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door security

What about your back door? Side door? 
Basement door? French doors? Porch doors?
Could your front door be broken open with a kick?

Your door must be solid wood or metal. A hollow core door can be broken easily.

BUT, a strong, solid door with a weak lock is NOT SECURE!!

A Deadbolt Lock

Deadbolt locks cannot be pried open or jimmied open.

The original locks on most of our doors are springlatches that are poor security.

  • The latches are short and can be pried away from the doorjamb.
  • Since the latches are spring-loaded (retractable), they can be jimmied open.

Tubular deadbolts should extend up to 1 inch into the doorframe.

  • Tubular deadbolts are mortised into the door.
  • Mortising removes wood, however, which weakens the door around the lock.

Jimmy-proof deadbolts mount on the door surface (the rim).

  • These need strong screws into the door.

BUT, a deadbolt lock with a weak doorjamb is NOT SECURE!!

A Strong Door Jamb

Locks need a strong strike plate that is secured into the structural door framing.

A strike plate that is mounted to the doorframe with small screws will easily splinter away under pressure.

Strike plates must be strong and be large enough that several screws can be used. Screws should be long enough to extend into the structural wood surrounding the doorframe.

BUT, an excellent lock near glass windows is NOT SECURE!!

Protecting Doors with Glass

Many of our beautiful doors have glass panels and have glass sidelight windows on either side of the door. 

  • Glass has NO security value. Burglars never hesitate to break glass!
  • Burglars can break the glass and just reach inside and unlock the door.

Glass doors need deadbolt locks with removable inside keys.

When you remove the inside keys from the locks, burglars cannot reach in and unlock them.

Even if burglars get in to your house somewhere else, they cannot open the doors and carry your things away. This cuts losses.

Both tubular and jimmy-proof deadbolts are available with double keys.

CAUTION: Removable keys create a danger that residents cannot get out of the house in an emergency.

Keep a key by the door, but out of sight and out of reach. Everyone has to know where the key is.
Keys can be removed from the locks only when no one is at home.

Door Chains

Door chains are NOT locks. They have small screws that can be ripped out easily. The chain is not strong.

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