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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Even though my dad was a contractor I had never heard of these things til pretty recently! They're really cleverly designed latches/locks that screw into the door jamb (and into the jack/king stud if you use long screws). It's really difficult to describe how they work but a video makes it really clear (found this video, not mine). Take a look:



The video is for the Cardinal Gates Door Guardian. I picked up a couple of them along with a very similar device from Prime-Line. Both claim to be rated to withstand 800 lbs of force, and after installing them I believe it! With a few 3" to 4" deck screws running into the studs framing the door it's absolutely rock solid. The door will break before the lock I expect. They're both easy to install although on my doors I needed to mortise them a little to let the doors close easily. A few minutes with chisels and a hammer and it was good to go. As I mentioned if you want them for home security you need to use long screws. They come with pretty long screws though. But be aware that the ones with the Door Guardian are utter crap! They strip very easily, even with the holes predrilled. I wound up tossing them and using deck screws.

These are only for while you're home- they can't be opened at all from the outside and have no key of any sort. Think of them as a door chain on steroids or a replacement for the little metal bar you see on the doors of motel rooms. With these latched no one is getting through, at least not without making a lot of noise.

At any rate they're under $20 from Amazon and just a little bit more at Home Depot. I installed four of them, two on outer doors, one on the door that connects the entry to the house and one on my bedroom door (as a kind of "safe room"- I have always preferred to sleep behind a locked bedroom door, even though I live alone).
 

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like he said use layers to protect you house.

looks like a ok device. but how hard is your "door"?
using a steel door, three hinges or a "piano" style hinge, and everything bolted to the studs not just the basal wood of the door jamb.
reg door latch, strong dead bolt. (both working into a steel plate bolted to the wall studs) and one or two different styled inside locking items should stop 99% of the thugs.
double locks on all windows and slide latches (those little cheap thumb nut channel lockers). pvc piping and a bar on the sliding glass door.
alarm?
phone?
cell phone better.

then think about the gun.
 

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Only as good as the glass in your windows.
I agree but studies show that BGs don't like to break windows or come in through the window, though it does happen.

3M makes a product that will harden first floor windows.

The main thing though is to use 'glass shatter' alarms so you -know- a window has been breached. You could use silent or audible alarms.

Yes, there is always going to be a couple holes in your system. Over time, you work on them and if you're building a house you build them into the design.

I would say look for a 'hurricane-proof' design and have sliding shutters which can deploy when alarms go off or manually for full protection. Some people have even built on hilltops with kind of a siege-proof set up with a moat, LOL.

What you really need is an inner sanctum, like a projectile-resistant safe-room. You can retreat to that. Have a way for your loved ones to assemble there, and call out for 911.

I think you might also do things to discourage a BG coming to your house or trying to get in. It could be as simple as some dog-bark alarms. They go seek softer targets.

You only have to run faster than the guy next-door to keep the bear from eating you, after all. :wink:
 

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I wonder if they could make a version that could fit into a typical hotel room door? A version with an alarm when the door is pushed against it with a certain level of force?

Great post!
 

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It looks like a fairly good idea providing your door is reinforced. Most typical "steel doors" at your box stores are just sheet metal clad over styrofoam. When selecting a door pay attention to their weight! Weight is your friend. Believe it or not some of the fiberglass doors are much stronger than many steel doors! Also when installing a door ALWAYS replace the "7/8"shipping screws with at least 3"+ on both the jamb and hinge side, most contractors neglect to do this these days!
 

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Only as good as the glass in your windows.
Most security is based on stacking up time, exposure and inconvenience to the would-be criminal - not about the absolute prevention of entry by any human. If you think a good lock isn't important just because you have windows on the house which can be broken, I'd say you were mistaken.

To the OP: Also keep in mind that most common deadbolts can be picked in under 10 seconds by a professional burglar or a locksmith. That inside lock on your original post basically only works while you are home (still a good thing)but you should put locks on your doors as such that cannot be picked in under 10 seconds. That way you can help prevent someone picking your lock and quietly waiting for you to come home.
 

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It looks like a fairly good idea providing your door is reinforced. Most typical "steel doors" at your box stores are just sheet metal clad over styrofoam. When selecting a door pay attention to their weight! Weight is your friend. Believe it or not some of the fiberglass doors are much stronger than many steel doors! Also when installing a door ALWAYS replace the "7/8"shipping screws with at least 3"+ on both the jamb and hinge side, most contractors neglect to do this these days!
I don't think that it is supposed to prevent someone from busting down the door...it is something to help ensure that they will have to bust down the door, if they are going to gain entry.

Folks...remember, this is an additional "layer" of defense.
 
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Only as good as the glass in your windows.
That is not true.. a there are plenty of burglars who simply will not enter a home if they have to break and crawl through a window. Going in a window works against them on nearly every level. Its hazardous, its cumbersome, its inherently and unnaturally slow and if seen crawling in a window, its screams burglary in progress. Most people would not notice a busted door jam at a distance but let them see someone crawling in a window, that is a whole different story.
 

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That is not true.. a there are plenty of burglars who simply will not enter a home if they have to break and crawl through a window. Going in a window works against them on nearly every level. Its hazardous, its cumbersome, its inherently and unnaturally slow and if seen crawling in a window, its screams burglary in progress. Most people would not notice a busted door jam at a distance but let them see someone crawling in a window, that is a whole different story.
Gosh, I wish that someone would have told that to the jerk that busted out the side window of my van and stole my GPS on the side facing the street no less.
Cops were not even interested in coming out to talk to me. They did send someone out later to tell me to take down my security camera. go figure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
It looks like a fairly good idea providing your door is reinforced. Most typical "steel doors" at your box stores are just sheet metal clad over styrofoam. When selecting a door pay attention to their weight! Weight is your friend. Believe it or not some of the fiberglass doors are much stronger than many steel doors! Also when installing a door ALWAYS replace the "7/8"shipping screws with at least 3"+ on both the jamb and hinge side, most contractors neglect to do this these days!
I don't think that it is supposed to prevent someone from busting down the door...it is something to help ensure that they will have to bust down the door, if they are going to gain entry.

Folks...remember, this is an additional "layer" of defense.
Shootnlead has it just right. It is indeed just one layer. I took it for granted that if you had reached the point of a lock like this you would have already done the cheap and easy stuff like replacing all the door & hinge screws with longer ones, etc. But no matter how flimsy the door this is still a good option. Yeah, if someone is coming through I want them to have to break the door as opposed to just popping a 3/4" screw out of the door jamb.

This is not a tool to prevent burglary. It won't do that- this can only be locked from the inside. I am not as concerned about a burglary anyway. I take reasonable security measures and that's what insurance if for. For me this is to protect me when I'm actually at home. A life isn't replaced by insurance. If someone decides to break through the doors while I'm home then I want to be a hard target. These latches in front of sturdy doors with 3" screws all around will hold up pretty well. Undoubtedly the door will be breached eventually; every fortress in history that I can think of was. I just want to be get ready to repel boarders.



Here's an even cheaper alternative, Flip Lock Latch



I've used these for years. They are very effective.

Those are effective but it's easier to push through them. IMO they're better to keep young kids in than to keep people out. IIRC they're made by the same folks that make these door guards.
 

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I was a fire fighter for almost 13 years and have had to do my fair share of forced entry in burning homes and I can tell you from experience that a door is only as strong as the door frame and most are just cut outs in soft wood with a metal face screwed into them.
What normally happens with a good strong kick focused close the the lock area is the door or frame bust and the door opens now I have come across two doors that had very heavy duty dead bolt locks on both sides of the door and one place close to the mid top and mid bottom of the door, a good strong kick took out the door and door frame and the whole door hole opening was open and clear.
Strong doors and locks are good but you got to have a good strong frame to make any difference and if you succeed you make it harder for any rescue workers getting to you if there is a need so its a double edged sword.

The whole time I was with the fire dept we only had three doors that we had to use a halligan tool on to open, all three was a steel frame, steel door and a block building, took about 30 seconds to open the most secure door I ever encountered that we had to force entry into.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I was a fire fighter for almost 13 years and have had to do my fair share of forced entry in burning homes and I can tell you from experience that a door is only as strong as the door frame and most are just cut outs in soft wood with a metal face screwed into them.
What normally happens with a good strong kick focused close the the lock area is the door or frame bust and the door opens now I have come across two doors that had very heavy duty dead bolt locks on both sides of the door and one place close to the mid top and mid bottom of the door, a good strong kick took out the door and door frame and the whole door hole opening was open and clear.
Strong doors and locks are good but you got to have a good strong frame to make any difference and if you succeed you make it harder for any rescue workers getting to you if there is a need so its a double edged sword.

The whole time I was with the fire dept we only had three doors that we had to use a halligan tool on to open, all three was a steel frame, steel door and a block building, took about 30 seconds to open the most secure door I ever encountered that we had to force entry into.
Good points. I'm looking at it from the flip side as my dad was a contractor. It's borderline criminal how most residential construction is done. Very often the prehung doors are screwed into the jack studs with 3/4" - 1" screws. The striker plate screws often aren't long enough to go all the way through the door jamb into a stud. Obviously most doors are gonna fail there or come off the hinges (also attached with light screws). I've repaired enough forced doors to have a good idea where they fail. So when I helped my mom replace a front door and rebuild the entry I went with three 2x10's as jack and king studs. 4" deck screws were used liberally. I used a cylindrical "strike tube" that's 4" long running through the jamb and jack stud and into the king stud. You would need tools to take the heavy security door off the hinges (3" screws) and defeat the pair of locks.

But of course as I said earlier it's impossible to build a door that's impregnable to all assault. We harden doors not with the plan to make them impenetrable but to buy time and convince a criminal it's not worth the effort. If you as a firefighter need 30 seconds to smash through a door the person on the other side isn't getting ready to open with an AR, but a home invader won't have that luxury.
 
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Someone could start a business. "Castle Door construction". Comes with a small moat, narrow openings for arrow-men, vats of hot oil which dump on the welcome mat. A built in welcome mat that emits spikes if you don't say the secret password. All modular, of course.

I like the 'Rabid Weasel Deployment' module. :wink:
 

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Gosh, I wish that someone would have told that to the jerk that busted out the side window of my van and stole my GPS on the side facing the street no less.
Cops were not even interested in coming out to talk to me. They did send someone out later to tell me to take down my security camera. go figure.
smash and grab from a vehicle is different.. plus, I was not saying that badguys never break a window. I was merely suggesting that its not likely the majority method for good reason.
 

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I use the security bar type door jammer that props under the knob. I tested them the other day and they hold even when the door is unlocked. The doors themselves flex a little and you can tell about where the jammer is holding against the door when you push on the door. I suppose if somebody kicked hard enough they would break the door but I hope that I would hear them by then if we are home.
 
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