When you think of home security, you probably think of locks being the first line of defense. However, it really all starts with your door. Doors play a big role in the overall security of your home. Many criminals take advantage of weak or flimsy doors when committing a forced entry. An intruder can easily kick these doors in, dislodging the strike plate, regardless of what kind of lock you have. When outfitting your home with better security, don’t overlook your door in the process.

Materials

These days, you can find doors made of many different materials. These vary widely, and some are better than others at fortifying your home security. Be sure to do your research and consider your options before purchasing one.

Steel

Steel doors are commonly used in dry climates. Having steel doors in wet climates make rusting more likely, so take that into consideration as well. Steel doors that are hollow, even those with deadbolts, can be compromised with a crowbar. Your best bet is a steel door with a core of at least 1 ¾ inches paired with a quality deadbolt. Make sure that the strike plate is screwed deeply into the door jamb as well. Steel doors are at their peak when combined with a steel door frame. Just know that steel is easily scratched, dented and is susceptible to rust. Also, a steel door that is paired with a non-steel frame can be pried with a crowbar.

Wood

Wood doors are often the material of choice when it comes to style. There are many different kinds of wood doors – it may be time to upgrade yours to one that offers better security. Wood doors can rot and dent easily, so pay attention to maintenance.

Fiberglass

Fiberglass offers the best of both worlds: it can look nice like wood with the strength of steel. The trade-off with this is the price as fiberglass can be more expensive.  Another pro to fiberglass doors is that they are easy to maintain. These doors can withstand any weather conditions, and they won’t contract or expand with temperature fluctuations. Fiberglass can also be customized with paint and the like to match your exterior. Many folks assume that steel is stronger than fiberglass, but a fiberglass door can be reinforced with a steel frame and offer maximum support.

Glass

Glass doors can be tricky. Overall, you’ll want to choose a thickness of glass that can stand up to pressure, as well as one with an opacity that allows you to see through it as you will. Privacy ratings for glass doors are measured from 1 – 10, so you can pick what works best for you (10 being the most opaque). Glass is also rated in how shatterproof it is, so consider all of these options when choosing the panels that will go on your door.

Energy efficiency is also an aspect that shouldn’t be overlooked during your door selection. Overall, steel and wood tend to offer better insulation than wood doors. Many factors contribute to a door’s energy efficiency rating, including the framework as well as the door itself.

Security Testing

When solid doors were battery tested, I was found that the most crucial part of door security was the door jamb near the lock. On fiberglass, wood and steel doors this area split every time. Reinforced locks and bolted strike places were found to go a long way toward making a door more kick-resistant. Having the right combination of door, lock and reinforcement is the key to successful home security. Many homeowners overlook the door that leads to the garage, so be sure that all the doors leading into your home are reinforced properly.

There are some doors that really take the cake when it comes to being, well, everything-resistant. Master Security manufactures doors that withstand not only intruders, but fires, hurricanes and even bullets. This company started making super strong doors in 1974, when an Italian engineer realized there was a hole in the market. Today, you can find Master security doors sold everywhere. The door even comes with four deadbolts and an anti-pick lock for maximum security. These doors are constructed with reinforced, galvanized 12 gauge steel. Which means, they’re ultra-strong. These doors can withstand our men beating it with a sledgehammer for ten minutes straight. Whether its gunshots or cannonballs, nothing gets through Master security steel doors.

Sur Celik Kapi doors are another brand with proven resiliency. When put to a sledgehammer test with another, cheaper steel door, Sur Celik Capi blew the competition out of the water. The cheaper door gave way after nineteen hits, whereas on the Sur Celik Kapi, the test stopped at 933 hits due to the crew’s fatigue. Talk about protection.

All of this boasting and geeking just goes to show you that a solid door will serve you better than a hollow one every time. Make sure that when you’re upgrading your door, you make sure that it has been tested by a company credited to doing so. These tests contribute to a door’s overall effectiveness rating. It also says a lot when a company is willing to stand behind their door with a warranty, some even going so far as promising to reimburse customers in the event of a break in.

Conclusion

Combining a sturdy locking system with a solid door is your ticket to improved home security. Having one without the other is often not enough to protect you from life’s uncertainties. A multi-point locking system keeps the door square and offers stronger security than the commonplace standard deadbolt + strike plate. The quality of your strike plate matters too – high industry grade strike plates offer nearly four times more protection than your everyday strike plate.

I know what you want to know – which door has the highest efficiency rating regarding protection from forced entry? That would be the Smooth-Star entry door. This wonder of construction received the highest level possible against the industry’s best forced entry test. But take it from me, there are many high security doors out there to choose from. Make sure to do the best you can based on your needs and budget.