Summer is upon us, which means vacation time. Are you comfortable with the idea of leaving your home unguarded?

Know the facts
The first thing you should keep in mind is that in residential break-ins, the thieves enter by the front door or secondary door nearly two-thirds of the time. Your prevention efforts should therefore focus on these two entry points. In fact, the National Building Code of Canada 1990 states that all outside doors allowing entry to a residence or that connect a garage to a residence must be capable of resisting a forced entry.

Perhaps you’ve invested in a lock that the manufacturer claims “can’t be picked.” Think your home is safe? Think again: thieves often employ the same strategy regardless of what type of lock is installed: they simply kick the door in, because the frame gives way! Lab tests have demonstrated that a typical burglar can apply an average impact force of nearly 1,700 pounds with each kick, and it usually takes fewer than 10 blows for a fairly heavy-set man to smash the door frame. So your first line of defence should be a reinforced frame and strike (the metal plate into which the bolt extends).

Basic precautions
If not correctly reinforced, the door frame and strike will easily give way under the force of a well-aimed boot—even if your lock is equipped with a long deadbolt. Here are a few simple, effective strategies for improving the resistance of the overall assembly.

1. Attach the strike more solidly by sinking longer screws into the doorframe
    and right into the house’s wall structure.
2. Replace the strike with a steel plate at least 1/8" thick, and attach it to the
    frame and the outside wall.
3. Buy accessories that solidify the door and frame and make them more a part
    of the outside wall. Your local hardware store can provide more detailed
    advice based on the design constraints of your specific home situation.

These few simple precautions will ensure your door is much more resistant, and would-be burglars will be quickly discouraged when they find out it is.

More points to consider
A strong door is one thing, but home security depends on plenty of other variables. How safe are your windows, for example? Would an alarm system be a useful option? Don’t take any chances: it’s your home - read our article on this topic: Keep your home safe the summer.

For more information, feel free to call CAA-Quebec Habitation’s expert advisors. They can refer you to the home security professional whose services are most suited to your needs.