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...


  1. The first thing I did when I bought my house was to check and test the doors, and I wound up replacing two of them--and their frames--because the flimsy wooden frames gave way to a determined shoulder hit. Now they're solid and have good deadbolts, and while I do tend to leave them unlocked while I'm home, there are also two German Shepherds loitering at the top of the staircase to greet any visitors and one in particular is a very fast biter.

  2. In a home I owned I had another issue. There were windows by the doors. All you have to do is break the glass and stick your hand in and open the door. I was NOT having bars on my windows. So I installed a good deadbolt at the base of the door where you can't reach it. Plus burglar alarm stickers in clear view and some motion sensor lights. Failing that there was this motion sensor yard ornament that had as a recording the sound was a VERY big shotgun being readied to fire.

    1. 3M makes a very nice window film that resists breakage and would make a burglar have to stand in front of the window for several minutes to break through, even with burglar likes a hard target

  3. It's surprisingly easy to replace the flimsy wood door frame with a steel frame, and not terribly costly. I did that for my front door and master bedroom when I thought I was going to be working away from home for a couple of years.

  4. Thank you so much for mentioning our product, EZ Armor, on your blog! We've noticed through our sales web tracking software that people have purchased our product because of your post, and we are extremely appreciative. We stand behind our products 100% and are committed to keep people, their families, and their homes safe. Thank you again.

    Summer Wiser
    Director of Marketing and Public Relations
    Armor Concepts

  5. I can attest to EZ Armor...I've installed four sets on my home and practically everything went perfectly! What didn't wasn't EZ Armor's fault, but the door manufacturer. Anyway, this stuff is great and everybody needs to install it on every exterior door, then keep it locked!