Your home is the most important building in your life. It’s where you and your family members sleep and share quality time, and it keeps your most precious possessions safe. As a result, the security you invest in for your house matters. When you’re thinking about getting a new lock for your front door, make sure to take these steps.
Consider Your House’s Architecture
Unless you want to have your doorway completely redone, you must consider your house’s architecture when planning your home security system. How many inches of plywood or drywall are on either side of your door determines how long your screws can be. In general, the longer your lock’s and hinges’ screws, the more secure your door is. Additionally, a brick or stone doorframe is aesthetically appealing, but these designs make it much harder to install a deadbolt. Balance keeping your budget low and working with your existing architecture with making your house safe.
Think About Accessibility
Having lots of door locks prevents burglars from breaking into your house, but these security measures also slow you down when you need to get into and out of your house. Generally, a deadbolt and handle lock provides plenty of security without decreasing accessibility too much. As you determine the placement of these locks, think about your family’s range of motion. Are your locks within reach for shorter family members or people in wheelchairs? Additionally, keep in mind scenarios in which you want to exit your house quickly, such as during a fire or a medical emergency. In these cases, having too many locks makes your situation less safe. However, you must also consider your area’s crime rate before determining whether you need an extra lock.
Assess Your Family’s Needs
If you have children, you have even more reasons to keep your house secure. For little kids, ensure that the locks are secure enough that they can’t unlock the door without your knowledge. Install babyproof handles on your doorknobs to prevent unwanted excursions, and invest in an extra set of locks to keep your little ones safe. At the same time, your hands are much fuller than they were before you had kids. Look into locks that open with a passcode or touch ID to get into your house more quickly while still staying safe.
If your kids are old enough to drive, your home security system has to include options for them to get into the house on their own. When you purchase new locks, order extra keys for all your kids who drive or walk home from school without you. If you’re worried about your kids locking the front door when they come in late at night, talk to your locksmith about lock reminders or alarms.
Plan for Pets
Some pet owners don’t include any special features in their doors to accommodate their pets, so they don’t need to worry about extra security. However, if you have a small door for your cat or dog, you need a method for securing it at night or when you’re away. Consider installing a small deadbolt on one side of the flap, or see if your locksmith has a recommendation.
Evaluate Extra Security Measures
While you’re purchasing new door locks, think about other ways to improve security at your house. Investing in an alarm system allows you to sleep in peace whether you’re in your bedroom or on vacation 500 miles away. Some systems simply make lots of noise if someone attempts to open your door, breaks a window, or comes within a certain radius of your house. Others immediately notify a security company or the police if the alarm is triggered. Still more come with video cameras, allowing you to investigate whether a noise is a burglar or just a squirrel. Decide which system works best for you based on your budget, risk level, and house size.
Another aspect of home security that homeowners often overlook is window safety. You love having windows that open so that you can enjoy spring breezes, but hinged windows present yet another opportunity for entering your house. Install at least two kinds of locks on all your windows:
- Folding locks
- Window wedges
- Keyed locks
- Sliding locks
- Window pin locks
For more security, hang blinds or curtains and keep them closed at night, particularly if you have visible valuables. Even if you don’t have a security system, post a sticker advertising an alarm system on each ground floor window to deter robbers.
If your front door handle is broken, you need to invest in a new lock. Most homeowners don’t put anywhere near enough thought into this purchase or any other home security measures. However, by following these tips, you ensure that you and your family can sleep soundly in a house that’s safe and accessible.