Home Tips,

13 Must-Have Items at Your Front Door That Could Save Your Life

I’ve always believed that a well-secured front door is crucial for keeping our homes and families safe. So I did a little research, and guess what?

I’ve found these super cool and effective items that you can easily keep by your front door to help improve your home security. Trust me, you’re going to want to take notes!

Quick Summary Checklist:

☑️🚨 Security Alarm System
☑️💡 Motion-Activated Lights
☑️🛑 Non-Slip Mat
☑️🔍 Peephole/Door Viewer
☑️🔊 Loud Whistle
☑️📻 Pocket Radio
☑️🔒 Deadbolt Lock
☑️🔑 Spare Keys
☑️🛎️ Doorbell Camera
☑️💼Emergency Bag
☑️📲 Smart Locks
☑️🛡️ Security Signs
☑️👥 Neighborhood Watch

In this article, I will dive into these essential home security items, really getting into the nuts and bolts of what makes them tick. I’ll explore the hows and whys, ensuring you’ve got the knowledge you need to make informed decisions. We also have a cost guide at the bottom of the article.

A table for a security items and its cost

1. Security Alarm System

A security alarm mounted at the wall ceiling
Video | Steve Sherron

An important measure in maintaining home safety is a robust security alarm system. Remember that homes with an alarm system are 300% less likely to be burglarized than those without. Alarms aren’t just about noise — most burglars are deterred by seeing a lawn or window sign signaling an alarm system’s presence.

Consider investing in wireless alarms, which are activated when doors or windows open. This forms your second line of defense right after locking doors and windows.

Although they might not provide the same level of protection as professionally installed systems, these alarms create enough ruckus to send most burglars running.

Technological advancements have introduced numerous affordable alarm system options that a smartphone can easily manage.

While some homeowners might worry about high costs or technical maintenance, these alarm systems offer convenient control and management from any location.

2. Motion Sensor Lights

Invest in Motion-Activated Lights. I’ve found these handy tools to be a proven crime deterrent. Moreover, they’re not wallet-draining, with standard hard-wired models being inexpensive.

Add to the safety of your place by simulating your presence. Outsmart crooks on the lookout for empty houses by toggling lights or activating the radio, making it seem like you’re home.

The other alternatives are smart plugs and lights that let you control your place via your smartphone when you’re not around. Another option is to use programmable timers on appliances for automated ‘on’ and ‘off’ cycles.

Just think how much safer and intruder-proof your yard would be when lit like a Christmas tree. Remember, crooks love to operate in the darkness.

So, consider motion-activated security lights for the best response. You can install them at various points, both front and back. Also, don’t dismiss the idea of an external security alarm. Some home insurers even offer discounts for approved alarm systems.

3. Non -Slip Mat

A non-slip mat on the door area
Video | Julie Khuu

A non-slip mat at your front door might not seem like a big deal, but it’s one of those simple things that can make a huge difference.

Think about it – rain, snow, or even just a bit of dirt can make your front step slippery and dangerous. A good mat takes care of that, giving you and your guests a safe spot to wipe your feet and get a grip before stepping inside.

When picking out your mat, go for something durable and designed to catch dirt and moisture. You want a workhorse that can stand up to the elements and keep doing its job daily.

And hey, it doesn’t hurt if it looks good too. There are plenty of options out there that are both functional and stylish. Find one that matches your vibe and welcomes people in the right way.

It’s all about that first step into your home. Make it a safe one with a non-slip mat. It’s a small touch showing you’re thinking about the details and caring about keeping things safe and sound.

And that’s what a home should be all about.

4. Peephole / Door Viewer

A peephole door viewer
Video | AdamDIY

Identifying strangers at your doorstep is a key step to home safety. Although most front doors don’t come standard with a peephole, it’s worth the investment. Traditional peepholes might produce distorted images, making it hard to identify who is outside.

Perhaps you want to have a conversation without fully opening the door; a door chain is a quick solution. Or, if your door doesn’t have a viewer, you can install one. These tools allow you to see who’s outside, even without a front window view.

But what about back doors or sheds that often swing out? Thieves could pop out hinge pins and remove the door. A good strategy to tackle this issue would be investing in security hinges like the Penrod that feature tamper-proof pins.

It’s not just about who’s on the other side of your front door. It’s also about ensuring every possible route a thief could take is thoroughly secure. So, let’s continue with more methods to fortify your home’s corners.

5. Loud Whistle

A man using a whistle

A loud whistle is one of those things you hope you never have to use, but you’ll be glad to have if you ever do. It’s a simple tool but can be a real lifesaver in an emergency.

Whether you need to attract attention, scare off an intruder, or signal for help, a whistle can be heard over long distances and through walls and doors.

Keep it near your front door, on your keychain, or somewhere that’s easy to grab quickly. And make sure you know how to use it – a loud, sharp blast is what you’re aiming for. Practice a few times to know what to do if the time ever comes.

In an emergency, every second counts. A loud whistle can be a lifeline, helping you get the help you need when you need it. So, don’t overlook this simple tool. Add it to your front door safety setup, and know you have a powerful ally in your corner.

6. A Pocket Radio

A person holding a pocket radio
Video | VWestlife

I recommend placing a small radio near your front door and turning it on when you leave the house. It’s such a simple and affordable trick! Unwanted visitors might hear the sound and assume someone is still home.

Trust me, most burglars prefer empty houses, so this clever tactic can help protect your valuables. Plus, who doesn’t love a good radio tune now and then?

7. Deadbolt Lock

A person using a deadbolt lock on the door
Video | HGTV

A deadbolt lock is a small investment with a big payoff for securing your home. It’s an additional layer of protection, adding strength and resilience to your front door.

Unlike spring bolt locks, deadbolts don’t give way under force, making them a formidable opponent for would-be intruders. It’s all about making your home a hard target and giving you peace of mind.

When choosing a deadbolt, look for a solid, one-inch throw bolt and a reinforced strike plate. Installation is key, so if you’re not confident in your DIY skills, it might be worth bringing in a pro to ensure it’s done right.

And remember, a lock is only as good as the door it’s attached to. Ensure your door and frame are in good condition and up to the task.

A deadbolt is a simple, effective way to boost your home’s security. Use it with a good quality doorknob lock, and you’ve got a front door ready to stand up to the challenges. It’s a small price for peace of mind and a secure home.

8. Spare Keys

A key hanging on the door

Having a spare set of keys is like having a little insurance policy tucked away. Whether you’ve locked yourself out, lost your keys, or need to let someone in while you’re away, a spare set can save the day. But it’s all about smart placement. You don’t want to make it easy for someone with bad intentions to find them.

Avoid the obvious spots, like under the doormat or in a flowerpot. Instead, consider a lockbox or a hidden key holder that’s a little more secure. And make sure it’s not too close to your front door. A little distance can add an extra layer of protection.

Having a spare set of keys is a simple, practical way to avoid a headache. Just be smart about where you keep them; they’ll be there when you need them. It’s all about being prepared and making sure you’ve got a backup when you need it.

9. Doorbell Camera

A doorbell camera
Video | The 5 Best

Integrating a Doorbell Camera into your home security arrangement is another productive step towards ensuring safety. Acting as a two-way communication channel, it allows homeowners to screen the visitors and enables interaction without opening the door.

Smart video doorbells are a great tool to see, listen, and communicate with visitors without physically being present at the home. Imagine your front door turns into an active security guard, providing crucial visual proof of the happenings outside, letting you verify a visitor’s identity before buzzing them in.

Motion-detection-based notifications are a key feature that many smart doorbells offer. Whether the doorbell rings or not, you will be notified on your phone if it detects any motion. From mailmen to uninvited pests, you can keep tabs on everything.

To choose the best one for your needs, it’s essential to consider various top-rated options available in the market and gather insights on how best to set up your camera. Incorporating a doorbell camera is a significant upgrade for your front door safety.

10 Emergency Bag

A woman zipping up the emergency bag

An emergency bag is like having a backup plan for your backup plan. It’s a little bit of preparation that goes a long way in case of an unexpected situation.

You want to pack it with essentials – water, non-perishable food, a first aid kit, and any medications you might need. And don’t forget about copies of important documents. You never know when you might need them.

Keep your bag in an easily accessible spot near your front door. You want to be able to grab it and go without wasting any time. And make sure you check it regularly, updating any items that have expired or been used up.

It’s all about being prepared. An emergency bag won’t take up much space, but it can make a difference if needed. So, take the time to put one together. Your future self will thank you for it.

11. Smart Locks

A smartlock installed
Video | The RT4

Smart Locks are a significant upgrade for front door security. Despite most of us being, according to the Bosch Smart Home Study, a nation of worriers when it comes to home security.

With 42% of people admitting their biggest concern is locking the front door and 21% worrying about whether they’ve shut the windows – investing in a smart lock can be a major stress reliever.

Now, what about spare keys? You might think leaving one under a plant pot in your front garden is a good idea, but it’s an open invitation for clever and habitual thieves.

Instead, consider a wall-mounted key safe. These devices securely store keys, offering a robust layer of security. They’re typically constructed with a reinforced body that can withstand much force, warding off attempted break-ins.

A key safe in an inconspicuous spot allows your visitor access to your home without needing additional keys; all it needs is the right combination code.

Sure, fundamentally changing how we secure our homes can be daunting. But Smart Locks and other security enhancements deter burglars and offer us the peace of mind we crave when we can’t be home.

12. Security Sign

Home security systems are a major leap towards reinforcing your home safety measures and, more so, integrating signs advertising your security measures.

Reports suggest homes with alarm systems are 300% less likely to face a burglary attempt than those without any. Please think of this: its effectiveness is not limited to its technological aspect; even a simple lawn or window sign indicating a robust home security system could fend off potential intruders.

Speaking of visibility, you might want to reconsider if you own a vehicle and park it in a driveway. This high visibility could make it an attractive target for prospective thieves.

But worry not; you can deter them with driveway security posts or bollards. A range of options are available, from simple lock-up and down posts to retractable ones that drop down into the ground when you need them out of the way.

They lend a physical barrier and a visual deterrent, making your driveway far less intriguing to unwelcomed guests.

13. Neighborhood Watch

Joining or starting a neighborhood watch is about building a community that looks out for each other. It’s a team effort to keep your block safe and a great way to get to know your neighbors.

Share information, watch for anything suspicious, and work together to create a safe and secure environment.

It’s not just about preventing crime but building relationships and creating a sense of community. When neighbors know each other, they’re more likely to look out for each other. And that’s what a neighborhood watch is all about.

So, take the lead or join an existing group. Get involved, and help make your neighborhood a safer place for everyone. It’s a small investment of time that can pay off significantly. And who knows – you might make lifelong friends along the way.

A Friendly Guide to Front Door Safety

It seems home safety is important to you, and guess what? It’s important to me, too. So, let’s chat about what we can leave at our front door to boost our home’s safety and security. Trust me, with these tips, we can make our home a haven!

  • Privacy film: Consider adding privacy film if we have a window near our front door or sidelights that may let nosey neighbors or criminals take a peek inside.
  • Keep windows covered: Sometimes, it’s enough to pull the blinds or close the curtains to keep burglars from seeing valuable items. Nothing should be too easy for them!
  • Do not disturb sign: This might sound funny, but it is a great reminder to stay vigilant. Let’s get creative and have some fun while we’re at it.
  • Keep doors and windows maintained: I must regularly check our door and window frames for rot or damage. A weak frame is an open invitation for anyone wanting to break in.
  • Door reinforcement: I won’t lie—I feel safer knowing my door is reinforced with a security door bar. These gadgets can prevent forced entries like a charm.
  • Use a solid-core door: A flimsy door is an easy target. Solid-core doors are sturdy and provide an excellent barrier against possible break-ins.
  • Be mindful of landscaping: Trimming large trees or bushes near the front door is important. They can offer hiding spots for burglars. Plus, a well-kept yard also conveys that we care about our homes.

Cost and Budget Considerations

Alright, folks, let’s dive into the home security world and ensure we’ve got all our bases covered without breaking the bank!

In the upcoming table, I’ve laid out various security items that are key to keeping your sanctuary safe and sound. We’re talking everything from top-notch security cameras to sturdy window locks – it’s all in there.

Security ItemEstimated CostBudget-Friendly AlternativeApproximate Cost of Alternative
Security Cameras$100 – $500 eachCloud storage camerasAround $50 each
Smart Locks$150 – $300Deadbolt lock upgradeAround $30
Alarm System$500 – $1,000 + monthly feesDIY security systemStarting at around $200
Outdoor Lighting$20 – $40 per unitSolar-powered lights$10 – $20 per unit
Window Locks$5 – $30 eachEnsure all windows have locks
Security Signs$10 – $20Print your own sign (ensure it looks professional)Minimal cost of printing
Door Reinforcement$50 – $100Use longer screws in the existing strike plateA few dollars
Safe$50 – $500Lockbox$20 – $40
Fire Extinguisher$20 – $70– (Essential investment)
First Aid Kit$20 – $50Assemble your ownVaries, but it can be cheaper

Securing Your Safety: A Guide to Security Equipment Maintenance

A desk full of tools and cctv

When it comes to maintaining a safe and secure home, the longevity and efficiency of your security equipment are paramount. Regular checks and timely updates are essential to ensure every device is in tip-top shape and functioning as it should. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you keep your security equipment in prime condition:

Security Cameras:

  • Lens Care: Ensure the camera lenses are clean and clear. A simple wipe with a soft, dry cloth can do wonders.
  • Software Updates: Regularly check for and install any available updates to enhance performance.
  • Connection Checks: Make sure all wires and connections are intact, secure, and free from damage.
  • Functionality Tests: Regularly test the motion detection and other settings to confirm everything is working accurately.

Door and Window Locks:

  • Lubrication: Use a suitable lubricant annually to keep the mechanisms smooth and functioning.
  • Alignment Checks: Make sure the locks align properly with their corresponding frames and adjust if necessary.
  • Key Inspection: Replace any worn or damaged keys to avoid potential issues.
  • Professional Inspection: Consider having a professional inspect the locks every few years to ensure they’re in top condition.

Security Alarm System:

  • Regular Testing: Conduct monthly tests to ensure all sensors and alarms are operating correctly.
  • Battery Replacements: Check and replace batteries in any wireless components as needed.
  • Contact List Update: Keep the system’s emergency contact list current.
  • Sensor Checks: Ensure all sensors are unobstructed and cover all necessary entry points.

Outdoor Lighting:

  • Bulb Replacement: Promptly replace any burnt-out bulbs to maintain effective lighting.
  • Fixture Cleaning: Clean the light fixtures regularly to prevent dirt build-up.
  • Motion Sensor Adjustments: Adjust motion sensor sensitivity settings as needed.
  • Vegetation Management: Trim any overgrown plants or branches obstructing the lighting.




Website Resources:

Video References:

Steve Sherron

Smart Home Solver

Julie Khuu



The 5 Best

The RT4

Swann – Security Made Smarter


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About Robert Gibson

Robert GibsonRobert Gibson is a skilled handyman and a trusted consultant in the home improvement realm, currently spearheading content creation for ToolsWeek. With a rich background in practical hands-on projects, spanning over two decades, Robert has mastered the art of troubleshooting and solving household challenges.

Known for his knack for breaking down intricate home improvement tasks into easy-to-follow steps, Robert is a vital asset to the ToolsWeek community. His well-researched guides and insightful articles have become a go-to resource for both seasoned professionals and eager DIYers looking to enhance their skills and tackle their projects with confidence.

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