Opinions wanted, storm doors

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Old 02-09-20, 10:37 AM
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Opinions wanted, storm doors

I would like some opinions from our experts and or handymen/women concerning exterior storm doors.

Would any of you publicly say or warrant an exterior storm door to added security to a home?

I'm trying refute a company directive to inform potential customers that a storm door can be used as added security.

I say emphatically NO!

One's security is in the form of your entrance door and the storm door provides protection to the entrance door from the outside elements only, besides allowing fresh air or viewing to the outside. I can understand in some circumstances, some higher end storm doors provide a mortise bolt lock. But I don't consider it security, only convenience to prevent accidental or non intrusive entry. Even I can probably take any storm door, bolt lock or not and without damage, open it.

Prove me wrong.

Thanks.
 

Last edited by Norm201; 02-09-20 at 10:42 AM. Reason: spelling errors
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Old 02-09-20, 10:58 AM
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There have been a few posts over the past 15 yrs or so regarding people who cant get their storm doors open. The difficulty they had in getting the door open when the deadbolt wont turn kind of speaks for itself. Wont stop someone with a large wrecking bar, but it is another layer of protection... provided its locked, yes.

Not every burglar carries a cordless screwdriver, hammer and pry bar.

And a locked latch is probably harder to open than a deadbolt. Unscrewing the z bar might free up the mortise deadbolt but on doors with a separate locking latch it won't let the locked latch open on doors where that is screwed to the jamb itself.
 
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Old 02-09-20, 11:34 AM
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X, appreciate your feedback.
But yes, I would expect a burglar to have a least a screw driver and pry bar .

I'll even submit to a deadbolt as helping to delay a break-in. But I guess what bothers me is the blanket statement that all storm doors provide a layer of protection. Any additional layer of material can then be considered additional protection be it cardboard, screen, or any other item blocking an entrance way.

Here's the point. I'm very customer oriented and big on giving the customer my very best knowledge about any product we sell. Even at the expense of the sale or loss of customer (I know, management don't like that attitude, but they are one's that instilled it in me). If I'm not sure I will freely admit it. But If I feel I'm sure I'll stick to it until proven wrong.

So we are being told, in the action of selling a door to a prospective customer (very often, a little old lady or widow) who is relying on us to give good info, that to seal the deal we should say "it adds protection from unauthorized entry". And that goes for any storm door, dead bolt or not!

I'm ready to argue with corporate . Is it worth it? Probably not. But even though I'm well liked and respected, I'm also known to nit pick on certain things. And in most cases they come around to my way of thinking. Bravo for me. Boy can feel my head swell.

Anyway, I suppose I should pick my battles carefully.

Thanks again.

Anybody else want to add to this yarn?
 
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Old 02-09-20, 12:47 PM
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Sounds like someone in marketing is trying to justify their salary.

Tell me that and I will tell you that you are full of it and buy my door elsewhere.
I do not appreciate companies that use marketing bull sh** to sell products.

Is it true well sort of and we can put a spin on it.
But as long as you tell me that it is also dangerous because it will impede my exit from the dwelling in a fire then I would think what an honest company this is.

Assuming that everyone else is stupid will eventually bite you in the a**!!!!


 
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Old 02-09-20, 12:56 PM
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to seal the deal we should say "it adds protection from unauthorized entry"
Yes.... that would seal the deal for me and I'd walk away.

Storm doors add little for security. Many people lock the little dead bolt on them and feel secure.
A locked storm door will keep the honest people out.
 
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Old 02-09-20, 01:34 PM
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One of the more popular storm door manufacturers does tout their deadbolt locks as "added security". I call BS. Just a marketing ploy to sell a more expensive latch system.

My storm door is fairly well built. It does have a deadbolt. I remember noting how well the lock system was made compared to other storm doors I've owned. However, I never considered it as a security device. I suspect that it would slow me down about 5 seconds if I were a determined burglar. In summer it has a full screen installed and in the winter it's a full view tempered glass panel. A knife would make short work on the screen and a sharp blow would turn the glass into itty bitty pieces (I know the latter from experience).

We never locked the storm door.
 
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Old 02-09-20, 02:51 PM
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Thank you all. That's pretty much how I feel. I've told customers that the locking mechanism is nothing more than to perhaps keep the kids from coming in and out or to tell the milk man to ring the bell and not just walk in.

So now I must decide if I want to be an **S and make noise or not. To justify my rants, this is just one of the many online "educational" training courses we must take. Each one may take from 15 minutes to 45 minutes. We can take them at work on company time or at home. That's a minor thing and most of us don't care one way or the other.

This is not the only one that has questionable information stated as fact. As an example, chemical drain cleaners are being touted as a very good way to clear a plugged drain or a slow running drain. This one I vehemently counter and discourage customers from buying. I tell them a snake or a plumber.

Up until recently we've had live meetings during the year to teach new employees about product and refresher courses to keep us older guys up to date. It was nice because it gave us a chance to exchange ideas and experiences. But now these sessions are etched in stone. And no opportunity to correct or have the "instructor" explain the information.

Most of us older guys have refused to take most of them. What are they going to say? You're fired? Fat chance. But now corporate is tracking participation and keeping score. In my particular store alone we have two Founders Memorial award winners (myself being one of them). And those with that award are held in very high esteem for product knowledge, customer service and overall "good guys" (They have awarded us a rather sizable $ amount at the time of presentation and every year we get a slightly larger Xmas bonus.)

Don't get me wrong, in spite of these annoying things the company is great to work for and we all have a good time. Most of us older guys work there not for the money but for the comradery and a chance to help customers and DIY'ers. The company is trying and I'm giving them kudos for that. But wrong or questionable information can be worse than the big box stores that are of no help at all.

OK my weekly rant is over.
 
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Old 02-09-20, 06:27 PM
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The only tool anyone needs to break into most any house is a hammer. That's they they call it smash and grab. Security is all relative.

Its also why houses in high crime areas have steel "security" doors (what we'd call a storm door) and steel shutters or bars. A storm door is not on that scale of security at all. But it is better than nothing at all... so it depends on your point of view.
 
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Old 02-13-20, 10:01 PM
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I think the best description for the typical big box storm door is that it primarily protects the main door from weathering as fast, it helps reduce air leakage, and it adds "a little additional security", in that order. And depending on what your main door looks like to begin with, it might improve the looks of the house.
 
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Old 02-14-20, 11:26 AM
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I'll actually be the dissenter in the group and say that a locked storm door does provide additional security.

Physical security is always defined in layers. Any one layer is potentially easy to circumvent, but you put a number of these 'easy' layers together and it makes it increasingly difficult to penetrate.

With just an entry door, you have a single lock (maybe 2). Someone with a lockpick or hammer or strong kick, can probably get through it. If you add a locked storm door, now that's 2 doors to open. Now they have to pick 2 (or 3) locks, or wrecking-bar their way through 2 doors. A good kick also won't get through a storm door - since they open out... so now it either needs to be pried, or the window broken (noise).

Then you have other layers (alarm system, valuables in a safe, good lighting around the house, neighbors who will call the police if they hear glass breaking, cameras, etc etc).

The more layers you have, the less of an appealing target you are.
 
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Old 02-14-20, 04:15 PM
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So your willing in good conscience to use that as a sellimng point? And what happens when the little old lady who buys that door sues the company because it did little or nothing to prevent a break-in? (In today's society, it's possible).
I in good faith cannot tell a customer that a storm door will provide any type of security. Placing a cardboard box in front of a door is more security than that. I will however tell them that it help preserve and enhance their entrance from the elements. I'm also willing to tell them a locked screen door / storm door will prevent the kids from running in and out every few minutes.
 
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Old 02-22-20, 12:17 AM
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@Norm201, you're treating this as a black or white issue, but security, like so many things in life, is all shades of gray; to say that a storm door adds no security is false, and to say it adds superior or total security is also false. The vast gray area in between, is dependent on many other security factors, meaning, security is relative. One important factor is the relative security of the primary door. At one extreme, if we're dealing with a hollow-core wood door with a cheap residential Grade-3 Entry Function lock with no deadbolt, and no other security enhancements, then the typical storm door with deadbolt will add "significant" security. At the other extreme, if the primary door is solid core hardwood or reinforced hollow metal, with Grade-1 Entry lock and deadbolt, with enhancements like security strike plates, etc, then the typical storm door will add only a very small improvement. Of course, many other factors such as lighting, proximity of neighbors, street visibility, local crime rate, occupant habits, other security enhancements like alarms, dogs, etc, etc, all add up to create an overall security condition.

As to your original objection to having to pitch security to prospective customers, they can truthfully be told that it can add just a little or quite a lot of security, depending on all these other factors you don't know about. It should also be mentioned that a professional installation will probably result in better security than a sloppy DIY'er. Also, the integrity of the framework to which the storm door is attached, and the selection of alternate fasteners other than what come supplied with the door, all effect the security of the new door.

On one last note, several have mentioned the ability to "just take a hammer to the glass" to show the relative insecurity of storm doors. True, but depending on the proximity to neighbors, smashing the typical storm door glass makes a loud and distinct noise that can get peoples attention. Burglars will usually go to a lot of trouble prying, twisting, forcing, or picking their way in, before resorting to breaking glass.
 
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Old 02-22-20, 06:02 AM
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I'll agree to everything you say, except the breaking glass. I live in a typical suburban neighborhood. Nobody, I mean nobody except a dog is going to hear a widow or door glass get broken in the evening or early morning hours.
 
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Old 02-22-20, 08:48 PM
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Ah yes, another security factor: nosy neighbors....and smallish lots. my immediate neighbors have all lived here for 20 plus years, and we all kinda pay attention to our surroundings. A number of retired folks are home all day, helps.
But I know what you're saying, some neighborhoods, mostly younger families, everybody working during the day, set a bomb off, nobody'd hear it.
 
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