Exterior Door Security

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roOism
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Exterior Door Security

Post by roOism » Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:20 pm

Leaving the apartment today, went to lock the deadbolt and realized I grabbed my office keys and not the apartment keys, locked myself out of the apartment, nice.

The lock had been getting a bit hard to open so I'd been meaning to replace it anyway, so I went and bought a new door handle, swung by work to pick up a drill, then came back to try and get in.

I put the drill bit (3/8" I think?) to the key hole and pulled the trigger, and it went through the mechanism like hot butter. The deadbolt wasn't engaged, and I had the door open in under 10 seconds. That was surprising and a bit alarming, and then I started pulling the door handle and deadbolt apart, and discovered that the screws in the door itself were under an inch long. If the drill didn't work that probably could have been kicked in with little difficulty.

So the new door handle and deadbolt have screws that are considerably longer, the new deadbolt is much tighter, and overall it feels much more secure than the last one.

The quickness with which I got through that door is still a concern however. Really made me think about how quickly I could get from anywhere in my apartment to my gun and get my wife and kid out of the way before someone got through.

My door opens up to an immediate staircase, thinking I might want to wedge a couple 2x4's between the door and the bottom stair as an extra barrier at night since I can't install any permanent security measures.


Anyway, annoying situation but I'm glad it showed me how flimsy my front door security was.
Last edited by roOism on Tue Aug 14, 2018 10:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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jor-el
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Re: Exterior Door Security

Post by jor-el » Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:27 pm

You should read up on common burglaries. A lot of homes are broken into from the front/side door, or a forced ground floor window.

In the case of apartments, the issue of limits on how much you can do to the door/windows is a big reason for break-ins.

2 things you may want to do; if permitted to do so, a steel shell solid core replacement door, a multi-point deadbolt lock that secures all edges of the door not just the jamb. Or, some arrangement of 2x4s that buttress the top as well as the bottom of the door.

You may also want to consider security window film for all windows. https://www.walmart.com/ip/8-Mil-Clear- ... 3=&veh=sem
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Re: Exterior Door Security

Post by JeeperCreeper » Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:33 pm

I like the 2x4 on the stair idea for a cheap but effective layer for when you're home. That's a pretty slick idea.
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Re: Exterior Door Security

Post by NT2C » Tue Aug 14, 2018 10:06 pm

My main concern with the 2x4 idea is that in the event of a fire in the apartment/building you may forget it's there in your panic to escape. Multi-point deadbolts are the way to go here. One question though: How strong is the door itself? A great lock on a crap door equals crap security.

Have you considered discussing this with your landlord and seeing if they'd be willing to let you beef up the door, frame, and locks?
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Re: Exterior Door Security

Post by emclean » Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:10 am

just keep in mind that anyone determined to get in will, but most thief's are not determined to steal from YOU, they want an easy score. security theater works well to deter them.

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Re: Exterior Door Security

Post by jor-el » Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:05 am

There was a burg I responded to mebbe 2011. Chinese couple just moved in 6 months prior, corner house. Big bay windows ground floor. Glass windowed front and side doors. Separate garage. 10-15 feet yard around house, no fence. 2nd floor main bedroom opens to a rooftop patio. Owner did not find out he was burgled until he opened his unlocked front door with his keys on a Sunday afternoon after returning from a weekend getaway. There was still mail in his mailbox, and a broken safe and walkway damage at the rear of the house between the house and the garage.

Just for shits and giggles, I'd like someone else to pick out how many things are wrong in the above paragraph.
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Re: Exterior Door Security

Post by roOism » Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:22 am

jor-el wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:27 pm
You should read up on common burglaries. A lot of homes are broken into from the front/side door, or a forced ground floor window.

In the case of apartments, the issue of limits on how much you can do to the door/windows is a big reason for break-ins.

2 things you may want to do; if permitted to do so, a steel shell solid core replacement door, a multi-point deadbolt lock that secures all edges of the door not just the jamb. Or, some arrangement of 2x4s that buttress the top as well as the bottom of the door.

You may also want to consider security window film for all windows. https://www.walmart.com/ip/8-Mil-Clear- ... 3=&veh=sem
I'll have to talk to the owner and see what they'd let me do for reinforcements.

We do have a couple positives here, we live in on the top floor of a fourplex, the door is on a ground level porch, but both front windows are higher up and have large hedges in front of them. Two windows in the back side of the apt are a bit higher still and considerably smaller, I could squeeze through one but not quickly or quietly.
And location wise, our front door faces a road that's fairly busy, and it's right across the street from a church where cops like to park to catch speeders. So it's a highly visible area that's known to have a quasi-regular police presence. Hoping that would act as a deterrent for most.
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Re: Exterior Door Security

Post by NT2C » Wed Aug 15, 2018 11:01 am

jor-el wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:05 am
There was a burg I responded to mebbe 2011. Chinese couple just moved in 6 months prior, corner house. Big bay windows ground floor. Glass windowed front and side doors. Separate garage. 10-15 feet yard around house, no fence. 2nd floor main bedroom opens to a rooftop patio. Owner did not find out he was burgled until he opened his unlocked front door with his keys on a Sunday afternoon after returning from a weekend getaway. There was still mail in his mailbox, and a broken safe and walkway damage at the rear of the house between the house and the garage.

Just for shits and giggles, I'd like someone else to pick out how many things are wrong in the above paragraph.
Corner house with no fence and a open lawn around it is just begging people to take a shortcut across it, creating a pedestrian right-of-way. At the very least, fence the property. Glass paneled doors are a burglar's friend. The bay windows are not typically an entry point, especially not with open lawn in front where the perp is visible. Separate garage needs good security and an alarm system that goes to the house or is monitored. The rooftop patio off the bedroom is pretty common, and a point of entry if a ladder is available or if the house can be climbed. (The last house I built with such a patio had fiberglass french doors set in a welded steel frame and multipoint deadbolts. The mock (can't think of the word - the frames for the smaller "windows" in the door) were wrought iron, bolted on through the door. It would have taken a pretty determined burglar to get through that.) The owner should never have entered the house once he realized the door was unlocked. At that point, dial 911 and tell them you think you may have been broken into. The safe should have been attached to the floor joists, not left free-standing.
Nonsolis Radios Sediouis Fulmina Mitto. - USN Gunner's Mate motto
Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Except sailors. They will kill you and sing songs about it.

Sic quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit; occidentis telum est - Seneca the Younger, Epistles

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Re: Exterior Door Security

Post by jor-el » Fri Aug 17, 2018 7:33 pm

Pretty close. I should have mentioned there was a ladder the owner said wasn't his in the back near where the broken safe was. Casual observer could see through the bay windows a glass front liquor cabinet and display cases for various ornaments as well as the wall mount for a 65 inch TV. You should be able to guess what's missing there.

There was a substantial list of items taken so among the questions asked was what moving company was used. Annoyingly enough the owner picked a company mostly contactable by cell only. Did the work for cheap.
My son, you will travel far, but never be alone, for I am with you, my M14 and battle axe comfort you.

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