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Old 06-21-2012, 12:41 PM   #1
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A security question regarding doors:

Approx. 2 years ago I installed a steel six panel door. I don't really do this type of thing much, but it wasn't that bad of a job (in my opinion). It was a $99 pre hung door from Menards - a Commander series I believe. The door always seemed solid and secure...

Anyway, this morning someone decided that they wanted into the house and somehow (I'm not sure if it was just a foot or something more) was able to knock in the door.

I had a decent lockset installed (a kwikset from lowes) and basically the force applied to the door was great enough that it actually left deformities in the door near the deadbolt. I believe that the door is totally wrecked now. The edge of the door (the part that faces the frame) was totally splintered and out of shape. What's more, it actually bent the deadbolt. The catch in the doorframe that houses the deadbolt really wasn't affected much, so it almost seems as if the deadbolt was "pushed" past it - remember it was bowed. I know that it locked well, but I am at a loss as to how something like this happens.

Did I install the door or the lockset incorrectly? Can someone really do this to any door if they put their mind to it? Do you think that it was a foot, or possibly something more?

If anyone could provide some insight into this situation, I would appreciate it!

FYI no one got hurt and nothing was taken...the house was vacant. Thank you, Pex!

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Old 06-21-2012, 05:46 PM   #2
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That is pretty common and not difficult to do with a well placed kick. There are stronger hardware units to be sure, but it has more to do with the fact that it was a cheap door... That said, even better doors can be busted, they are just more difficult.

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Old 06-21-2012, 07:23 PM   #3
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wow - ok. That's a little scary...

Is there a way to know which thicknesses is better. I guess the thicker the better, but how can I find this info? Would it be on the door package somewhere?

Are there any aftermarket products that can help (ie one of those wedges you can use to brace your door)?

thanks!
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Old 06-21-2012, 08:00 PM   #4
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Did you use 3" wood screws on the lockset plate, and one in each hinge? Also, how long is the throw for the dead bolt? Keep in mind, locked doors and windows are only going to keep the honest people out.

Also, did you contact your local PD, do you have a neighborhood watch (ie nosy neighbor who is home all day long)?
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Old 06-21-2012, 09:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sobro View Post
wow - ok. That's a little scary...

Is there a way to know which thicknesses is better. I guess the thicker the better, but how can I find this info? Would it be on the door package somewhere?

Are there any aftermarket products that can help (ie one of those wedges you can use to brace your door)?

thanks!
There are "security" minded locksets and components, longer screws, etc. You might also consider a door with a thicker gauge and a metal edge as opposed to a wood edge.
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Old 06-22-2012, 01:02 PM   #6
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I did use long 3" screws as you described and I did contact the local PD (who basically said, "tough luck," but really, what more could they do?). They said that they would "keep an eye on it." The crazy thing is that it's on a fairly busy street right out where everyone could see it.

I'm not sure how long the throw for the deadbolt was. I'm going to use the generic answer of "average." Just about like any other lockset that I've installed.

True - usually this just keeps the honest people out, but I'm pretty ticked off nonetheless.

I've also been considering one of those local security systems that you can buy at Lowes. They are wireless and you can add window/door alarms, etc., at will. Anyone have any experience with these?
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Old 06-22-2012, 01:28 PM   #7
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Busy streets mean that they are less noticeable. As for alarm systems, again they only keep out honest people.
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Old 06-23-2012, 11:00 PM   #8
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Get some NRA member stickers.

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Old 06-26-2012, 04:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Get some NRA member stickers.

Only if they think someone is home... otherwise it means your house is a source for weapons.

Alarms & alarm stickers can be good. It means SOMEONE is going to be alerted once they're in, so they have a limited amount of time to grab what they can. Usually this means anything slightly hidden or protected is somewhat safe. Example being that when I leave for the day I store my laptop in the cabinet under my bathroom sink... who would ever look there (besides you thieving people now).

Sounds like the door caved. A $99 pre-hung exterior door is about as cheap as you can get... for the next one get a nicer door, maybe a few extra screws.

If you're concerned about security when home, a floor bolt can add a lot of strength combined w/ the deadbolt.
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Old 06-27-2012, 12:47 AM   #10
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It wasn't a steel door, it was steel clad. For security you need more than the door. You need to beef up the jamb and frame as well. And a better lock set.
Also, beware of dog signs can be effective.
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Old 06-27-2012, 05:59 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evstarr View Post
It wasn't a steel door, it was steel clad.
I think it's generally understood that in the context of a residence, "steel door" refers to steel clad, not solid steel.

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...For security you need more than the door. You need to beef up the jamb and frame as well.
Makes me think of these products...

http://www.asafehome.net/strikemaster-ii-pro.php

I had always planned to install a jamb reinforcement kit on my own home, but after 18 months it's still not done. My door formerly had a mortise-type lock set installed so it's essentially hollow around the knob portion (which is ~1" below the deadbolt), I'm sure the door would give way around deadbolt in a kick attack... of course I also only have 1-1/2" screws holding the deadbolt strike in place so the jamb will probably split in short order as well... even worse, the back door only has a knob lock and is half glass....shoot I might as well just leave the place unlocked
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Old 06-27-2012, 08:37 AM   #12
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For my backdoor, I placed some 1x6 wood panels to keep people from trying to reach in and turn the deadbolt. Our front door is also like your old one, hollow core. If someone wants in, nothing will stop them. Of course in our house, they would have to get past the dog guarding the house.

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Ren: Now listen, Cadet. I've got a job for you. See this button? Ren: Don't touch it! It's the History Eraser button, you fool! Stimpy: So what'll happen? Ren: That's just it. We don't know. Maybe something bad, maybe something good. I guess we'll never know, 'cause you're going to guard it. You won't touch it, will you?
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