How Safe Is Your Door?

It's a common misconception that it's easier to break in through a wood door than a steel or fiberglass one. In fact, it's not the door but the latch-side jamb that's the weak link. To prevent a forceful kick from splitting the jamb, install an extra-long security strike plate using 3-inch screws sunk into the neighboring stud.

Here are the other major safety factors to consider.

1. Door thickness A beefy 1¾ inches beats 1 3/8 inches and still accepts standard locksets. Any thicker, and you'll need a special lock and bigger hinges.

2. Hinges Use 3-inch-long screws in all three hinges to anchor the hinge-side jamb securely to its stud.

3. Glass Standard door lights made of tempered glass won't stop a would-be intruder from breaking them and opening a door from the inside. To thwart such a break-in, order hurricane-rated glass, which has an unbreakable inner layer of plastic.

4. Lockset Mortise locks are typically built with higher grade steel, and are therefore stronger than the average bored locksets from a home center.

More on Wood Entry Doors:
Wood Entry Door Materials and Finishes
The Right Door for Your House
Stop a Wood Door from Sticking
Ask TOH users about Doors

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