Last week, we focused on the aesthetic appeal that a beautiful entry door can add to your home. More important than the look of your front door, however, is the security it offers. We know for a fact that criminals often enter through front doors, as opposed to a window or other point of entry. A safe front door–and a focus on safety habits–can deter would-be burglaries.

Entry Door Safety: Features

When considering what features increase (or decrease) your door’s security, put yourself in the mind of a criminal. The easier the target, the better. So, you need to  make things a little tougher. Safewise.com has a helpful list of ways to ensure your entry door is secure:

  • No glass near the door knob. A committed burglar will easily smash a window and open the door from the inside.
  • Solid material. Never have a security exterior door with a hollow core…
  • Strong dead bolt. A quality dead bolt lock is kick-proof and won’t open with a credit card swipe. Your door’s dead bolt should extend through the doorframe into your home’s framing.
  • Small pet door, if any. Some pet doors are large enough for a human to squeeze right through. If you need a large doggy door for your pet, secure it.

Consider whether anything on this list helps you narrow down your ideas for your front door, and eliminate any options that present a security risk. 

Entry Door Safety: Habits

Of course, the most secure door in the world won’t keep a criminal out if it’s unlocked. It’s easy to forget to lock your door when you are in a rush, but making this a part of your everyday routine is the most important thing you can do to ensure your entry door is secure. And don’t skip the dead bolt. Yes, it means a few extra seconds. It also means an added layer of protection against a burglary. Get in the habit of locking the door when you arrive home, too, and teach children to do the same.

Another habit, this one to be avoided: storing a key in an easily accessible place. We all fear being locked out of our homes, especially if we have young children or pets. But storing a key nearby your entranceway or in a predictable spot (like under the doormat) is a risk. If you must store a key outside, get creative with it! Better yet, make copies of your keys for close friends and relatives who live nearby or ask a trusted neighbor to store a spare on their property.