How To Protect Your Door from a Kick-In

Pop A Lock | New Orleans LA

Is your door vulnerable to burglars?

Most burglars don’t bother with picking or bumping your lock. Why should they, when they can just kick your door in? Even with a decent lock, if your door, frame, jamb, and hinges can’t withstand a kick, they might consider your house a sitting duck. As a local locksmith, Pop-A-Lock New Orleans often repairs doors and locks after a robbery, but it’s better to take the precautions now than pay for repairs later. Being robbed is expensive, scary, and often preventable.

Here’s how a kick-in works. Your door is locked, the bolt firmly in the jamb. A burglar kicks your door hard, and the strike plate (the part where the tongue of the bolt goes into) tears out and the door jamb splinters. Unless you’ve taken precautions, your door is likely to open right up.

The good news is that it’s not hard to make your door less easy to kick in. Some of these fixes you can easily do yourself; others will require a good local locksmith or handyman in New Orleans. We’ve arranged these suggestions from easier to harder for your convenience.

  • Replace the screws holding your strike plate to the door jamb. The standard screws are less than an inch long, so they tear out easily when the door is kicked. Longer (3”) screws are an easy, cheap upgrade.
  • Reinforce your door jamb. Most door frames, including the jamb, are made out of wood, which can weaken with age and weather. Even if the wood is in good condition, it may be relatively easy to splinter. You can install a metal reinforcement plate that will protect your door jamb from splintering.
  • Upgrade your locks. High security locks feature heavier hardware that provides some resistance to kick-ins. At the very minimum, you need a deadbolt along with a key-in-knob type lock on your entry doors. Plus, they provide protection against the more determined burglars who will try to pick your lock.
  • Check the hinges. First, if you can see the hinges when standing outside the closed door, the door was not properly installed. Hinges need to be on the inside so the pins can’t be pulled out. Some door jamb reinforcers protect both sides of your door frame.
  • Replace your door. Solid core or solid wood doors provide some resistance to kick-in attempts, but a hollow core door is just asking for trouble. We’ve seen cases in which burglars actually kicked through the door, then reached in to open the lock.

Avoiding a burglary is about making yourself an unattractive target. If a thief fails to kick in your door after a few attempts, odds are good he’ll move on rather than attempt to pick or bump your lock. But remember, any external door can be a target. If you reinforce your front door, don’t forget about the back, side, or sliding doors!

If you’d like to get more home security tips or schedule a home security check-up, give Pop-A-Lock New Orleans a call today at 504-588-2192. We’ve been a local locksmith in the New Orleans area since 1993 and can offer you expert locksmith tips and services to keep you and your family safe.

Photo Credit:  Flickr

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