Many people make the mistake of thinking that a good lock is all that is needed in order to properly secure a door. Nothing could be further from the truth however; a good lock is only as good as the hardware that complements it. A good lock on a curtain after all, will not do you much good. There are at least five products on the market today which, when properly installed, will help prevent forced entry attempts.
Firstly, a Don-Jo wrap around plate is designed to prevent doors from splitting when a would-be intruder attempts to kick it in. They are constructed of 22 gauge steel and come in a variety of finishes including polished brass, stainless steel, and antique brass. They are designed to accommodate 2-3/8, 2-3/4, and 5″ backsets, and doors either 1-3/8 or 1-3/4″ thick. They come pre-drilled to accept either a cylindrical lockset or deadbolt, or both a cylindrical lockset and deadbolt. And for non-standard doors and locks, blank wrap around plates can also be purchased.
Secondly, Don-Jo also manufactures a high security strike. This product is intended to prevent the door jam from splitting during a forced entry attempt. It is designed to work with just key-in-knob locksets or just deadbolts, or both key-in-knob locksets and deadbolts. These strikes are constructed of 13 gauge steel and come in 8, 12, and 18″ lengths. Finishes include brass plated, silver plated, or silver coated.
Thirdly, McKinney manufactures five knuckle standard and heavy weight series full mortise bearing hinges with non-removable pins. These hinges prevent a would-be burglar from opening a locked door by removing the hinge pins. Pemko’s continuous aluminum hinges are designed to prevent this as well. The latter come in full mortise, full surface, and half surface.
Fourthly, window bars or security film should be used to protect a lock that has been installed near a window or on a half-glass door. If you should choose to install bars, be sure that each bar is no more than 2″ apart. This should prevent someone from being able to reach through a broken window to retract the bolt by turing the thumb-turn. Security film on the other hand, utilizes a clear, tear-resistant, polyester film which holds cracked glass together in the event of a forced entry attempt (or extreme weather event). This is an excellent, aesthetically pleasing alternative to bars which also helps to keep your home heating and cooling costs down.
Finally, if the window bars and security film are not an option for you, then you may want to consider installing a double-sided deadbolt. These locks require the use of a key to both lock and unlock them from the inside. In other words, there is no thumb-turn on the inside for a would-be thief to turn should he or she break the glass above or beside your deadbolt.
These products, when installed according to the manufacturers directions, will help prevent a home invasion and keep you and yours safe.