For a lot of people, there are security features provided by communities such as gated perimeters, surveillance cameras, and guards working a day/night shift. While such security measures can help prevent crimes, there’s only one thing standing between a homeowner and an opportunist intruder. But what is the best way to reinforce a door securely?
This and other related questions are answered below, with detailed tips on the precautions that you can take to make this crucial part of your home stronger. Let’s look further.
Best Ways to Reinforce a Door to Prevent a Kick In
How best should one protect their doors?
Take a look at the doors around your home or apartment. Think to yourself about how difficult it would be for you to break it yourself. Of course, you don’t have to try this out but observe the weaknesses in its design. How strong are the deadbolts, and how many are built into the door itself? How heavy is the door, and are the hinges properly fastened to the post?
A lot of doors can be broken open with tools as well, such as battering rams that are commonly used by law enforcement. Home security locks, while useful, could also be cheaply made and easily broken by a sophisticated thief who knows what they’re doing. Because of these factors, it’s important that you alter any major defects or weaknesses that you see on your home/apartment doors.
Let’s start with apartment doors. Most apartment doors are built to last, though some of them could be very easy to pry open if they’re poorly maintained by the property. If you live in an apartment, it might be forbidden for you to tamper with the door.
Before going about any changes, check with your lease first if you’re a renter, to avoid having to pay for breaking the contract. If you’re free to alter the door to your liking, the possibilities for beefing up its security are endless. The best apartment door security features are strong bolts, more than once if possible, and a chain lock. Adding extra locks to door frames could be costly, however.
It might be easier for you to simply purchase a new door altogether. If you stay in a studio-style apartment, you may have only one way in and out. Install a peephole if one doesn’t exist on your door, or consider getting a security camera that’s built into the doorknob. There are lots of brands sold online.
Installing a Bolt Lock and More
Bolt lock installation is easy to do. Most doors won’t need to be broken or cut to get a new one in place if there already exists an older bolt that you want to replace.
You could install a cipher lock or one that uses a password in order for one to unlock it. Most models are secure and come with strong deadbolts capable of preventing the door from being forced open.
You may have also heard of “burglar bars.” These are metal security doors and a great way to prevent access to the door altogether, at least when it’s shut. However, metal security bars for doors might not be allowed in your local homeowner’s association are too strict.
Security Guard Plates
As mentioned in the previous section, using a metal door guard or installing an additional deadbolt might not be an option for you. In this case, a commercial door security guard plate could do wonders for boosting your home’s safety. They’re also referred to as lock guard armor plates.
The advantage here is the metal plate that’s built into the lock, which extends out from the post. These are popularly used at convenience stores and other businesses with expensive merchandise. But they also make a good defense, especially for backyard doors. For front door safety devices, metal plates could work but you may have to build a new lock into the door altogether.
Front Door Safety
Here are some alternative devices for you to use to secure your front door. Some of them may have been previously mentioned:
1. Chain Lock
Chain locks might be a bit old school, but they’re a good fail-safe. While it won’t prevent something that’s sufficiently heavy from breaking a door down, it will work for most people.
Plus, it’ll allow you to open the door while the chain is still secured to get a glimpse of who’s knocking.
If you don’t have a peephole installed on your door, this is recommended. Chain locks must be bolted or nailed to the door very well in order to work, If not, breaking the door becomes much easier for intruders.
This is another old-fashioned method of securing a door. However, it does work. To do this, take a chair from your home/apartment and simply place it back directly under the door’s handle. This braces the door from the pressure that comes from someone attempting to push it open. It’s the last resort option but could also damage the chair, so be sure to use one that you don’t care about getting scratched.
3. Door Guard
A door guard is a latch that’s fastened to the door and its post. It’s probably the best way to secure a door from the inside when plates aren’t being used.
They’re also easy to install, and require little to no experience in doing so. Simply screw or bolt in the latch and lock portion, making sure that both are aligned to the same height, and that’s it.
Door guards are also more difficult to break than chain locks since the stop point is shorter. You won’t be able to open it up unless the entire guard is unlatched. If the door guard is built to high quality, it can work well to stop potential intruders from accessing the inside of your home.
4. Door Wedge
Also known as door stoppers, door wedges are simplistic in design but very useful for several reasons. For one, installing on a door requires no alterations at all. Just place the wedge underneath the door and nothing else. They work in a similar fashion to what you may have seen on large vehicles when a piece of wood or wedge is placed underneath the back tires.
Since a wedge receives all of its stopping power from the floor, getting a door to open in this way is almost impossible. If you’re thinking of getting a door stopper, take into consideration your home or apartment’s floor. If it’s slippery, the wedge might not work as well unless you use one with a rubber base. Ensure that there’s sufficient space for one to fit underneath the door as well.
If the door is cheaply made, this might not work as well since the hinges could be broken from applying lots of force to the door. Regardless, Door wedges are great for people anywhere, especially travelers who frequent hotels and break/breakfast-style accommodations.
5. Rim Locks
A rim lock isn’t much different than a deadbolt but rests on the outer part of your door instead of the inside. Because of this, getting them assembled is easy to do.
There are models that take keys, while others contain bolts that turn with a knob, dial, or switch. Some can even be fitted to automatically lock with a cipher.
This type of lock is commonly seen on metal lock bars but also serves as a good way to secure individual rooms in a home instead of the front door.
Extra Locks and the Most Powerful Tools
Adding an extra lock to door frames is always a good idea, but only if the door is going to be more strongly reinforced. If the door itself is weak, a strong deadbolt will only act as a placebo. You want to be sure that your hinges, doorpost, and door itself are all strong as well.
All of these parts work in making a door secure. A door is only as strong as its weakest part. A thief can take advantage of one weak point to gain access to the inside.
Knowing this, make sure that all other areas of your door are built well; don’t focus solely on the deadbolts themselves. Adding an extra lock to door thresholds is a good way to strengthen a cheap door. Another would be a door jammer, a tool that’s similar to a wedge but a bit stronger.
These are defensive tools that would work even when all deadbolts are unlocked. Some of them are built to brace the door handle (like the chair method shown earlier) and others are placed on the floor.
Making The Decision
Many of the front door safety devices and methods detailed here will ensure that your apartment or home’s security is amplified. Adding extra locks to door frames, while useful, can only go so far. You should also consider other techniques to help you as a last line of defense.
Things such as wedges, door guards, plates, and even chairs are all capable of reinforcing doors of all kinds. You don’t have to try them all, but even using one method could beef up your home’s lock defenses. Use tips provided when shopping for security items online. It’s best to be one step ahead, so do move fast to patch up any weak points that you notice in your door!