Exterior Doors

There are many different doors leading into your home, the front door, back door, sliding glass doors, the door from the garage into the kitchen, all have one thing in common…they are all entry doors, and as such they need to be secured. In many locations, but not all, building codes will require a deadbolt lock on exterior doors. Entry door security should not be overlooked.

In newer homes the front door. back and side doors will usually have a knobset or handle lock to open the door, which sometimes has a locking feature, or could be a passage function. and a deadbolt lock above.

The door from the garage into the kitchen is sometimes overlooked, if an intruder should gain access to your garage, they could use your tools to attack this door, all while being out of view, if they closed the garage door. A quality deadbolt should be installed on this door and locked any time everyone is away. The door frame should be reinforced.

Entry doors are commonly available made of 3 different materials, wood, fiberglass and steel, each has advantages and disadvantages.

How do you enter your home? Simple question, you usually enter through the front door. Okay what is the first place the typical potential intruder goes to enter your home? The front door. So it makes sense that you should treat this, and all other doors, as the gateway to your kingdom.

Here are the steps you have taken to secure your door.

  1. You have a good solid door.

  2. You have a good solid deadbolt lock.

  3. You have a motion operated light.

  4. You have a CCTV camera and maybe even one of the new Video doorbells.

Is this enough?

Here is a question, What is the most used way for home burglar to make entry, after an unlocked door? By the way an unlocked door is #1, #2 is a door kick-in, which is usually much easier than you would expect.

There is an old saying that goes like this; “Locks only keep Honest people Honest” We can hope to keep the bad guys out, but we have to take the right steps.

The myth concerning door security, is that good locks is all you need. The truth is that the weakest part of the modern home entry is the door framing. This is a result of the system of framing used in modern home building, where-ever a door should be, the framing contractors leave a space between the jack studs, just big enough for an assembled door and door casing to fit. The casing sides are about 1/2 inch thick soft pine. When in place there is about 1/2 to 1 inch of dead  space. The screws that hold the strike plates and hinges to the casing are usually 1/2 to 1 inch long.

The fix for this weakness is to use an auxiliary strike system that is held in place with 3 inch screws that will penetrate well into the jack studs which are 4 inches thick, on the hinge side at least 2 of the screws going into the frame on each hinge are also replaced with 3 inch screws. As well as at least 2 of the holding the hinge to the door are replaced with at least 2 inch screws. There are several strike systems on the market the better ones are 39 to 72 inches long thus spreading the load over more of the frame. Properly installed the door and frame are much stronger. 

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