In the summer heat, it can be tempting to leave your doors open to get some air circulating through the house. An open door isn't very secure, though, which is why many people install security screen doors to provide security while letting air in. But not all security doors are created equal. How can you know that you're getting the right door for your needs? When choosing a security screen door, you need to think about the door itself, but also about its installation.
There are two key components to a security screen door: the frame itself and the material, or infill, that makes up the main part of the door. Frames can be made of steel or aluminium; steel is more robust, but aluminium resists corrosion better. If your door is going to be exposed to wet weather frequently, this could be an important consideration.
The infill can come in many forms. Steel bars or grilles are traditional; however, although they're very secure, they can sometimes make the building look a little like a jail. Decorative scrolls or motifs can improve the appearance of a steel security door. Some security doors come with aluminium mesh; these allow air through and keep out insects, but they're vulnerable compared to their steel counterparts. It's relatively simple to cut through these screens. More durable are steel mesh doors, which appear similar to normal aluminium mesh but provide better protection. Lastly, don't confuse structural-grade aluminium sheets with aluminium mesh. Structural-grade perforated aluminium provides high durability at lower cost than steel. Whatever the type of grille, it needs to be securely fastened to the frame.
No matter what components you choose, you should make sure that your security door conforms to Australian Standards.
Even the best security door is of little use if it isn't properly installed; a determined thief might be able to pry an improperly-installed door loose from its housing. Installation is governed by another Australian Standard, so make sure that your installer's work complies with this standard. A few extra millimetres can give a thief a chance to get in, meaning that the best security doors are custom-fitted to the doorway they protect. This does make them more expensive, but the cost increase is small compared to the potential loss from a break-in.
A well-fitted security screen door that conforms to the relevant Australian Standards is a deterrent to thieves and an investment in your home's security, so consider all your options carefully when buying one.