Check all windows and doors close securely


Check all windows and external doors close and lock securely.

You probably lock windows and doors each day, before leaving, but there's often one that you have to really pull hard, which doesn't quite lock properly. So you already know which entry points to your home need attention. Yes, burglars are probably your main concern, but windows and external doors that don't quite close and lock are also vulnerable to intense winds and torrential rain.

Install head and foot bolts on the inactive door of double entry doors, to act as a brace. Every home has either double or single entry doors made of either solid wood or hollow metal, with or without glass panels. Doors without glass panels can better resist wind pressures and cyclone debris. If you are unsure about whether the entry doors of your home are strong enough here are some simple precautions.

If you have double entry doors, make sure your doors have at least three hinges and a dead bolt security lock, which has a minimum one-inch bolt throw length. Since double entry doors fail when their surface bolts break at the top or bottom where they enter the door header or threshold (floor), check the connections at both places. Be sure the surface bolt extends well into the door header and through the threshold into the subfloor, as this adds strength. If you don't have shutters or metal screens to protect your windows from damage, consider retrofitting with impact resistant glass.

In days gone by we were encouraged to open a window on the side opposite to the oncoming storm to equalise pressure. Researchers now warn that opening windows encourages the wind to enter the building, which increases the risk of building failure. Keep all windows shut!

If there's a cyclone heading your way, stick wide masking tape across your windows from top to bottom and then from side to side. Add two more pieces diagonally to create a star pattern for added strength. During devastating forces of nature, taping up windows with masking tape might not prevent the glass from breaking, but the broken glass won't be blown so far.