It’s one of the most basic defense strategies you can take, and it’s also one of the most effective. Knowing how to secure a door from being kicked in helps keep threats out better than any high-tech alarm system.
Although a latch may keep some burglars out, it won’t keep motivated ones at bay for long. Keep your home secure, and learn how to secure a door from being kicked in so your family can have peace of mind.
Use Long Screws in Hinges and Strike Plates
All your door is a piece of wood attached to the threshold at the hinges (usually two or three of them) and at the lockset, which is the doorknob and lock combined.
If the hardware that makes up these places of attachment is flimsy, your defenses are fragile as well. Reinforcing where the door meets the jamb and the hinges meet the hinge stile is an excellent way to prevent someone from kicking down your door.
The strike plate is the piece of metal on the door jamb into which the bolt slides, creating a barrier. If this strike plate is frail or shoddy, that locked connection won’t keep anyone out.
Using long screws is an ideal way to stabilize both the hinges and the lockset. If you don’t want to shift the hardware while replacing the shorter screws with long ones, just do one screw at a time. This way, you won’t move anything during the replacement.
- Securing Outward-Swinging Doors
There are plenty of reasons you should opt for an outward-swinging door rather than an inward-swinging one. Houses in stormy areas like south Florida often have doors that swing outward so that the doors don’t get blown in when a hurricane pummels the area.
This door type is much safer. It’s virtually impossible to kick in someone’s door when you’re kicking against the grain.
It’s also safer to make a secure egress. If you need to get you and your loved ones out of the house quickly, an outward swinging door is much easier to burst through and may save you precious moments in an emergency.
Hinge bolts are handy for doors that swing out when they open. If your door opens outward, thieves have access to your hinge pins, which is disastrous. Hinge bolts hide and protect these susceptible areas.
Reinforce the Door
You may have the most substantial hinges, replete with hinge bolts, but if your door feels like it’s made of cardboard, a perpetrator can put their foot through the panel and unlock your door from the inside. To really know how to secure a door from being kicked in, you need to check your door’s material.
The strongest of all doors is a steel or iron door, and particular wood doors can be steel-enforced, making them stronger than if they were just made of wood.
Four hundred years ago, solid wood doors were the only options humans had for doorway security. These days, you can choose the strength of steel-reinforced doors, but there are also poorly constructed doors that are a detriment to home security.
Here are the three types of doors you’ll typically see hinged on a door jamb:
A door wholly made of oak or mahogany ensures that no one will kick in your entry. These usually have one piece of wood for panels and another for the mullions and aren’t made from one wood piece. Complete this home security with long screws and hinge pins, and you won’t have to worry about anyone successfully busting down your door.
- Solid Core
The next best thing if you can’t get a door made entirely of wood, solid core is made up of a wood composite. It’s wooden, but it’s comprised of pulverized timber, then pressed and painted with wooden veneer. A decisive advantage to this type of door is that you can get them in heat-resistant material, making them less likely to burn.
- Hollow Core
A hollow core door is the easiest to break down because certain parts of it are hollow. The source product isn’t wood; it’s more like cardboard encased in fiberboard. You see these doors a lot on newer homes, and it’s a sign of cheap construction.
A good test to see what sort of door you have is to rap it with your knuckles. You can tell by the sound if it’s hollow, has some give, or is extremely hard. A hollow noise is louder, so you know if you have a hollow core door on your entryway. If your knuckles feel no give and the rapping sound is muted, you may have a solid core or solid wood door.
You can replace the hinges and strike plates, but it won’t matter if your door is not high-quality. Buy a solid wood door to go along with the strike plates and hinge pins.
Add a Door Barricade
A metal bar across the door is a champion way to keep strangers out. All you have to do is lift the door barricade out of its base plate to open the door, using one swift motion. It’s easy to install yourself and adds an optimal amount of security.
Another type of door barricade is a door jammer, which is also easy and provides tough resistance against infractions. Pace one end of the jammer, the yoke, beneath your doorknob and secure the other end, usually a pivoting ball joint, on the floor a few feet back. The jammer is height-adjustable, so it fits most doors.
Make the Most of Transparent Security
If you have glass panels on your front door, you may feel more open to attack. Glass panels are much more vulnerable than wooden door parts, but there are ways to reinforce your door’s glass elements.
The best way to fortify glass parts is with a steel grille, but these can mar the outward appearance of your home (however, there are some more attractive options). If a grille isn’t feasible for you, you can use security film on the glass panes to deter force attacks and prevent shattering.
To really understand how to secure a door from being kicked in, you need to assess the entryway. If your door has glass panels, it’s most likely your weak point.
Check Your Door Frame
No matter how strong your strike plate is, if your door frame is faulty, a determined attacker can rip the lock, and the door jamb asunder. Along with giving your door the once-over to check the quality, inspect your door jamb as well.
You can find aftermarket steel to reinforce your door jamb, so no matter how many kicks it sustains, the lock and jamb combination won’t budge.
If you’re concerned about home security, you need to take a good hard look at your front door. Although all entry points are susceptible, you need to fortify your doorways with longer screws, better materials, and close scrutiny. With a little attention, you can make your home and loved ones safer than ever before.