Securing an outward-opening door is essential for home security. Discover three crucial methods to safeguard your outward opening doors effectively.
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1. Reinforcing the Door Hinges and Locks
Reinforcing your door hinges is an effective way to secure an outward-opening door. One method is by using hinge bolts and security pins that prevent the door from being lifted off its hinges even if the hinge pins are removed.
Products like the AIEVE Door Hinges Security Screws are designed for this purpose and they’ve received positive reviews for their effectiveness.
Skills4Life says to:
- Use a robust deadbolt lock on your exterior doors for security. The lock itself doesn’t matter as much as having long, sturdy screws securing it.
- Replace the short, weak screws (often only 3/4 inch long) holding locks and strike plates with much longer 3-inch screws. This provides more strength.
- Longer screws go through the door frame and into the wall studs, anchoring the lock hardware solidly. Short screws only go into the trim.
- For in-swinging doors, also replace the small screws on the hinges with 3-inch screws for added security.
- Consider upgrading to a larger strike plate, as more surface area distributes force better if someone kicks or rams the door. Use long screws to attach it firmly.
Installing Deadbolts and Improved Latches
Adding a deadbolt is another effective way to add an extra layer of security to your door.
A deadbolt is harder to pick compared to a spring latch and provides significant resistance to forced entry.
Additionally, improving your door latches can also prevent burglars from easily prying open your door.
2. Strengthening the Door Frame and Jamb
Strengthening the door frame is another essential step in securing an outward-opening door.
This can be achieved by installing a strike plate, which is a metal plate affixed to a door jamb and has a hole or holes for the bolt of the door.
When combined with long, sturdy screws, a strike plate can drastically increase a door’s resistance to forceful attacks.
Applying Security Film or Grille
If your door has glass panels, applying a security film can help prevent the glass from shattering upon impact.
On the other hand, a security grille can provide an additional physical barrier to entry, further deterring potential burglars.
3. Adding Extra Layers of Security
A door viewer or peephole allows you to see who’s outside without having to open the door, providing an added layer of security.
This is especially useful for outward opening doors as it enables you to screen visitors before opening the door.
Using Door Stoppers or Wedges
Door stoppers or wedges can be used to physically block the door from opening.
They work by increasing the friction between the door and the floor, making it difficult for someone to force the door open.
Products like the Master Lock Compact Door Stopper have been well-received for their effectiveness in this regard.
Setting Up Security Bars, Chains or Cameras
Security bars or chains allow the door to be opened partially so you can talk to the person outside without completely opening the door.
Security cameras, on the other hand, can deter would-be burglars and provide valuable evidence in case of a break-in.
Anatomy of an Outward Opening Door
One of the most distinctive features of an outward-opening door is the exposed hinges. This poses a potential security risk as burglars could attempt to remove the hinge pins and dismantle the door.
Therefore, securing the hinges becomes a vital part of enhancing the security of an outward-opening door.
The door frame is another important component. It holds the door in place and provides support. A weak or compromised frame can make your door more susceptible to forced entry.
Therefore, reinforcing the door frame can significantly improve your door’s resistance to break-ins.
Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, and the choice often depends on the door type and the level of security required.
Additional Tips for Safeguarding an Outward Opening Door
Employing a Bright Outdoor Lighting System
Having a bright outdoor lighting system can deter potential burglars as it increases the chances of them being seen.
Motion-sensor lights can be particularly effective as they turn on when movement is detected, startling intruders and alerting you to their presence.
Considering a Keyless Front Door Lock
A keyless front door lock eliminates the risk of lost keys and can be more difficult for burglars to pick.
Some models also allow you to remotely control and monitor your lock, providing added convenience and peace of mind.
Protecting Glass Front Doors
If your outward opening door has glass panels, consider reinforcing them with security film or replacing them with laminated or tempered glass, which is tougher and more resistant to break-ins.
Maintenance and Regular Checkups for Door Security
Checking Weatherstripping and Door Sweep
Weatherstripping and door sweep not only keep out drafts but also help secure your door by eliminating gaps where tools can be inserted.
Regularly checking and replacing these components helps maintain the integrity of your door.
Regularly Testing the Security Measures
It’s important to regularly test your door’s security measures to ensure they’re working as intended.
This includes checking the strength of your door hinges and locks, the condition of your door frame, and the effectiveness of any additional security devices.
FAQs about Outward Doors
Are outward-opening doors secure?
Yes, outward-opening doors can be secure if proper security measures are taken.
This includes reinforcing the door hinges and locks, strengthening the door frame and jamb, and adding extra layers of security such as door viewers and stoppers.
Can exterior doors open outward?
Yes, exterior doors can open outward. Many commercial buildings have outward-opening doors for reasons like safety and space utilization.
However, they pose unique security challenges that need to be addressed.
Why do some front doors open outwards?
Some front doors open outwards due to building regulations, particularly in areas prone to hurricanes where outward doors are better at resisting strong winds.
Other reasons include better utilization of interior space and easier evacuation in case of emergencies.