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Best Doors for Security: Pros, Cons and Costs
Choosing front or back doors for security should be a top priority when it comes to installing a new door – it is after all the main entry way into your home. To help you make the right choice for your home, this guide explores the best doors for security, additional security features to consider as well as the likely cost of installing a security door.
What is a security door?
Secure doors should be classified as British Standard (BS) Kitemark PAS 24-1, which is also known as a door of enhanced security. This will typically mean it is at least 44 millimetres thick and may have metal plates around the lock area and a peephole viewer to show you who is at the door. In addition, entrance doors should have five-lever mortise locks with Kitemark BS 3621 as they can only be opened with keys, i.e burglars cannot put open the door by smashing glass and reaching through to the internal handle. The locking mechanism should extend into the walls around the door for maximum strength.
Types of Security Front Doors
Security doors are available in several different types of material including:
- Wooden doors
- UPVC doors
- Composite doors
- Aluminium doors
Each type of door provides a different aesthetic but they also vary in terms of security standards. Wooden doors are not as strong as other materials but the locking mechanisms are usually worked into the door itself so you have more choice in the type of high quality locks you use when compared to UPVC, aluminium or composite.
Composite doors are made up of several different materials which are pressed together to form a single structure. Materials used can include uPVC, wood, insulating foam and glass reinforced plastic. UPVC doors vary in terms of security as it will depend on the quality of the UPVC used. Cheap UPVC can warp and become misshapen over time, but higher quality UPVC includes a core of galvanised steel. UPVC and aluminium doors are more restricted in terms of the locks you can install.
Steel security doors
While steel security doors are usually associated with public or commercial properties, many homeowners are now choosing to install a steel front door for high security. In addition, some steel security doors are fire rated to slow the spread of fire and smoke, provide excellent noise insulation as well as being highly thermally efficient.
Patio door security
When it comes to choosing a patio door there are a number of options:
- Sliding patio doors
- Bi-fold doors
- French (double or single) patio doors.
There are security measures you can take which are unique to certain door types.
To make your sliding doors more secure, ensure they are made from toughened or laminated glass or polycarbonate which is difficult to break. A metal or wooden dowel should be inserted into the track which runs for at least a quarter of the length of the track. Sliding doors should also have multiple vertical locking points.
For sliding or bi-fold doors you should invest in multi-locking system which is operated only from the inside and anti-lift devices to stop intruders lifting the doors from their rails.
French doors are also an easy target for criminals and should have extra safety precautions put in place – this can include mortice rack bolts, mortice sash locks and hinge bolts if the doors open outwards. UPVC doors of any design should feature anti-snap locks.
Additional internal door security measures
For extra peace of mind there are other measures you can take to improve the security of your door.
Door security locks
Installing locks is the best place to start when it comes to door security. A deadbolt is one of the most effective options as it will only open with a rotating key while standard locks are on a spring mechanism; this means they are better at resisting force and can only be opened internally with the key. If your door is over 44mm you could fit a five lever mortice deadlock. For a back door they recommend a 5 lever 2 bolt sash lock halfway up the door which you could also supplement with mortice rack bolts at the top and bottom of the door. You should ensure that in both cases they are British Standard 3621 or European Standard EN12209.
If you want to have glass panels featured in your door you may want to consider the level of security offered by the glass you choose. Toughened glass or laminated glass may provide additional security if you do opt for glass panels, your installer should be able to tell you more about the options they have available.
A peep hole, also referred to as a spy hole, is a good way to check who is calling at your home before deciding if you want to open the door to them. They are often inexpensive and fairly easy to fit to most kinds of door.
Door chain or limiter
Adding a door chain can help to increase your safety and peace of mind when answering your door. If you don’t know who the caller is, you can slide the chain into place and this will help to prevent an intruder from forcing entry
Door lock reinforcer
A door lock reinforcer is installed around the lock to give extra strength to the lock to prevent forced entry.
A plastic or metal jammer is fixed to the floor about an inch from the door and positioned at an angle and attached to the doorknob to keep it from moving.
Door security bar
A door security bar across the middle of a door prevents intruders from being able to push it open. The bars are usually adjustable to fit the width of the door.
Door security gate or grill
Adding a metal gate or grill on the external side of your door adds another of defence as it will be harder for intruders to break or to access the door hinges/frame. There are plenty of attractive gate designs out there, so you don’t need to worry about making your home look like a prison.
An alarm system can help to deter thieves, notify your neighbourhood if anyone does try to break in and give you more peace of mind over your home’s security. There are a range of styles available from large systems that cover your whole home, to cheaper and smaller door handle alarms. If you do choose to install one, you can also display stickers in your doors or windows, letting thieves know that the property is alarmed.
Installing CCTV cameras outside your property can also act as a deterrent to burglars considering breaking into your property. If there is a chance they are being filmed they are more likely to move on. In addition, should you be burgled, you have more chance of bringing the criminals to justice.
Smart Home Security Systems
You can now install smart home security system which includes a video doorbell and/or surveillance cameras and motion sensors inside and outside the home. When someone rings your doorbell you can see who it is via an app on your phone and even speak to them. You get alerts via your phone when someone is on your property.
House Security Tips
Always lock your door
Get the strongest locks you can and always remember to lock your doors, even when you’re at home.
Choose windowless doors
Windows by your doors weaken your security as they are easier to break than a door and burglars could break them to reach through and open the door from the inside. If you do have windows around your doors consider adding curtains to prevent people from looking inside.
Never leave keys in obvious places
If you ever leave a spare key under a doormat or plant pot, you might be putting your home’s safety at risk as these are the first locations a thief may think to look. You should also avoid leaving a key anywhere too close to a door, especially one with a letterbox or glass panels. If there is a letterbox with no plate present, a thief may try to reach inside and grab your keys.
Make sure letter boxes are secure
A letter box can be seen as a weak point by intruders as a way to try and reach keys, wallets or other objects near the door. The other opportunity they present to intruders is to allow them to insert their hand and feel around for a way to unlock the door from within. For this reason you should always ensure your letterbox is positioned at least 40cm from the lock. You may also want to consider fitting a cover plate to help reduce the risk further.
How much do security doors cost?
The cost of security doors is difficult to estimate as it is impacted by a lot of different factors. The material you choose for your door will have the biggest impact on the final cost of the security door, as will any custom colours and finishes. Laminated or toughened glass will be more costly than standard glass and if you are then adding extra accessories to increase security this will add additional cost.
The following tables give some approximate industry averages for doors and extra security measures excluding installation costs.
|Material||Average Cost excluding installation (approx.)|
|Composite||£550 – £2,000+|
|Aluminium||£600 – £3,500+|
|Timber||£750 – £4,000+|
|uPVC||£400 – £1,500+|
|Steel||£400 – £5,000+|
|Style of Door||Average Cost excluding installation (approx.)|
|Bifold||£1,500 – £4,500+|
|French||£900 – £2,500+|
|Patio / Sliding||£750 – £1,800+|
Cost of Door Security Accessories
|Accessory||Average Cost excluding installation (approx.)|
|Deadbolt||£5 – £200+|
|Door Peephole||£5 – £25|
|Door Chain||£10 – £150|
|Door Lock Reinforcer||£10 – £30|
|Door Bar||£30 – £150|
|Door Jammer||£15 – £30|
|Door Gate/Grill||£80 – £350|
|Smart security door camera||£30 – £200+|
Looking for security door installation quotes?
When you’ve chosen the right security door and any other accessories for your home you will need to have them installed. The cost of this labour will vary depending on the complexity of the job and the company you choose. To get the best deal on your new security doors we recommend comparing quotes from at least 2 different companies.
If you would like a bespoke quote for new security doors for your home, send us an enquiry today. We’ll find you up to 3 free, no obligation quotes from reputable installers.
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