The most likely entry point for a home invasion is your front door. Although deadbolts are your first line of defense, and you should invest in a good quality one, they are just the starting point when it comes to front door security devices.
Before you invest in high tech gadgets, which certainly add peace of mind, we recommend installing one or more of these recommended front door security devices that are extremely affordable and guard against kick-in invasions or lock picks.
Best front door security devices that won’t break the bank
Our top recommendations for front door security devices focus on products that are inexpensive, easy to install, and effective.
- Door reinforcement locks
- Door barricades
- Door stoppers
- Guards for deadbolts
- Swing bar guards
- Security bars
- Door protection for travel
Details to consider before purchasing front door security devices
Start with basic measurements for your door – height, width, thickness, and floor clearance. To work well, some products require a specific height requirement between the door and the floor.
Our top recommended door barricade by Nightlock Security requires a half inch clearance between the door and the floor.
On our recommended front door security devices, we have already checked for the quality of instructions. But as a habit, this is a good step to check when deciding between products. In some cases, reviewers will provide additional help and even provide videos or images of how they installed a device.
For example, reviewers absolutely love Nightlock’s door barricade and give it some of the top reviews of all products on Amazon. However, they did find an additional modification that was needed on doors with too much clearance.
“After installing, I went outside, slid a hacksaw blade under the chosen door, and quickly and easily slid the upper plate right out of the base plate,” wrote one reviewer. “I then drilled a 3/8″ hole 1 1/2″ above the middle screw on the base plate (towards the Nightlock logo). I inserted a 1/4″ X 2″ solid pin – easily removable – into the hole. The Nightlock is now secure both front-to-back, and side-to-side.”
Defender Security went the extra mile in providing installation help on their door reinforcement lock. They added images, infographics, step-by-step instructions, and even a video!
You have several considerations when it comes to the placement of your front door security devices. Here are some of the main factors to keep in mind:
- For floor-based door security devices, what type of floor do you have? Some devices work better on tile than on carpet.
- Do you want to drill into anything? The floor? The door? If not, look for devices such as door security bars.
Door stoppers work well on all floors and are an easy, inexpensive addition to your front door security. These devices are popular in assisted living centers and for seniors living alone in apartments or condos.
What is your purpose for a front door security device?
What provides you the most comfort? Most of the security devices provide good protection against door kick-ins. But some devices provided more than others.
Take, for example, reinforcement locks. Defender Security’s version was designed to withstand 800 pounds of force. A swing bar door guard, on the other hand, will withstand about 100 pounds of force. But that’s on purpose. A swing bar is meant to give additional security while allowing the door to be opened slightly. Its main purpose is not to guard against door kick-ins.
Some people use multiple front door security devices on one door. And, why not? If you want peace of mind, these are inexpensive but effective solutions.
Best no muss, no fuss front door security devices
Not everyone wants to drill holes in the floor or door. Renters often are not allowed to install door security devices, despite the fact that renters have long been more likely to be burglarized than homeowners, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Justice.
For renters, the National Crime Prevention Council has provided a checklist to help reduce incidences of burglaries in apartments and condos.
Here’s the list of best options for those of you who want to add on an easy front door security device:
- Brinks Commercial Door Security Bar
- The Original Portable Door Lock
- Door Stop with Siren Alarm
- Heavy Duty Security Door Bar
Front door security devices with some assembly required
If you don’t mind some drilling and hammering, you can install front door security devices that make it very difficult for someone to kick in a door – without breaking a bone or two. If they try to pick or bump your deadlock lock, you will have one of these devices as backup.
Many of the devices we listed at the beginning of this article add a heavy duty layer of protection. In addition, we can recommend other best options, including these front door security devices:
- Door Armor MAX reinforcement set
- Childproof door reinforcement lock set
- Doorricade Door Bar
- Door Bull Barricade
- Nightlock Door Barricade
Facts about burglaries in the United States
In the United States, there are two official sources of crime reporting:
- The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports
- The National Crime Victimization Survey by the Bureau of Justice Statistics
Theft and burglary are the most common types of property crime. The following information was taken from the FBI’s most recent release of crime statistics – 2019.
- There were 6,925,677 property crimes nationwide.
- Of those property crimes, both theft and burglaries saw a decrease from the previous year. Burglaries dropped 9.5%; larceny-thefts decreased 2.8%.
- Property crime victims suffered losses of $15.8 billion.
- The arrest rate for burglary was 52.3 per 100,000 inhabitants; the arrest rate for larceny-theft was 263 per 100,000.
The Bureau of Justice Statistics also reported declines in property crimes. Overall, the rate of property crime declined 6% in 2019.
What does bumping a lock mean?
Lock bumping is a lock picking technique for a pin tumbler lock using a specially designed key, often called a bump key, 999 key, or rapping key.
Industry studies indicate that the majority of residential conventional deadbolts are vulnerable to lock bumping.
How to learn more about home security
If you are a novice in home security and don’t plan on becoming an expert, Stan Wasilik’s Essential Home Security is the right place to start. Part common sense and part beginner’s guide, this book, geared toward amateurs, takes us on a journey of the most common home security problems in an illustrated and step-by-step approach.
According to the author, readers will “complete a detailed check of current personal security situations … and understand what effective security measures you have or do not have in place.”
Andy Murphy pitched his Secure Dad’s guide to home security to busy parents. His strategy includes steps for Discipline, Deter, Fortify, and Defend.
“Even though I’ve been in law enforcement for over 17 years I still learned quite a bit from this book!” writes Rob Disario in his review. “Constantly in search of new tips and tricks to keep myself and others safe, I’m always on the lookout for new talent. Very practical, inexpensive ways to make minor adjustments to your home or mindset, the author has obviously gone to great lengths to do his research and cover all bases.”
If you have tips about securing front doors, please let us know in the Comment Section below.