This post is originally authored at the home security blog at family + home security.
Many people are unaware of the potential security risk of installing a pet door. A burglar may be able to gain entrance to your home by infiltrating an unsecured pet door. Luckily, there are many options to help enhance the security of your pet door, and protect your home from unauthorized access by burglars.
Reinforced Pet Door Frame
One security vulnerability of many pet doors is that a burglar can widen the opening enough to enter your home. This is most common with pet doors that are installed directly in an existing wooden door, since this material can be easily cut with an electronic saw. To prevent this, you can install a reinforced pet door frame. These frames are constructed of heavy duty metal, and will prevent a burglar from widening the opening of your pet door.
Simple Security Barrier
There are several different types of simple security barriers for pet doors, though the most common involves a vertical steel frame. This frame is installed inside your home, at a set distance between your pet door and the wall. The frame makes it difficult (if not impossible) for an intruder to fit between the entrance of the pet door and the wall, due to the limited space between the steel frame. However, this type of secure pet door relies almost entirely on the strength of the base, which needs to be anchored into the floor. Since the anchor bolts of the base of the frame are usually exposed, this may not be the most secure option.
Extended Security Barrier
An extended pet door security barrier usually extends out on the exterior of your home. This barrier covers the entrance of the pet door, extending out a few feet to an add-on. These barriers help prevent unauthorized entrance through a pet door by creating a small crawl space that a pet needs to pass through before entering the door. However, the security of these pet doors depends on how securely the exterior add-on is anchored to the side of the home. If the add-on isn’t bolted with metal brackets, a thief could simply remove it with a minimal amount of force.
Screen Door Pet Entrance
An alternate option in terms of pet door security is to simply install a pet door on your screen door. This option allows a pet to pass freely inside and outside your home, though is only a secure option when installed in a door frame that has a screen door, as well as a locking standard door. When you’re at home, you can open the standard door, while leaving the screen door closed. This option is only useful if you live in a temperate climate, or if you are constantly at home when your pet needs to go outdoors.
Wall Tunnel Pet Doors
This is one of the more secure types of pet doors. A walled tunnel pet door is cut directly through the wall of your house, instead of through your door. Through the hole, a “tunnel” is inserted, which is usually made of metal or sturdy plastic. This tunnel is designed to only be able to accommodate the size of your pet. Most of these tunnels also include dual flap-doors at each end, in order help minimize drafting.
Electronic Signal Pet Doors
These types of pet doors use electronic radio signals to identify your pet, which in turn allows them to enter the door. Your pet will need to wear a specific electronic signal transmitter, which is usually available as an attachment to your pet’s collar. When your pet comes within range of the pet door, the door will recognize the unique signal of your pet’s transmitter, and will open the door. These transmitters are each coded differently, and are capable of producing thousands of unique signal variations. In order for these types of pet doors to work, you need to make sure that you install your electronic pet door in an area that has access to a dedicated power supply.
- How to Install a Security Screen Door This post is originally authored at the home security…