Business owners have a myriad of security options for protecting their properties. Alarm systems, security cameras, and flood lights are all pushed as potential crime deterrents. Yet, even the best alarm won’t stop a criminal if your business’s external doors aren’t properly secured.
Inferior commercial doors do not contain security protections, like solid hardware, top-graded locks and multi-point locking systems. Plus, the way the door is installed can cause problems, as well. A door that’s not properly fitted, or a jamb that’s not properly installed can diminish security. Here are a few things you should consider:
What Type of Door You Should Choose
Today’s commercial doors are made out of a variety of materials, including wood, fiberglass, and metal. But no matter what material you choose, it’s important that the door is solid and kick-proof. (Unless, of course, you opt for a sliding glass door or a glass paneled door.) For instance, many interior doors are hollow – you can tell when you knock on them – and they can be easily compromised with a crowbar or even a swift kick. These doors shouldn’t be used externally.
Instead, choose a solid door, or, at the very least, one with a wooden, steel. or fiberglass core. Generally, the sturdier the door, the more difficult it is to be broken into. For instance, reinforced steel doors with lock blocks are some of the sturdiest and most difficult for a burglar to access.
Finding the Best Security Lock
They say a door is only as good as its lock, and that couldn’t be truer. But how do you tell which lock is the best? Fortunately, all locks are graded, and the best commercial security locks receive a Grade 1 rating. These locks are designed for heavy use, and they’re common in schools, office buildings and hospitals. The higher the rating, the more secure and dependable the lock is. For instance, Grade 1 deadbolts must withstand 250,000 cycles and pass a rigorous stress test.
In addition, there are also Grade 2 and 3 locks, which are more common with residential properties, although Grade 2 locks are sometimes used for lightly trafficked commercial businesses.
Ideas for Retrofits and Secure Installation
Proper installation is another important aspect for maximizing security, and it starts with the door frame and jamb. If there are soft spots in the frame or jamb, the integrity of the entire system is compromised. For instance, an improperly constructed frame isn’t able to withstand kicks and can be accessed with a crowbar.
Fortunately, both the frame and jamb can be reinforced using steel or other materials, and there are retrofit kits available. Essentially, when you reinforce the frame or door, you’re adding protection at common strike points like the door hinges. Reinforcing your door’s frame or jamb can greatly improve overall integrity.
Plus, the door and lock hardware, like the strike plate, need to be made of sturdy metal that receives the same Grade 1 rating. The strike plate is a piece of metal that houses the lock’s bolt when the door is locked. The least secure versions are small and can easily be compromised. To protect against this, you can upgrade your hardware, and install a “strike box” for additional protection.
When you think about building security, don’t forget to start with your external doors. Starting with a commercial door of the highest quality and a top-graded lock, you put your business at an advantage.