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Glass Inserts and Glass around Entry Doors, Why It's a Security Problem

In many homes, you will find glass panels or "sidelights" beside front doors. These are popular because it allows daylight into the entry hall or foyer, thus brightening the area during the daytime hours. Some homeowners also choose entry doors with glass windows at the top for the same reason. The problem is, class is easy to break, and doors with glass in them or sidelights can be a home security problem.

Basically, a burglar can simply break the glass and reach through to unlock the door from the inside. One thing you can look into, if your house was designed this way, is to install two-sided deadbolts (deadbolts that need a key to open from the inside as well as the outside). However, this can be dangerous for homeowners in the event of a fire. You don't want to be fumbling for a key (or trying to find it) if flames are licking at the ceiling.

The best answer is simply to avoid putting glass in or next to the door where it could allow easy entrance into the house for a burglar. Another alternative is to buy glass that can't be broken enough to stick it on through. One way to achieve this is to use glass with embedded wire in it. Also, glass bricks are an option. They allow light into the entryway without letting people look in. (Make sure to put a peep hole in your door if you use glass bricks, so you can still check to see who is on the stoop before opening it).

For doors with decorative glass inserts, make sure the opening is far enough away from the deadbolt that a burglar could not reach in and unlock the door from above.

Source: Better Houses, Better Living: What To Look for When Buying, Building or Remodeling by Myron E. Ferguson


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