How to Reinforce a Door for Security
Door security is one of the most important things to consider when protecting your home or business from unwanted intruders or thieves. Doors are the main entryway into most buildings and should be one of the most secure. There are steps that you can take to make your entryway into your home or business more secure, protecting your valuables and most importantly, you and the ones you love.
Step 1 - Reinforce Door Frames
Your average wooden door casing can be easy kicked in and destroyed by a man with average strength. It is usually only attached by medium length screws or nails and often the wood isn’t very strong. You can reinforce the frame with a long strike plate made from metal and attached with extra long screws that are drilled right into the studs on all sides of the doorway.
These strike plates can be purchased from home improvement stores and websites. Installation consists of placing the metal door casing over your existing one. There is often no need to repaint or change the design of the door casing. It could also add value to your home and possibly lower insurance rates with a little finagling.
An easy way to strengthen a door frame is to reinforce the molding with 3 inch screws every 2 inches. This may seem overboard but an intruder will not be able to kick open the door or easily pry it open with a crowbar. If they decide to unscrew it themselves, someone will surely notice them during the hours it will take them. The frame should also be fortified with screws that reach the wall studs on all sides of the doorway.
You may also want to replace the entire door frame with a steel door frame kit with metal wall studs. A metal door would complete this setup that would take a car to break through.
Step 2 – Reinforce Slider Doors
First of all, you should stay away from slider doors. If you can’t avoid a slider door then be sure it is made from strong material. Most slider doors come with a metal pole that folds open and is placed at the end of the inside sliding panel and connects to the opposite edge of the door frame, preventing it from being opened by acting as a barrier. You can make your own by using a long piece of wood and cutting it to the perfect length and placing it at the bottom inside slide track that is exposed when the door is closed.
Step 3 – Install a Deadbolt
All doors should have a deadbolt lock as well as the lock inside the doorknob. Be sure that the deadbolt you choose doesn’t have screws exposed to the outside and is made of high quality, solid metal. The bolt should be at the minimum of 1 inch in length. The quality of a deadbolt often goes up with the price but is a small investment for security.
Step 4 – Secure the Hinges
Hinges should never be on the outside of the building. The door can be easily turned around and reinstalled the opposite way to swing to the inside. If this isn’t possible, then be sure the hinges have pins that can’t be removed. Masonry nails that are double-headed can also secure exposed hinges. All hinges exposed or not, should be attached with screws that are 3 inches or longer and made of strong metal.
Step 5 – Old Fashion Cross Bars
This strategy may seem far-fetched and medieval, but you may want to install bars that prevent the door from swinging open. One bar at the top, one at the middle, and one at the bottom will prevent the door from being rammed in.