A peep hole, or a door viewer, is a small viewing portal that allows you to see who is at your door before you open it. A peep hole is a basic security device that helps you to screen visitors before you open the door. Everyone should consider installing one, but they are particularly useful for people who live alone and those who live in high crime areas.
You can purchase a peep hole kit from almost any locksmith or hardware store. They are usually kept in the area of the store that features the locks, door handles and hinges. Try to purchase an adjustable depth peephole to ensure a good fit for your door. In addition to the peep hole you will need:
- A tape measure
- A drill and drill bit
- Gaffer tape
Installing a peep hole is a relatively simple job and should take no more than 15 minutes.
Before you start work, check the packaging of the peep hole to confirm what size of drill bit you will need. If the packaging does not make this clear, measure the diameter of the barrel of the peep hole (not the outer lens) to determine what size of drill bit you should use. Once you are sure you have the right drill bit, you can start work.
Step 1: Put the peep hole so that it is at eye-level for the shortest person who will be using it on a regular basis. Make a mark at this level on your door, and then use a tape measure to find the centre of the door. This is where you should put the peep hole, assuming the panel is big enough to do so. If the centre panel is too shallow, put the peep hole off to one side on a deeper panel instead.
Step 2: Measure the height and the horizontal position of the area you want to place peep hole, and place some tape on that spot on the inside of the door. Open the door, and place some tape on the outside of the door in the same spot. The tape serves two purposes – it tells you where to drill, and it stops the door’s wood from splintering, ensuring a smooth and professional looking finish.
Step 3: Carefully drill a hole in the door, applying just a small amount of pressure. Keep the drill bit steady and work slowly until you have broken all the way through the door and the drill bit pokes out of the other side.
Step 4: When you have finished drilling, remove the gaffer tape and sand the hole smooth, then unscrew the peephole and put it into the door. Remember that the lens goes on the outside, and the viewport goes on the inside. Hold the lens in place while you hand-tighten the peep hole, and then finish the job using a flat-bladed screwdriver.
A peep hole is a handy security aid, and it is very easy to install. If you are not sure where to place your peep hole, put it lower than you think you need it, so that anyone can use it simply by bending down.
If you, or someone who lives in your household, are visually impaired, consider buying a magnifying peep hole or a video viewer that has a magnification feature. These are more expensive than standard peep holes, but offer peace of mind and independence to people who cannot use standard door viewers.