Improve your home security in just an afternoon with these Cheap and Easy DIY Home Security Updates for your Doors. No fancy tools required!
Easy DIY Home Security Updates for your Doors
Hi guys! Who wants a safer home??? I know I do.
Today I’ve got some quick & easy Home Security Updates for your Doors that’ll make your home safer, in just an afternoon. And you only need a screwdriver and a drill to do these. Yay!
I wanted to share these tips with you after I took a quick break from finishing up my Master Bathroom Remodel to finally add a Swing Bar Lock to our front door.
So glad I got that easy project off my to-do list. Now I can quit worrying that my 3-year will open the door for someone when I’m not around. Yikes!
But that swing arm lock also adds an extra level of protection against a break in.
In fact, all 3 of these Quick and Easy Home Security Updates will help protect you from someone busting down your exterior doors. Yay to that. 🙂
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What you Might Need
- Screwdriver & Drill
- Deadbolt, Grade 1 or Grade 2 with 1″ Long Bolt
- 3″ Self Tapping Strike Plate Screws (these screws will fit most strike plates)
- Swing Bar Lock
Best Ways to Secure Your Front Door From Burglars
- Install 3″ Long Screws on Strike Plates
- Install a Grade 1 or Grade 2 Deadbolt
- Add a Swing Bar Lock
- Install a Camera or Video Doorbell
Install 3″ Long Screws on Strike Plates
Have you ever seen a crime drama or movie where a person easily shoulders or kicks down a door and the wood trim around the door just splits about an 1″ deep along the door?
Well, that’s because the short screws that come with most strike plates just aren’t deep enough to prevent that soft pine (typically) frame from cracking.
One of the first things I did after moving into this home was to replace the original short strike plate screws with 3″ long screws on all exterior doors. And, this is an easy way to secure your front door from burglars.
In our house, I replaced the strike plate screws on the front and back doors and the garage entry door in our Laundry Room.
Using 3″ long screws in the framing around your doors makes it much, much harder to force or break down a door.
A 3″ long screw can actually get into the framing studs around the door frame, providing a much stronger door than you’d have with just a screw in the 3/4″ trim around the door.
Using 3″ long screws on the door knob and deadbolt strike plates will add the extra strength that can stop most door break downs.
This is one of the cheapest, quickest, and easiest DIY home security updates for your doors. Everyone, even apartment or rental home tenants should do this. Just in case.
All you need is the same size, flat head self-tapping screws and a drill to replace the screws on the strike plates. This pack of stainless steel 9×3 inch screws will work with most strike plates.
Use the Right Deadbolt
The latest deadbolt safety standards recommend that a Grade 1 or Grade 2 Deadbolt that sticks out at least 1″ must be used on all exterior doors.
That door between your garage and house is an exterior door. So, be sure to always secure the door into the house from the garage too!
If your deadbolt is loose, doesn’t work properly, or doesn’t meet the latest standards, you should replace it.
Anyone that’s pretty good at reading instruction manuals and a screwdriver can replace their own deadbolts.
Or, ask a handy family member to help you. It only takes about 20 or 30 minutes to replace a deadbolt on a door.
Sometimes, you may have to drill a new hole for a deadbolt. Which can make the job more complicated. But, usually, in newer homes, you can just use the old holes.
The Family Handyman has a great Install Guide for Deadbolt’s if you need help installing a new deadbolt.
Add A Swing Bar Lock
You can also install a Swing Bar Lock on the front door, and maybe other doors, if needed.
This is another one of those easy DIY Home Security Updates for your Doors that almost anyone can do.
And, a swing bar lock has 2 huge benefits for a front door.
First, a swing bar lock lets you crack the door open to talk or look out while it keeps people out. And, it stops my little kids from opening the door when I’m not around. I’m all about extra safety when it comes to my kids.
These swing bar locks are also great for stopping those toddlers and little kids from opening the door for strangers or just going outside without you.
When one of my little guys was just 2, he opened the front door and went all the way to our busy street to see his Daddy. I was in my bathroom and had no idea it was happening.
I’m so thankful my husband was there! I installed a swing bar lock on that door a few days after this happened. This stopped him from doing this again.
I can imagine a swing bar lock would also be great for back doors that lead to pools without fences.
You don’t want those little ones opening doors or near the pool while you’re in the shower or just out of ear range.
Just make sure to install your swing bar lock high enough to be out of the reach of little kids.
Install a Camera or Video Doorbell
The best way to increase the security in your home is with a high-definition security camera. Video evidence of a theft, trespassing, or break-in is one of the most effective pieces of evidence you can have.
You really want your security camera, or cameras, to have cloud storage too. Then you can access the video anytime, download it, and share it with police or neighbors.
Cloud storage for a home security camera is generally pretty affordable.
These days, Home Security Cameras are amazingly easy to setup and use too! And, most of them are really cheap.
I just bought this Security Camera with Night Vision for about $30. It has fantastic video quality, guys! You can 2-Way talk through this camera. And, it can see about 180 degrees in all directions.
This camera has a WiFi connection to your Internet, so you just plug it into any outlet and that’s it. The app for that security camera makes setting it up and accessing the video really easy.
You can install multiple cameras around your house and access all of them through the app.
So, place one near each exterior door in your home for added security. You can even point on at your porch, through a window.
OR, instead of pointing the camera at your front porch through a camera, you can install a video doorbell. There are many versions of video doorbells on the market.
Here’s a step by step video showing how I replaced my old doorbell with a ring video camera.
Home Security Tips From a Police Officer
Those Easy DIY Home Security Updates for your Doors help to keep your home safer, but I’ve learned a few more things about home security from a local police officer.
Home Security Tip One
First, the average residential burglar is often a male teenager that lives near you. They are opportunist looking for an easy target.
Strangely, my parents have had 2 experiences with different sets of teenage boys trying to break into 2 different homes.
Teens can be a bit irrational, right? And, peer pressure in groups can make you do things as a teen, you wouldn’t normally do alone or as an adult.
So, make sure your kids aren’t using a garage door security code or hidden key to access your home. If they do, all of their friends know exactly how to enter your home.
AND, talk to your teens about things like this and about how dangerous breaking into a house, even one you think is empty, can be.
I hate to think about a 15-year old acting impulsively breaking into a home and being shot by a scared homeowner.
Home Security Tip Two
Next, if the risk of detection is high, the average burglar will not attempt to enter your home.
Keep trees and shrubs around your home trimmed, so that they don’t make good hiding places for break-ins.
Avoid tall fencing, if possible. Tall fences that hide the backyard add privacy for you, but also make it easier for burglars to break-in without being seen.
Also, loud or large dogs can scare off burglars or at least draw attention they don’t want.
And, light up your house to deter criminals. Street Lights, motion-detecting lights, and porch lights are all recommended for deterring crime.
Home Security Tip Three
Don’t leave tools in your yard that could be used to help a burglar break-in. You don’t want to help make their job easier.
Most burglaries happen during the day, when people are at work. So, do what you can to make it look like your home is occupied.
Leave a car in the driveway, instead of the garage. And, if you are home, don’t just ignore people knocking on the front door. I used to always do this!
But, now I realize that may make someone think the home is empty and a good target. So now I look out the sidelight of my door to see who it is.
Then I can always say ‘no thanks’ through the window, if I don’t feel comfortable opening the door.
Or, if you have a video doorbell with 2-Way talk, you can just talk to the person through the doorbell. That’s another reason to LOVE a video doorbell.
That’s it for my quick and easy DIY home security updates for your doors!
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