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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings,

I was just going to reply to my previous thread about burglars, door locks and residential security issues. However, after what I found today I wanted to be sure that anyone interested, but not following that thread saw this one.

In response to a question of mine about good door locks, several members suggested I look at the hardware securing the door hinges to the wall framing. I was advised that burglars tend to just kick in the exterior doors rather than spend time messing with the locks. So, I started on this project today and couldn't believe what I found. All of the doors are brand new Pella brand (not inexpensive), they have 3 hinges with 4 screw holes per. One screw in each hinge was 2.5", the other 3 were only ONE inch (I took a photo that I'll put up soon)! No wonder quality locks wont deter someone with the door hinges being such a weak point. I replaced all screws with 4" heavy duty #10 decking screws that have a star pattern head. These are really tough; I had to cut one before and it was pretty difficult to get through with a Sawzall.

So, moral of the story here is no matter what the cost/quality of your exterior doors and locks, if you have any concerns about security take the time to look at the hardware. Next up is to check on the screws going from the hinge into the door; I'll let you know what I find there. Thank you again to the members who had suggested I look into this.

Regards, Jim
 

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If you set up the door to open outwards it can't be kicked in.

HH
True but you could tap out the hinge pin or cut the hinge off if it opened out.

I like using long screws into a solid door jam on a door with a three point locking system.
 
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id also check as the reversed opening doors may be against fire code. security is one thing but it would suck if your insurance claim doesnt pay because the doors are backwards preventing fire fighter entry. dumber things have happened but just a heads up.
 

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Greetings,............ Next up is to check on the screws going from the hinge into the door; I'll let you know what I find there. Thank you again to the members who had suggested I look into this.

Regards, Jim
Just a minor note, . . . warning, . . . about those screws. Be careful when you add longer screws. If the guy who hung your door left space between the stud and the door frame, . . . putting those longer screws in there can pull your door frame all whopperjawed and can make your latch not work right.

It's not a "probable", . . . outcome, . . . but it is a "possible" one, . . . just make sure you don't go past snug if you put in those longer screws.

May God bless,
Dwight
 
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It's a cheap modification that probably doubles strength of the hinge attachments without a major project. Question for the perp who kicks and fails: Is it worth it, do you believe you have the undetected time, to try to kick the entry wall down? With all these precautions we're only buying time and discouragement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Greetings,

Hi Dwight! Thanks, you're right on with that comment! I ended up having to make some adjustments where the framers didn't pack out the door jamb(s) sufficiently. It did get pulled out of square in two instances.

Yes, as far as I'm aware the building code (IRC) states that any exterior doors have to swing out.


EDIT: Sorry! Intended to write swing IN! Reason being I believe, for emergency response personal to gain access in fire.

Don't get me started on code issues though; they have gone WAY beyond what any common sense thinking would dictate. Grrrr.

Regards, Jim
 

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Greetings,

Hi Dwight! Thanks, you're right on with that comment! I ended up having to make some adjustments where the framers didn't pack out the door jamb(s) sufficiently. It did get pulled out of square in two instances.

Yes, as far as I'm aware the building code (IRC) states that any exterior doors have to swing out. Don't get me started on code issues though; they have gone WAY beyond what any common sense thinking would dictate. Grrrr.

Regards, Jim
I have four entrances to my house and all of the doors swing in. I live in the burbs with strict building codes.
 

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Greetings,

I was just going to reply to my previous thread about burglars, door locks and residential security issues. However, after what I found today I wanted to be sure that anyone interested, but not following that thread saw this one.

In response to a question of mine about good door locks, several members suggested I look at the hardware securing the door hinges to the wall framing. I was advised that burglars tend to just kick in the exterior doors rather than spend time messing with the locks. So, I started on this project today and couldn't believe what I found. All of the doors are brand new Pella brand (not inexpensive), they have 3 hinges with 4 screw holes per. One screw in each hinge was 2.5", the other 3 were only ONE inch (I took a photo that I'll put up soon)! No wonder quality locks wont deter someone with the door hinges being such a weak point. I replaced all screws with 4" heavy duty #10 decking screws that have a star pattern head. These are really tough; I had to cut one before and it was pretty difficult to get through with a Sawzall.

So, moral of the story here is no matter what the cost/quality of your exterior doors and locks, if you have any concerns about security take the time to look at the hardware. Next up is to check on the screws going from the hinge into the door; I'll let you know what I find there. Thank you again to the members who had suggested I look into this.

Regards, Jim
I had that happen on a commercial building re-model a couple of years ago...
The contract specifed Steel Security Doors...
We had lengthy discussions with the contractor about the need for security, deadbolts, electronic key-locks, alarms, etc...
Not long after completion...Little Tiny 1" Screws Starting Popping Out Of The Hinges Causing The Doors To Not Even Close!
I was P.O'ed!
Lesson: Trust No One To Do Even The Obvious!!!
GI5

CAVman in WYoming
 

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American homes surely weren't build with defensive mindset in last 100 plus years. Unless builders are coached and directed by owners, we have doors and entrances that are marginal at best.

Even fixing doors begs the question of bricks through windows and sliding glass doors. Think about Schumer Hits The Fan scenarios. Unless you have bars on windows and industrial doors and frames, we're all pretty vulnerable. JMHO... good post and thread. Like every good Boy Scout has learned: Be Prepared!
 

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Unless the frame is industrial and bolted to the stud wall or brick, your waisting your time. Just about all the door frames I've seen are milled out of fairly thin fur. The weak point isn't the door, or the hinges, or the dead bolt, it's the frame that's nailed or screwed to the stud wall. The frame is thin and most times there's space around it to adjust and level the door frame. Pretty easy to kick the door in if you know how. You could have 1/4" bolts on the hinges and 6 dead bolts for locks, all that has to be busted is the frame that the bolt is going into. Unless this is taken into account, doesn't matter if the door opens out or in.

And even if the door frame is made from 4" channel iron, there's windows that a brick will take care of if there's no bars.

All that said, if you can slow down a burglar, and make them work for it a lot of times that will make them pass you up.

I surely do wish booby traps were legal though.
 

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Unless the frame is industrial and bolted to the stud wall or brick, your waisting your time.
Absolutely. Most of our burglaries were secluded doors and a lightweight frame. Or the best door in the world with a window in it.

Best one was a steel framed door installed in a large high rise condo unit. The front entry door was impenetrable. but burglaries were being committed by entering a vacant adjacent unit and using a utility knife to simply cut through the sheetrock.
 

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Next time you are at a hardware store look at the door hardware hinges, locksets, deadbolts most come with 3/4" screws good for a play house. For security without installing steel doors and steel door frames, you need too run the screws for the hinges and strikes through 3/4" of frame, 1 1/2" of trimmer 1/2" of air between trimmer and kingstud and then 1 1/2" of the king stud it's self for full peneration, and do not forget too do the same with the strike on the latch side of the door. PRE. DRILL FIRST. That kind of tennsion on the screw will snap just about any kind of screw going that deep. All this said and done if done, if the door is attacked the weak point is the door latch and deadbolt area of the door it's self, You need a good door too start with. But don't dispare they make a fix for this it's like a piece of chanel iron that incapselates that section of the door then the lockset and deadbolt are put back on, Get a heavy duty one. Bad person will blow his knee out or quit before he gets through. Packing
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Greetings,

Great replies everyone; thanks! I now see the other side of the door where the lock hardware catches is the next (very) weak point to deal with. Looking around, I found this product:

http://www.doorsecuritypro.com/index.html

A bit expensive to do 5 doors, but if it's good, I'm all in for doing this right. Anyone use these or a similar product?

BTW, in my hinge hardware upgrade, I used 4" screws (yes, I pre-drilled the holes and lubed the screws) that were long enough to go all the way through the door jamb, the small space where the shims were, the 2" bucks and well into the wall logs (consider these to be the equivalent of king studs in a frame house). So there are now 12 x 4" #10 screws holding the hinge side of the door to the house frame.

Other than the striker side upgrade linked above, I don't know what else I can do other than purchase different doors (not going to happen in any time soon). I really should have gone with (and had wanted to) solid core steel doors that have heavy welded frames, but the "wife acceptance factor" of those was lacking enough that I was vetoed. Best I can do now is make the most of these doors with whatever hardware will cause enough grief for the burglar that he will just split and go try a different house.

Regards, Jim
 

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I forgot too mention that there diffrent gages of steel used on the door strike, light ones just rip through the light ones search for heaver gage ones, or make a project out of fabricating them your self. That door strip you found sounds like a better soulation for the long run. LOL. Packing
 

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Having been a firefighter for 23 years I can tell you that it is not a problem to kick in most standered home doors. I know that because I have kicked in a couple hundard durning that time. One thing I always told my firefighters was, "thy the door knob first". Many of the doors were unlocked.
 

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I've also been to many residential burglaries where the entry door,front or rear, was simply kicked in. Most were done by kids by looking at what was stolen.

When I built my house I took extra care with the doors. Reinforced jams, long screws for hinges, strike plates and sills. I also emplaced plates on the door itself that reinforced the hinge and lock areas.

I didn't put any sliders in but used store type doors that look like French doors but only one side opens. The glass is tempered and also treated with security film.

None of these mods will stop someone who really wants in but it will slow them down and be noisy when they gain entry..................
 
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