Sidelights can be a lovely part of any home's front door. The narrow glass panels alongside some doors can beautifully reflect in the sun and add character to create a welcoming entryway. However, doors with sidelights might also give some homeowners pause, as they could make it easier for intruders to get inside. Understanding more about protecting sidelight panels can help you shed your home security fears.
Extra Lock Protection
One big security measure you can take is installing a double-cylinder deadbolt on your door. Double-cylinder deadbolts require a key to lock and unlock the door from both sides. So, if an intruder did break the glass of the sidelight with the intention of reaching inside and opening the door from the inside, he would be unable to do so without a key.
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Keep in mind that though double-cylinder deadbolts do add security, they can also be dangerous in emergency situations since you need a key to flee the area. If you decide to use a double-cylinder deadbolt while using doors with sidelights, make sure you have a plan to make it easy to leave your home in case of an emergency.
Smart Home Security System
Another added security measure is installing a smart home security system to protect your doorway. Relatively affordable and easy to set up, these systems can be controlled right from your smartphone and give you real-time views of everything that happens near your front door.
Obstructing Sidelight View
If your primary security concern is preventing people from peeking in through your sidelights, you can take measures to conceal the windows without compromising on the aesthetics of your front door. Shop around for sidelight window film from your local hardware store or an online retailer.
The film comes in several different colors and patterns, turning the glass opaque while still giving off the appearance of designs like stained glass or tempered windows. Some film even has shatter protection built into it so that if someone does break your window, the film can offer an extra layer of defense.
Once you've decided on a design you like, DIY application is simple. Most varieties of film can be easily cut to fit your window size and then applied in a manner similar to peel-and-stick wallpaper. Shop for privacy film that is removable so that if you decide you no longer need the added protection, you can easily peel it off without damage to your windows.
Removing the Sidelights
You may decide that none of these security measures are complete enough and opt to remove your sidelights entirely. Depending on the layout of your sidelights, this might be a DIY job. For instance, you may be able to simply remove the glass windows from the sidelights and replace them with a more secure material, such as wood or brick.
It could also be possible to remove the entire sidelight and door frame if it was built as a single unit and replace it with a larger door or a new, sidelight-free frame. Other sidelight designs may be more difficult to remove and could require the use of a home contractor.