Reinforcing security on doors next to glass panels

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By Frank Fourchalk

Question: I have a deadbolt in my front door with a thumb turn on the inside, however, there is a glass panel right next to it. How can I make my door more secure?

Fourchalk: There are several ways to secure doors with glass panels next to the lock. You might want to contact your local glass company and ask about a product called Lexan.

Lexan is a polycarbonate sheet that resembles plexiglass; however, unlike plexiglass, Lexan provides superior impact resistance and is quite often used in high-vandalism areas such as schools, bus stops and public buildings.

Lexan is almost always found wherever clarity, safety, and security are required, making it an excellent choice for your front door area. Lexan is usually installed in front of the existing glass on the inside creating a protective barrier between you and the window.

Another consideration when securing vulnerable glass areas is to install a double-cylinder deadbolt in your front door. This is a deadbolt that is keyed on both sides, preventing intruders from gaining access through broken glass.

When considering a double-cylinder deadbolt, make sure that you don't put your family at risk in case of fire. Keeping a key nearby the deadbolt to provide an easy fire escape usually remedies the problem.

Security film is always a good deterrent when securing those front door glass areas. Security film is a polyester sheet that is attached to the window area (usually on the inside of the glass). This film is invisible from either side and does not change the look of your existing glass. When the window is challenged, the security film holds the glass together creating a shatter that resembles a fan pattern. This product is sold as a deterrent only and is not to be confused with something that will totally prevent an intruder from breaking in.