Saturday, June 28, 2014

Keeping your doors closed...

Most folks enter homes and buildings through doors... it's how we're trained since we could walk. Bad guys enter the same way most of the time. I'd like to suggest a few easy and inexpensive ways to slow down the bad guys when they try to get into your home or property through your doors.

Now, this advice will not prevent a determined and capable person or persons from breaching your door with enough time, effort, and tools. This advice will help reinforce what you have and slow down bad guys. Of course... you could always build a concrete home with ICFs and commercial steel doors with bracing embedded in concrete... but that is not the reality most of us live in... so here is are some basic tips to protect you at home and delay bad guys entering your home... maybe just enough of a delay to get your gun and take an implement a defensive strategy.


You would be amazed at how many times bad guys have accessed homes simply by turning the door knob and opening the door. Most of us lock our doors when we leave our homes... but do you lock your doors while you are at home? The gals and I lock our doors while we're at home. We lock our doors while we're out mowing the lawn. If you're out in the back yard mowing grass.... and your garage door is open... and your door from your garage to your home is unlocked... and your kids are home... who is protecting them... what is protecting them... a bad guy can just walk right in.

2. Install good dead-bolt locks and quality lock-sets.

The regular door knob/lock-sets are easily defeated and a good deadbolt lock will slow down the bad guys with a stronger locking point for the door. Yeah, I know a lot of lock sets from local hardware stores and big-box home improvement centers are easily picked, but most average bad guys are not lock-pickers, they're door kickers. Oh, and if you just moved into a new home or apartment... make sure you CHANGE THE LOCKS or have your landlord do it as part of your lease.  Who knows who has keys to your old locks.

3. Reinforce the doors you have.

Most residential doors, even "steel" entry doors, are very weak compared to commercial steel doors in many commercial buildings. The key areas of weakness are primarily found in the hinge attachment points and the locking points on each side of the door. Most residential doors, even "steel" doors are just a thin steel or laminate covering over a wood particle or even foam and wood core. Here you can see a typical locking plate for a deadbolt lock for a "steel" entry door as it comes in the door frame from a lock big box home improvement center:

There is barely a three-quarter of an inch thick pine or poplar wood door frame/jamb holding the locking plate for the "steel" entry door.

This area typically breaks right out and splinters when the door is "kicked" in.

The easiest and cheapest door reinforcement you can do is replace the standard three-quarter-inch or one-inch screws holding the hinges and locking plates in place with two to three-inch long screws that go through the door frame/jamb and into the two-by-four or two-by-six wall studs that frame the doorway.

An additional step would be adding a heavy-duty lock plate with longer screws.  The heavier gauge steel lock plate with four long screws securing it to the studs behind the jamb will hold far better than the thin door jamb by itself.

The most thorough reinforcement of existing doors would probably the installation of a kit such as a Door Devil or EZ Armor by Armor Concepts.  If you have a door that has already been kicked in, if most of the damage is just the door jamb being broken out, many of these types of kits can be used to repair and reinforce your existing door.

Again, these tips will not prevent a door from being kicked in or being breached, but it will help buy you time and slow down many bad guys. If you are in the process of new construction, there are many other steps and purchasing choices you can make to have stronger, more fortified doors. but for now, the gals and I hope this helps you with... Keeping your doors closed...

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Under construction...

Several folks have emailed and sent Facebook messages wondering if I had given up on blogging... the answer is no, I still enjoy blogging, but the reality is two-fold.  The gals and I have launched some ambitious new projects here at home and I'll likely have several big announcements by the end of summer and some terrific blog posts to share with ya'll.

First, due to some changes with accreditation requirements... my graduate degree will no longer qualify me to to continue teaching at the university in the fall of 2016. With that pending change, my gal and I decided accelerate a five-year plan of ours that will build my marketing and design consulting business, increase my offerings as a firearms instructor, and expand my work with security and safety consulting and training.

Taking from the God, Gals, Guns, Grub moniker... G4 Personal Safety is under construction and will formalize the training and instructing I've been doing for decades under a professional business name and brand. I am passionate about continuing to help every-day folks increase their personal safety, self-defense abilities, and self-reliance capabilities. We also hope to bring in some terrific instructors here at our facility to provide some quality instruction at a reasonable cost with small to medium class sizes... no thirty-five students and one instructor here.

After having a successful commercial and advertising photography and design business for years before going on to teach the same at the collegiate level, I'll be leveraging that expertise in my consulting work with various businesses and to build opportunities to help regular folks increase their personal safety, self-defense abilities, and self-reliance capabilities. So paperwork, business plans, banks, permits, government forms, web domains, web sites, Wordpress templates, HMTL, CSS, new materials, new equipment, insurance agents, attorney... it is endless.

Additionally, we've decided to build an additional barn on our property... insulated, heated, air-conditioned... and smaller than the big barn, but big enough to use as a classroom, training facility, etc. with internet, computer projection system, and all the important amenities such as coffee production equipment. I've also been working hard at some range accessory improvements including some movable walls using six-foot high vinyl privacy fence panels and stainless-steel hinges... more to come at a later date.

Now gals, my gals know that your average porta-john found at many outdoor ranges leaves something to be desired... so we now have a brand new half-bath constructed that will make you feel just like home and we'll warn the guys with a sign above the toilet that says, "If you can't hit the target at this distance, don't even bother shooting on our range!"

Second, regarding the blogging... I sometimes wonder why anyone would want my opinion or thoughts on anything with so many good folks out there offering theirs. Then again, I've been at this shooting stuff for over forty years now and we've got a private range where we can even practice firing from and around our personal vehicles if we want so... a post on that will be coming up later this summer or fall... so maybe I do have something to share that may be of interest to ya'll out there on the interwebs.

Well, we've been working day and night on many things... and I still work out and lift weights three days a week, and the dogs, and mowing, and shooting - yeah, if I have a choice between blogging and shooting, well you folks can chat amongst yourselves for a while if I'm shooting... or better yet... stop on by and we'll shoot together.

So don't worry... the gals and I are still here... we've just been busy 'cause we're... Under construction...