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How to secure your front door

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Following the intrusion attempt I had a few weeks ago, I decided to improve the security of the house a little more. Many of you, both in the readership and among my neighbors, wanted to know a little more to also improve the security of your home. I am therefore launching a small series of articles on the subject. First on the list: how to secure your front door. Because statistically, this is where 4 out of 5 burglars go first.

To get back into the situation, here is what I was able to observe one evening on my surveillance cameras:

Not having forced to try to open, the alarm system did not go off, so I only saw this the next day, when the gendarmes asked me for access to my recordings, following the burglary of 4 of my neighbors. Without that, I may never have known.

We clearly see the intruder trying to open the door, sometimes it was not locked. Here it was purely opportunistic theft, the individual looking for the easy way out. However, by inspecting the door, it turned out that it had already undergone at least one attempt with a screwdriver, in an attempt to pry. The door, made of wood, has a beautiful trace that is easy to identify. As a precaution, and to reassure everyone, I therefore increased security. Here are 4 points that can be improved to secure a front door.

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I. Lock cylinders
One of my neighbors was robbed because he hadn’t locked his front door. The others, they had locked well. How is it possible ?

A simple practice is to break the cylinder of the lock using pliers:

Many people do not pay attention to this, and have a cylinder that protrudes a good half centimeter, sometimes even a centimeter, outside the door. Unfortunately this leaves enough length to catch it with pliers, and thus break the cylinder. A cylinder must arrive flush with the door, exceeding a maximum of 3mm! Whatever the quality of the cylinder, it has a weakness where it receives the fixing screw to hold it in the door. If it can be grasped with pliers, it can be broken!

To avoid this, and secure your front door, you must therefore buy a cylinder of the right size. To do this, the cylinder must be removed. It’s very simple: first you have to unscrew the screw on the side of the door, which holds the cylinder in place (just find the screw that is at the height of the cylinder).

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Then, with the key in the cylinder, it must be rotated slightly until the cylinder lets itself out:

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To know the size of its cylinder, just measure the distance on each side of the central hole: it can be 40×30, 45×60, etc… there are many sizes available. Of course, if the cylinder in place is too long, it will be necessary to take a shorter one, so that it no longer protrudes from the exterior side of the door.

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Here, we see that we have on one side 40mm, and on the other 30mm. It is therefore a 40×30 cylinder.
Even if it means changing the cylinders, I took highly secure ones, the ABUS BRAVUS 2000 :

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These cylinders are considered almost inviolable by design (10 active locking pins on 2 different rows, which makes picking impossible).

safety barrel abuse bravus illustration
They also have a score of 9/10 on security: they are announced anti-drilling, picking, anti-breakage. The key can only be redone at the factory, by presenting the identification card attached to the cylinders.

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This model also has two other advantages:

the cylinder is disengageable, i.e. you can open it on one side with the key, even if another key is present on the other side. Particularly useful if you want to use an electronic lock for example (I will talk about it in a future article)
on request it is possible to have several cylinders using the same key, even with cylinders of different sizes. Particularly practical to have a unique key for everything, which avoids looking for the right key. But also be careful in case of loss, since this same key will be able to open everything…
secure entrance door

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In France, nearly 500,000 burglaries are recorded each year. This situation is worrying, especially if you have to leave your house or apartment to go on vacation. This is the perfect time for offenders to operate because they know the home is unoccupied. So to avoid unpleasant surprises, it is essential to take preventive measures in order to anticipate burglaries that could occur in your absence. Generally, some people simulate their presence at home while others ask those around them to watch the house. However, there are several effective tricks that can complement these to permanently discourage thieves. Strengthen your home locks The doors and windows of your home are the main targets of burglars. To commit their offences, dishonest people obviously opt for breaking and entering. To deter them, reinforce the locks of all the doors of your home facing the outside by installing non-pickable locks. For the entrance, for example, replace your lock and its cylinder with a model from the Fichet brand , a brand known for the solidity of its equipment. Also call a locksmith for emergency repairs in the event of a slammed door before you leave. Besides, if this happens to you and you are stuck outside, do not leave your landing or porch. Indeed, if your door closes without being locked and your keys are inside the home, it is not safe, because thieves will use stratagems to open a slammed door and leave with the loot. Contact a locksmith specialist in emergency repairs who will do everything to solve your lock problem in record time. At the same time, this professional will be able to examine the condition of your doors and determine the ideal solution to guarantee the protection of your home and your property. Don't forget to have your windows and shutters checked by the craftsman. If you used to, avoid leaving your key under the flowerpot . Thieves can spot your ride and simply get in while you're away, without having to force it. Finally, if you don't want to lose your keys during your stay, remember to entrust them to someone you trust. The latter may even make unannounced visits to see if everything is in order. Protect your home with an alarm The alarm is a very effective way to protect your home against break-in attempts. You have the choice between classic devices and connected models . These are recommended in case you have to be away for a long time. There are also remote monitoring solutions such as home automation, to benefit from comfort and security . Thus, you can opt for a motorized wifi camera with an alarm. This surveillance device allows you to scan all corners of a room thanks to a horizontal and vertical rotation system. Using the built-in alarm and door opening sensor provided with purchase, this device will deter any intruder attempting to break into your home. Use a safe If you have valuable items that you want to preserve, using a safe hidden behind a piece of furniture or a painting is also an effective tip. This alternative comes in addition to the installation of an alarm system. In the absence of a safe, it is also possible to hide your valuables in ventilation systems, at the level of wall decorations or in your children's rooms. These unusual places turn out to be ideal hiding places to keep your valuables. Previous post Reinforce the security of your home before the summer
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