Crime Prevention Information
Home Burglary Prevention Tips Part (3)
Doors are usually the burglars first choice of entry into a home. Believe it or not, some residents leave exterior doors unlocked . . . . particularly children who may be the last to leave. In other entries, the burglar simply breaks a door or a side light and reaches around to unlock a door.
3 The Door
Exterior doors should be of solid core (wood, not composite materials) or steel, 2 3/4" thick is preferred.
Hollow core or wood panel doors can be easily broken. Such doors, however, can be reinforced by attaching at least 20 gauge (approximately 1/32"thick) sheet metal on the exterior side of the door. If this method of strengthening the exterior door is used. attach the sheet metal with carriage bolts, spacing no further than 16" apart, around the perimeter of the door (see figure 3)attach the sheet metal with carriage bolts, spacing no further than 16" apart, around the perimeter of the door (see figure 3)
If an exterior door is equipped with glass within arm’s length (about 40") of the door lock, break resistant polycarbonate glazing material (similar to plexiglass) attached to the inside of the door around the sides will provide considerable delay(see figure 4).
Entry doors should fit their frames tightly, with no more than 1/8" clearance between the door and the frame.
Door frames should be solidly anchored to the rough opening. There are often spaces left between the rough opening stud at a point midway up the door jamb. These spaces create a poor anchorage for hardware making the door easy to kick open. If possible, the door molding should be removed and these spaces should be filled or “shimmed” prior to mounting any new lock strikes. If the door opens inward, the stop strip should actually be part of the wood frame, not applied. The stop strip is a wood strip installed on or milled into the door jamb (it’s the part of the jamb that the door closes on). If the stop has been applied (strip nailed on the jamb), pry it off carefully and coat the surfaces with epoxy cement. Then hammer the stop back in place and further secure it with tapered wood screws installed directly in front of the lock bolts. This will make it difficult for a burglar to pry up the strip and manipulate the lock from the exterior.
· Door Viewer
Entry doors should have wide angle (180°) door viewers to permit the occupant to see callers without opening the door. Such door viewers are inexpensive and easy to install (see figure 5).