I’ve discussed many ways to fortify your home — from home security systems to canine sentries to devices that make it look like someone is home. Today, I’m going to focus on a key area of home security that is often overlooked — even though it’s right in front of your face.
That’s right, we’re going to talk about your front door.
Over 33% of burglars gain entry to a home through the front door, whether it’s unlocked, picked open or kicked in. And one of the most common ways criminals case a house is by ringing the doorbell to see if anyone is home.
Ding Dong, Who’s There?
Take the case of James Goldman, for example. A few months ago, James was away from home when he received a notification on his cellphone from his home security system alerting him that someone was ringing the doorbell at his home.
As another security measure, James had installed a doorbell that included a camera, so he was able to see the person standing at the door. James didn’t recognize the man and wasn’t expecting any visitors.
The suspicious man turned around and left, only to return a few minutes later wearing a pair of heavy-duty gloves. He climbed onto the roof, at which point James began yelling at the strange man through the speaker on the doorbell, saying that he was calling the police.
The would-be thief hopped down from the roof and took off. James was able to prevent his home from being burgled by having a doorbell camera as part of his home security system, which allowed him to scare off the criminal.
If you haven’t done so, I recommend looking into a doorbell security camera. Hopefully, you’ve already installed security cameras around your home, but having an additional camera on your doorbell gives you the ability to communicate with whomever is at your door.
Here are three security doorbells I suggest looking into:
- SkyBell HD — The SkyBell HD Wi-Fi Video Doorbell offers 1080p HD-quality video with a 5x zoom. It allows you to monitor your front door anytime — not just when someone rings the bell. With the SkyBell, you can see and hear visitors at your door with no monthly subscription fee. The only drawback is that the SkyBell must be wired into your existing doorbell — it doesn’t use a battery. This device sells for around $160 on Amazon.
- Ring Video Doorbell — The Ring Wi-Fi-Enabled Video Doorbell is one of the most popular smart doorbells on the market. It can be wired into your existing doorbell or operate on a battery. Using your cellphone or tablet, you can easily view and speak with visitors at your door — even when you aren’t home. However, Ring does charge a $3 monthly fee to save and share your videos. It sells for around $200 on Amazon.
- August Doorbell Cam — August also offers smart locks as well as doorbell cameras. If you are looking for both, this is a doorbell camera to consider. You can integrate the locks and the camera so you can essentially buzz someone in by unlocking your door after vetting them via the camera. The only drawback is that the August camera doesn’t have night vision, so the picture quality at night isn’t the best. The doorbell camera by itself sells for $190 on Amazon.
I believe you should continually evaluate your home defense plan to find ways to improve and strengthen it, which is why I recommend one of these doorbell cameras.
But that’s not all. Here are a few other things you can do make your front door a hard target:
- Install Schlage or Medeco locks — these locks are much more secure than their commonplace Kwikset counterparts, which are easy to pick
- I also recommend having a reliable deadbolt from either Schlage or Medeco
- Get a solid-core door — one that’s made out of sturdy, solid materials like wood, steel or iron
- Resist the temptation to have a decorative glass front door — a criminal could smash through this in seconds
- Use a door barricade — like the ones made by Nightlock — to make it impossible for someone to kick in your front door.
Statistics show that front doors are prime targets, so anything you can do to help deter or identify a thief is worth adding to your home defense plan.