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  • Reinforcing Entry Door for Security

    As a security measure, I am attempting to strengthen my front entry door. I have already replaced the deadbolt with a Grade 1 lock and I beefed up the strike plate. However, I just read an article by a retired fireman that said many of his forced entries through the front door resulted in failure on the hinge side of the door, not the lock side. That's a good lesson.

    My door is about 25 years old. It is hollow wood with a metal veneer on the outside. And the hinges are on the inside of the door, which is a good thing. However, all the screws holding the hinges are only 3/4" in length. So for the frame side, I replaced one screw in each hinge with a long 3" screw that anchors each hinge into the stud. So far, so good.

    For the door side of the hinge, I am not sure what I can do. The door is hollow and a longer screw is not going to offer any additional strength since it is going into air. This appears to be the weak point for the door.

    I do not want to undertake an entire door replacement with a solid wood door. Modern doors come pre-hung and this would not be a DIY project. I would need to hire a contractor and pull a permit ... $$$. I'm trying to enhance the security of my existing construction with some relatively simple fixes like I've already done.

    Any ideas on what I can do to strengthen the hinge attachment to my hollow wood door?

  • #2
    Re: Reinforcing Entry Door for Security

    more hinges,
    longer screws,

    and there are hings that have a pin on one side, and a hole on the other so even if the pin is removed the hings still hold the door in place, called security hinges. picture below.
    one could always put a bar across the door on the inside, with some brackets on the jams

    if your really concerned, take off the trim and slip in some steel straps, behind the jam, and then run a batch of screws in throught so the reinfored door jams being attached to the studs with long screws, (one would have to basicly reset the door frame in the rough opening,) and would most likely have to put the steel in and mark it and then drill all the screw holes so you can run screws into the studs behind the reinforcing strips,

    If your really concerned you would pull some dry wall off and have an angle bent (sharp), so the door frame could not be jacked open easely, (place a jack in between the jams and widen the frame so the bolt no longer catches, and or put blocking in the studs so they have to move three or four studs not jsut the studs and jack stud, by the door.

    this is some what what I am talking about, (I would make my own if I was doing it) http://www.doorsecuritypro.com/door_...ro_xl_kit.html
    but like the link shows, your door will fail with out much of a kick,

    some links below that one may find of use,


    http://www.homedepot.com/buy/safe-do...t-sdsw2hn.html

    http://www.amazon.com/Door-Security-.../dp/B007ZDE5PG

    http://breakinblocker.com/

    http://www.firenuggets.com/x_ARDSIll...Il/guida40.htm

    http://extremehowto.com/security-solution/
    Attached Files
    Last edited by BHD; 11-08-2012, 08:43 PM.
    Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
    attributed to Samuel Johnson
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Reinforcing Entry Door for Security

      Thanks for all the links and reference info.

      My concern continues to be that more and stronger hardware on the frame/trim side is not going to help when the door is hollow wood, since the hinges are not anchored securely to the door like they are on the frame side where they are attached to the stud. But I suppose that adding hinges would make the door more resistant to kick-ins, as you suggested.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Reinforcing Entry Door for Security

        even just removing the screws on the hinges, and replacing them (on the jam side) I would use at least 3" screws, and on the door side about 1 1/2" to 2 inches, the ones that are in there now are most likely only about 3/4" long,

        on the jam side you want to go past the door frame and in to the wood studs behind the frame, be careful when tighten them up as you may pull the jam in if you really crank them in, just use some common sense, ( also suggest to remove one screw and then replace that screw, as some times there are wedges at the hinges, and if all screws were removed at once the wedges or spacers may fall out of place, (it is doubt full, but could happen)
        on the door side I would be a little more careful, as if you start to put deep screw in it you may split the door, so it may be good to pre drill a small pilot hole, but may doors that have a wood frame and a skin on them, usually only have a few inches of wood on the frame part, under the skin of the door, so putting a 4" screw in that side will most likely only weaken it as it may cause a place to split, so that tis why I am recommending a 1 1/2" to 2" screw on the door side,
        Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
        attributed to Samuel Johnson
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Reinforcing Entry Door for Security

          A hollow core door is useless for security! Your security and safety is only as good as your weakest link. If you are truly serious, start by removing the door frame trim and surrounding sheetrock. Build into your door frame at least two or three 2x4's and anchor them very well.
          Opt for a metal security door, strong hinges, and at least 6inch hardened screws through strong hinges. Anything less could be kicked in by a strong person with one or two kicks! Imagine the only thing standing between you and theft, violence or death is that door, now do you really want to stick with the hollow door? Frank

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Reinforcing Entry Door for Security

            honestly, a door is not the issue. the windows are a simple thing to break and get in.

            i would spend the money on a good dog, alarm, cameras or a weapon

            with todays cordless tools, saws, grinders, it's just a little time and anything can be easily opened. a front door is not as desirable as it's usually out in the open. it's the side of the home and the rear where they can hide and work.

            a window is nothing more than glass or a simple latch.

            rick.
            phoebe it is

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Reinforcing Entry Door for Security

              Rick's on the money as usual. back side windows and doors are more tempting targets. Turn your porch light on over that door will deter most. Beaf up the door as BHD suggested and you'll be set.
              A dog is the absolute best deterrant there is...better than a gun because they don't see the gun until you confrnt them, but the dog will be on to them before they get to the door in most cases, and ready to chew them a new a$$hole.
              Last edited by Bob D.; 11-09-2012, 06:02 PM.
              ---------------
              Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
              ---------------
              “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
              ---------
              "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
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              sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Reinforcing Entry Door for Security

                I've had a number of issues with items being taken from my yard over the years, even had my truck stolen from my drive way. To be honest I am not worried about the front door so much as the side door and windows as Rick mentioned.

                To combat all the thefts what I ended up doing was installing motion security lights and one of those home security camera systems. In general I keep it a lot brighter around the yard and sides of the house, in fact my house is one of the brighter homes on the street now. Sad to say but I figure having a brighter house than my neighbors makes the other houses more inviting than mine. I also use LED and compact fluorescent bulbs so the cost to illuminate the yard is very little. I use to use two 250w halogen motion sensor security lights and four 100w incandescent bulbs in motion sensor security lights for a total of 900w's, now with the new bulbs total watts are 150w's. I estimate it cost less than $0.20 per day/night to have the bulbs on now as they only come on once in a while. Since I've brightened up my yard I haven't had any issues in the last two years now.

                I also redid my fence last year, it's now a 6ft fence and it's harder to see through as my old one was a 5ft chain link fence.
                Last edited by Supermanofsteel; 11-15-2012, 02:06 AM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Reinforcing Entry Door for Security

                  Originally posted by AverageHomeowner View Post
                  As a security measure, I am attempting to strengthen my front entry door. I have already replaced the deadbolt with a Grade 1 lock and I beefed up the strike plate. However, I just read an article by a retired fireman that said many of his forced entries through the front door resulted in failure on the hinge side of the door, not the lock side. That's a good lesson.

                  My door is about 25 years old. It is hollow wood with a metal veneer on the outside. And the hinges are on the inside of the door, which is a good thing. However, all the screws holding the hinges are only 3/4" in length. So for the frame side, I replaced one screw in each hinge with a long 3" screw that anchors each hinge into the stud. So far, so good.

                  For the door side of the hinge, I am not sure what I can do. The door is hollow and a longer screw is not going to offer any additional strength since it is going into air. This appears to be the weak point for the door.

                  I do not want to undertake an entire door replacement with a solid wood door. Modern doors come pre-hung and this would not be a DIY project. I would need to hire a contractor and pull a permit ... $$$. I'm trying to enhance the security of my existing construction with some relatively simple fixes like I've already done.

                  Any ideas on what I can do to strengthen the hinge attachment to my hollow wood door?
                  Fireman's wrong ! Entrance doors swing out. On the Hinge side are Your 1/2" Jamb stops. You ain't getting By Hinges N Jamb stops. I am A carpenter that hangs doors ! 2 #9 x 3" brass screws on the inside 2 holes on each Jamb is the right thing to do.
                  Just replaced a door in SF burglary. Lock set area on style was busted out. on new door installed brass boot that reinforces that Lock deadbolt region
                  I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Reinforcing Entry Door for Security

                    not sure about the door swing tool

                    if entry doors swung out, then it's impossible to install a screen door or security screen. they would only work from the outside then.

                    plus ever hollywood movie would have to be remade. never seen them kick out a door. only kick them in.

                    rick.
                    phoebe it is

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Reinforcing Entry Door for Security

                      Originally posted by toolaholic View Post
                      Fireman's wrong ! Entrance doors swing out. On the Hinge side are Your 1/2" Jamb stops. You ain't getting By Hinges N Jamb stops. I am A carpenter that hangs doors ! 2 #9 x 3" brass screws on the inside 2 holes on each Jamb is the right thing to do.
                      Just replaced a door in SF burglary. Lock set area on style was busted out. on new door installed brass boot that reinforces that Lock deadbolt region
                      I would say 95% or more residential doors in our area open inward,
                      right now I can not place/think of any residental houses opening out ward, (single family housing).
                      commercial out ward unless it is a truly antique building, that has not been updated in the last 30-40 years.
                      Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
                      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                      "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
                      attributed to Samuel Johnson
                      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                      PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Reinforcing Entry Door for Security

                        Sorry Tool, but I agree with Rick,etc. Most residential entry doors swing in. If they don't, Home Depot , Lowes, etc and a whole lot of lumber yards have a lot of unusable stock on hand. As far as security is concerned, locks etc are made to keep honest people out. All others will get in if they want.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Reinforcing Entry Door for Security

                          My entry door opens inward. If it opened outward, I would have the additional concern that my hinge pins would be exposed and would need to do something about that.

                          Maybe outward opening doors are a legacy of very old homes. I'm trying to remember the oldest home I've ever visited to recall if the door opened outward, but I can't think of any.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Reinforcing Entry Door for Security

                            Originally posted by AverageHomeowner View Post
                            Maybe outward opening doors are a legacy of very old homes. I'm trying to remember the oldest home I've ever visited to recall if the door opened outward, but I can't think of any.
                            castle drawbridges
                            ~~

                            ... it was plumbed by Ray Charles and his helper Stevie Wonder

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Reinforcing Entry Door for Security

                              Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                              not sure about the door swing tool

                              if entry doors swung out, then it's impossible to install a screen door or security screen. they would only work from the outside then.

                              plus ever hollywood movie would have to be remade. never seen them kick out a door. only kick them in.

                              rick.
                              Sorry, was up at 4 AM
                              I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

                              Comment

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