UPVC doors have become the norm for modern houses, seen as more secure and durable than regular, wooden doors. Whether your UPVC door is a new installment or you are trying to improve your home security, the following tips will come in handy.
How to Secure a UPVC Door
1. Install a metal mesh on the letterbox flap
Letterbox flap provides a less known security risk. It’s because someone can potentially manipulate the interior handle and the locking mechanism from the outside with a small tool. Some modern designs include push bars over letterboxes, but you should still check if yours has one to be sure. A simple yet effective way of preventing this is to install a metal mesh to fit inside your letterbox flap.
2. Reinforce glass surfaces on the door
Glass surfaces can be reinforced with security glass film. This is a plastic film that can be transparent or non-transparent if you also want increased privacy.
In terms of security, it works by keeping the glass shards in place in case someone tries to break through the glass. So it will be able to withstand more hits, it will make more noise and there’s a higher chance of injury if the burglar tries to pull his hand through the opening with the razor sharp glass remains in place.
Another good alternative is a metal mesh, but it’s not a very pretty option. So if you’re a bit of an aesthete, I suggest going with the security film instead.
3. Use a horizontal or vertical security bar
Horizontal security bars are excellent for outward opening doors. Adding one on the inside of your door that fits into another slot on the wall is a cost-effective and discreet way of securing the door without changing its appearance.
For inward opening doors you can opt for a heavy duty vertical security bar (link to Amazon). One side of the bar is firmly planted on the floor while the other side if firmly planted on the door knob/handle. So if someone tries to kick through the door, the bar will keep it in place.
Obviously, there is a potential problem here – security bars can only be used to secure a door from the inside. If the UPVC door is the only entry point to your home/office, you won’t be able to place the security bar when you’re going out.
4. Prevent Lock Snapping
Snapping is a simple lock break and entry method that requires no special expertise. So it’s used by many intruders. Essentially, they break/snap the lock cylinder to release the lock.
To prevent lock snapping, we recommend using a standard euro lock that has anti-picking measures, hard plates to protect the lock from drilling, and bolts into the door frame. Importantly, the lock should be flush against the door frame; a prominent protruding cylinder is easier to snap.
The Yale P-YS3 Anti-Snap 3 Star Cylinder (link to Amazon) is an excellent choice, featuring all of those important security requirements and then some.
5. Multi-Point Locking System
The multi-locking system built into modern UPVC doors makes them preferable to older wooden doors. When closing a UPVC door, most users must lift the handle, which activates several bolts that shoot out and secure the door into the frame.
Instead of being limited to two points like most wooden doors are, this creates a five-point locking system (not including the handle). When the handle is lifted, the multi-point lock system is activated, but turning the key in the lock keeps them in place. Lifting the handle without locking the door disables the multi-point locks and allows for easy access.
Be cautious of the weather when it comes to your multi-point locks’ alignment. Parts may constrict or expand depending on the temperature. Even a 1mm change in alignment can cause the locking mechanism to become stiff or difficult if this happens, so don’t use excessive force since this might damage the multi-point locking system and instead call a locksmith.
6. Sash Jammers
A sash jammer, used to prevent entry via your UPVC door, is an extra safeguard. Sash jammers, which may be applied to both windows and doors, keep windows or doors from opening even if the primary lock has been defeated. The most effective sash jammers are those that bolt through the frame and can be operated externally using a locking option. Sash jammers are a simple, inexpensive way to enhance home security. They can, however, wear down over time, so it’s necessary to check them from time to time.
A Sash Jammer costs around ~$13, and if you want to be extra secure, you might want to fit 2 to a uPVC front door. A more secure sash jammer that is secured from the outside will cost a little more. Fitting, on the other hand, is critical, so we recommend consulting with your local expert locksmith about acquiring and installing them.
Alternatively, you can check out this video to see the steps needed to install your sash jammers.
7. Mortise Lock
You can modify your UPVC door to include a mortise lock, which has protections against slamming and requires a key for access. Mortise locks are one of the strongest types available, so you should use them if you have previous experience with other locking technology or have professional advice from an installer. The only potential downside is the cost of a new lock, which can run up to ~$50.
We’d recommend going for the PRIME-LINE E 2294 (link to Amazon) which is constructed from case-hardened steel and features a faceplate with a bright, brass-plated finish. The kit includes a latch and deadbolt strike with fasteners (doorknobs, square spindle, spare keys, and trim plates sold separately) and two skeleton-style keys.
8. Door Chains
Door locks and chains can provide homeowners with peace of mind by allowing them to view who is at their door without providing complete access. To examine the property, burglars may pretend to be a neighbor or service provider; however, with a door chain, homeowners can prevent unwelcome entry.
Door chains, while useful for security, should not be the only method of protection for your UPVC door. When used in conjunction with other measures, however, door chains may offer significant security benefits. The chain might fracture if subjected to excessive force. Consider investing in a motion detector with a camera that can be used to observe activity at the door and prevent you from going there if you detect anything suspicious or unusual.
We recommend any door chain you fit has “Secured by Design” accreditation (meaning ‘Police-Approved’). A door chain costs around $26-30.
9. Heavy-Duty Strike Plate Lock
A heavy-duty strike plate lock can be a more secure substitute to a door chain. It appears to be similar to a standard door chain at first, but it has considerably greater strength. Some models like this popular strike plate from Amazon can withstand more than 50 full-force kicks.
The installation of a strike plate lock is simple. Aside from being extremely long-lasting, one of its biggest features is that it does not require drilling into the door during installation, only two screws are required to join the lock to the frame. Furthermore, it isn’t more expensive than a good quality door chain.
10. Hinge/Dog Bolts for UPVC Doors
Hinge bolts, otherwise known as dog bolts, are pins fitted at hinges to secure the door to the frame. Fitted near the top and bottom of a door, hinge bolts prevent the door from being forced off its hinges.
Hinge bolts are especially useful on outward opening doors as the hinges are exposed and can be easily targeted by burglars. All outward-opening doors should have them at a height of approximately a quarter of the door’s height from the top and bottom, but no closer than 150 mm to the top or bottom hinges.
11. Use the Patlock on Patio Doors
One way you can protect a patio door from the inside effectively is by using a Patlock. It’s simple to install, and it locks the interior door handles together. This ensures that the two door panels remains in a locked position, even if the locks are broken or removed.
In addition to a Patlock, utilize the tips that I mentioned in tip #2 for securing the glass portion of the door with security film. Otherwise a burglar can easily break the glass and enter regardless of the type of lock that you’re using.
Securing your UPVC door is a must to protect your home from burglars. There are a variety of devices and methods that you can use, some of which are cheap and easy to install.
Keep in mind that it’s important to take other security measures such as installing cameras and security lighting. By being proactive about the security of your home, you can feel confident that your family and possessions are safe.