My front door has a deadbolt, but right next to the knob/deadbolt is a tall narrow window, so that you can see whoever is outside. This is a security risk as anyone could smash that window and open the lock from the outside.

Is there a way to secure a door like this, without removing the window? The one idea I know if is a deadbolt where you need a key to open it even from the inside, but I don't think our code allows this for the front door.

  • I have a similar door for my front and back doors of my house and I have Double cylinder door locks on mine. They require a key for inside and out.
    – lazoDev
    Mar 7, 2012 at 22:33
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    How have you secured the rest of the windows in the house? They can just as easily be broken, and become doors themselves.
    – Tester101
    Mar 7, 2012 at 23:15
  • @Tester101 I agree that I need to look at all the windows, and the patio door. Fortunately some are hard to get to due to fencing and bushes. Just thought the door window was a good topic to ask about. Mar 7, 2012 at 23:37
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    Bars or a heavy duty screen could be an option. Even a motion detector with a flood light outside would be a good deterrent. Deterrents make the burglar move on. If they really want to get in, they will get in, but like electricity they like to choose the path of least resistence.
    – Jon Raynor
    Mar 9, 2012 at 14:56
  • Get a deadbolt without an inside latch. Hang the key on a wall away from the window or out of sight completely. It may be a pain to have to get the key every time you want to unlock the door, but it works. Nov 17, 2012 at 0:16

6 Answers 6


There is a product called Window Security Film which is a thin (a couple mm) film that adheres to the window and makes it exceptionally difficult for someone to break. Many lock smiths/security companies can install it. Here's a video of it in action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYdVK3BqPfk

This is a duplicate of my answer from this question.

  • 2
    that's a pretty tiny hammer
    – DA01
    Mar 7, 2012 at 22:14
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    Here it is standing up to a baseball bat: youtube.com/watch?v=QidBcvmzEPA. That being said, everything is breakable, it's just a matter of time and deterring burglars. Most burglars would opt to not stand there and take their chances for 5min, they will just move to the next house that doesn't have any protection.
    – Steven
    Mar 7, 2012 at 22:58

Option A: Alarm system.

Option B: Deadbolt with a captive key feature. The interior knob can be removed turning it into a double cylinder lock. Check with your local codes to see if this is permitted.

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  • It's rarely permitted in residential settings, but that doesn't stop a lot of people from doing it. Fire code is intended to keep you safe from fire, not keep people out of your house.
    – Steven
    Mar 7, 2012 at 20:50
  • +1 for the alarm system, make sure the alarm company sign is visible. While I've seen option B more than once, i think I would pass.
    – uncle brad
    Mar 7, 2012 at 22:02
  • For some reason the previous owners of my house had installed a double cylinder lock on the door coming in from the garage, but not the front or back doors that have windows next to them within a few inches. I'm not sure what they were thinking.
    – Doresoom
    Mar 8, 2012 at 16:17

I had this type of window when I bought my condo. Luckily it was just the right width to replace the single pane of glass with glass bricks. Better security and better insulation.


If there is only a window on one side, you could get a new door that has the hinge on the other side (or possibly flip your existing door).

  • +1 for a unique solution: It wouldn't work for my layout, but clever! Nov 19, 2012 at 5:14

The best type of lock for that situation would be to get a double sided deadbolt. So if someone where to break the window they would be able to unlock the door, they would still need a key from the inside.


You can put a grate on the window nearest the interior bolt; there's a product called Mr. Goodbar that is made of 3/16 steel rods, spaced about 1/2" apart from the pictures. I'm ordering one now (will have to cut it down to fit).

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