Home Prepping: How to Fortify Your Doors and Windows

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When home prepping, home security is of utmost importance. Whether you’re facing a natural disaster or a societal collapse, your home is your sanctuary, and you need to be able to protect it from potential threats. 

One of the critical elements of home security is fortifying your doors and windows. These are intruders’ most common entry points; if they’re not secure, you and your family are at risk. 

In this post, we’ll show you how to assess the vulnerabilities of your home’s doors and windows and provide practical tips for reinforcing them.

By the end of this article, you’ll clearly understand how to make your home more secure, giving you peace of mind and the ability to better protect yourself and your loved ones in a survival scenario.


Setting Realistic Expectations

You need to realize one thing people don’t like to admit or think about. Nothing is impenetrable!

Given enough time and resources, invaders will get in if there is malicious intent. It’s true that thieves are lazy and will most likely leave if a target is too hardened. The following tips are only intended to buy you time to react.

Buying a little extra time allows you to react and implement your prepared plan of attack. Your decision is whether to call the authorities, if available, or meet force on force with the violence of action. It’s a decision that’s better made before you are faced with this type of scenario.

Home prepping assessment

Before you can start fortifying your home’s doors and windows, you need to assess its vulnerabilities. This means identifying the weak points that potential intruders could exploit. 

Here are some steps to take when assessing your home’s vulnerabilities:

Conduct a thorough inspection of your home’s doors and windows:

Walk around the perimeter of your home and examine each door and window. Look for signs of wear and tear, such as cracks, gaps, or rotting wood. Check that all locks are functioning correctly and that the frames are securely attached to the walls.

Consider the type of threats you may face:

Consider the most likely dangers in your area. For example, suppose you live in an area prone to hurricanes or tornadoes. In that case, consider the impact of high winds and flying debris. If you live in an urban area, consider the risk of forced entry.

Evaluate the accessibility of your doors and windows:

Consider how easy it would be for an intruder to access them. Are there obstacles that would make it difficult to reach them, such as thorny bushes or a high fence? Are there any ladders or other tools that could be used to access second-story windows?

By taking these steps, you’ll be able to identify the areas of your home that are most vulnerable and determine the best ways to fortify them. In the following sections, we’ll cover how to reinforce your doors and windows to make them more secure.

Fortifying Your Doors

Your doors are intruders’ primary entry points, so it’s important to reinforce them to make them more difficult to breach. Here are some ways to fortify your doors:

Install a Deadbolt:

A deadbolt is a type of lock that extends into the door frame, making it much more challenging to force the door open. Deadbolts are available in different styles, including single-cylinder and double-cylinder. They can be installed by a locksmith or a knowledgeable DIYer.

Upgrade Your Strike Plate:

The strike plate is the metal plate that surrounds the hole in the door frame where the bolt of the lock goes. Upgrading the strike plate is an easy and inexpensive way to improve your door’s security.

Look for a high-quality, heavy-duty strike plate with longer screws that can penetrate the frame’s studs and strengthen the door jamb.

Consider Security Bars:

Another option is to install security bars over your doors. These can be custom-made to fit your door and window sizes and made from different materials such as metal, wood, or acrylic. Some security bars can be easily opened in an emergency or locked from the inside for added protection.

Install Peepholes:

Adding peepholes to your doors will allow you to see who is outside before opening the door. This will help you avoid letting unwanted individuals into your home.

Install Heavy Doors:

If your budget allows, installing metal doors can be a great way to increase the security of your home. I installed replacement doors for our house. I started with the front door.

Old front door
Front door when we bought the house.
New Steel Front Door
Steel door installed.

Later completed the back door.

Old back door
Back door when we bought the house.
New steel Back Door
Steel back door I installed.

The front door’s frame is made of 2×6 square tube steel, and the rear has a 1×6 steel frame. They use 1/2″ diameter lag bolts to secure them to the studs. I admit they were spendy but dressed up the house and added some much-needed security to our home. We actually got them cheaper than they look from the Door Clearance Center in Houston. As usual, I did all the work myself.

Of course, you don’t have to go all out on the doors as I did. A good steel door can still look nice and add security to your home.

By taking these steps, you can make your doors more secure and deter potential intruders. In the next section, we’ll cover how to secure your windows.

Securing Your Windows

Windows are another common entry point for intruders, but there are several ways to make them more secure. Here are some ways to fortify your windows:

Install Window Locks:

Window locks are a simple and inexpensive way to improve your window’s security. They’re available in different types, including keyed, un-keyed, and sliding locks, and can be easily installed on most windows.

Window locks are a simple and inexpensive way to improve your window’s security. They’re available in different types, including keyed, un-keyed, and sliding locks, and can be easily installed on most windows.

Keyed window locks: These locks require a key to open or close and are a good choice for windows you don’t need to open regularly, such as basement windows or windows on upper floors. They can be installed on the frame or sash of the window, depending on the type of lock.

I don’t care for the keyed locks. It’s a matter of safety. If a fire breaks out, I don’t want loved ones looking for a key.

Keyed window locks
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Un-keyed window locks: These locks do not require a key and are usually operated with a latch or a turn knob. They can be installed on the window frame, sash, or track and are a good choice for windows that you need to open regularly, such as windows in living spaces.

Sliding window locks: These locks are designed for sliding windows and are usually installed on the track to prevent the window from being opened or lifted from the outside.

Sliding window locks
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When choosing window locks, it’s essential to consider the type of windows you have and the level of security you require.

Some windows may require special locks, such as double-hung windows that need locks on both the top and bottom sashes. It’s also essential to ensure that the locks are installed correctly and securely to provide maximum protection.

In addition to window locks, there are other ways to reinforce your windows, such as installing security film or adding security bars or grilles. By combining different security measures, you can create a multi-layered defense against potential intruders and increase the overall security of your home.

Reinforce the Glass:

You can reinforce your windows by adding window films, which can be applied to the glass surface to make it more difficult to break or shatter.

Security film comes in different thicknesses and levels of protection, ranging from essential anti-shatter films to multi-layered films that can withstand bomb blasts.

window security film
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While security film can be applied to most types of windows, it’s important to note that it’s not 100% foolproof and may not prevent determined intruders from gaining entry.

Security film can be installed by a professional. Still, it’s also possible to do it yourself with some preparation and careful installation. To install security film, you’ll need to:

  • Clean the window thoroughly to ensure the film adheres properly.
  • Measure and cut the film to the appropriate size, leaving a small margin around the edges.
  • Peel off the backing and spray the adhesive side of the film with water and soap.
  • Apply the film to the window, smoothing any bubbles or wrinkles with a squeegee.
  • Trim off any excess film around the edges and let it dry.
  • Lastly, you’ll want to secure it to the window frame with caulk to keep it from separating from the frame.

Security film can be a cost-effective and discreet way to reinforce your windows and provide extra protection for your home.

Alternatively, you can install security screens or wire mesh to prevent the glass from breaking when force is applied.

Secure Window Wells:

If you have basement windows below ground level, you may need to install window well covers to prevent unauthorized entry.

Window wells are small, excavated areas around basement windows that allow natural light and ventilation into the basement. While they serve a useful purpose, they can also be a potential entry point for intruders if not correctly secured.

Installing window well covers is a simple and effective way to secure your basement windows. They come in different sizes and materials and can be custom-fit to your window well dimensions. Covers made of metal, such as aluminum or steel, are durable and can be locked for added security.

Polycarbonate or clear acrylic covers are lightweight and allow natural light into the basement while providing protection.

When installing window well covers, it’s crucial to ensure they’re securely attached to the well and adequately ventilated to prevent moisture buildup. Most jurisdictions require you to install a ladder to provide an emergency exit in case of a fire or other emergency.

Suppose you decide to secure your window wells. In that case, it’s crucial to ensure the lock is on the inside and opens easily in case of a fire evacuation.

Consider Security Shutters:

Security shutters are another option to consider. They’re installed outside the windows and can be opened and closed manually or automatically. They come in different styles, such as roll-up or accordion. They are available in other materials such as metal, wood, or synthetic.

By taking these steps, you can make your windows more secure and deter potential intruders. The following section will cover additional tips for securing your home.

Additional Tips for Securing Your Home

In addition to fortifying your doors and windows, you can take several other measures to improve your home’s security. Here are some additional tips:

Reinforce Sliding Glass Doors:

Sliding glass doors can be particularly vulnerable to intruders. You can reinforce them by adding locks and installing bars or metal grilles that slide into place when the door is closed.

Use Security Cameras:

Installing security cameras around your home can act as a deterrent to potential intruders. They can also help you identify any suspicious activity and provide valuable evidence in the event of a break-in.

Develop a Home Defense Plan:

Having a plan in place for what to do in the event of a break-in or other emergency can help you and your family stays safe. Discuss your plan of action with your family and practice it regularly.

Consider Installing an Alarm System:

An alarm system can be a great way to add an extra layer of security to your home. Different alarm systems are available, including professionally monitored ones, and you can watch them yourself.

By taking these additional measures, you can secure your home and protect yourself and your family in a survival scenario. In the next section, we’ll wrap up the post with a conclusion.

Final Thoughts on Securing Your Home-

Securing your home is essential in a survival scenario, and fortifying your doors and windows is a critical part of that process. By assessing your home’s vulnerabilities and implementing the tips and techniques covered in this post, you can make your home more secure and better prepared for potential threats.

Remember to consider the threats you may face in your area and choose the security measures best suited to your needs. Additionally, be sure to practice good home security habits such as locking doors and windows, keeping valuables out of sight, and being aware of your surroundings.

Taking these steps may require time, effort, and investment. Still, the peace of mind and increased safety they provide are invaluable. With these home prepping measures in place, you’ll be better equipped to protect yourself and your loved ones in an emergency.

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