Exterior Door Security

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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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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.
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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.
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Re: Exterior Door Security

Post by Adamski » Mon May 13, 2019 12:58 pm

There's something called "door armor" you could try. I haven't tried it myself but curious to if it works. If nothing else could be a deterrent/slow em down.

Came across this recently:
https://www.doomsdaymoose.com/how-to-break-down-a-door/

Apparently most external doors could be broken through with virtually no effort

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Re: Exterior Door Security

Post by moab » Tue May 14, 2019 6:52 pm

Someone posted years ago about uparmoring their exterior door. With sheet metal segments that go around the doorknob and wrap around the door. I wish I could remember the name of the post. But it wasn't expensive. And it was very effective. They also upgraded the deadbolt mechanism. I'd google securing exterior doors.

https://www.google.com/search?q=how+to+ ... e&ie=UTF-8

Also if your just in a random apt. I'd put up some sort of security camera. They make them very small now. And easy to put up. And cheap. Put surveillance stickers on your windows. a lot of common thieves won't mess with that. They also make cheap window alarms. For when someone opens a window that you don't want opened. a lot of solutions out there for security these days.
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Re: Exterior Door Security

Post by williaty » Wed May 22, 2019 1:42 pm

When we moved here, we went through a lot of trying to harden the doors. Our eventual conclusion was that this house was designed with too much ground floor glass to make it actually hard to get into. We settled for making sure of two things 1) They were going to have to break the shit out of something so there was no question about "signs of forced entry" when we made our insurance claim and 2) it was going to be noisy enough that we'd be awake and armed. To that end, every door has a deadbolt using a lock with no known covert or surreptitious attacks against it, every door has been reinforced with Door Jamb Armor (that's a brand name, not a description though I guess it's a description too), and the French doors have Nightlocks (another brand name, so that they can't be just pushed open at the center). Someone is going to have to break glass and open a door from the inside or they're going to have to physically beat the door panel apart (they're all steel doors). Either way, it'll be easy to convince the cops to note the damage in the police report and it should be enough noise to wake us up.

I wish we could move to actually secure doors and windows on the 1st floor but a lot of research suggests it's just not feasible with the design of the house.

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Re: Exterior Door Security

Post by NT2C » Wed May 22, 2019 3:29 pm

williaty wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 1:42 pm
using a lock with no known covert or surreptitious attacks against it
Image

You might want to check here and see if he's done your locks yet:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCm9K6r ... igLoZOh6FQ
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Re: Exterior Door Security

Post by williaty » Wed May 22, 2019 4:11 pm

NT2C wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 3:29 pm
williaty wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 1:42 pm
using a lock with no known covert or surreptitious attacks against it
Image

You might want to check here and see if he's done your locks yet:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCm9K6r ... igLoZOh6FQ
Guys like that are precisely why we picked the locks we did. Lockpicking Lawyer and Deviant Ollam both regard the Abloy Protec 2 as effectively unpickable and not subject to any bumping/shimming/other misuse attacks. We're not fucking around when it comes to picking locks :lol:

I can't afford to hire 24/7/365 armed guards to patrol the property so I can't do anything about the guy who shows up with an oxy-acetelyne torch or an angle grinder. All I can do is force the bad guy to leave a hell of a mess in the process of getting in so that there's no doubt he was there.

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Re: Exterior Door Security

Post by NT2C » Wed May 22, 2019 4:50 pm

williaty wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 4:11 pm
NT2C wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 3:29 pm
williaty wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 1:42 pm
using a lock with no known covert or surreptitious attacks against it
Image

You might want to check here and see if he's done your locks yet:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCm9K6r ... igLoZOh6FQ
Guys like that are precisely why we picked the locks we did. Lockpicking Lawyer and Deviant Ollam both regard the Abloy Protec 2 as effectively unpickable and not subject to any bumping/shimming/other misuse attacks. We're not fucking around when it comes to picking locks :lol:

I can't afford to hire 24/7/365 armed guards to patrol the property so I can't do anything about the guy who shows up with an oxy-acetelyne torch or an angle grinder. All I can do is force the bad guy to leave a hell of a mess in the process of getting in so that there's no doubt he was there.
Cool, another Lockpicking Lawyer fan! Image

He doesn't live too far from me. Would love to meet him in real life.
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Re: Exterior Door Security

Post by raptor » Thu May 23, 2019 1:42 pm

NT2C wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 4:50 pm

Cool, another Lockpicking Lawyer fan!
williaty wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 4:11 pm
Lockpicking Lawyer and Deviant Ollam both regard the Abloy Protec 2 as effectively unpickable and not subject to any bumping/shimming/other misuse attacks.
I like Lockpicking Lawyer's channel. I did not know he found such a lock. Everytime I see him on Youtube it seem she has every lock in pieces faster than you can say "stop that!"

IMO there is no way to keep a determined thief out. If the door and lock is too difficult they will move to the weakest link. Like this guy.
https://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2017/11/ ... e-in-wall/


Still you can slow them down and make them hopefully go look elsewhere.

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Re: Exterior Door Security

Post by williaty » Thu May 23, 2019 1:54 pm

raptor wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 1:42 pm
I like Lockpicking Lawyer's channel. I did not know he found such a lock. Everytime I see him on Youtube it seem she has every lock in pieces faster than you can say "stop that!"
There's 3 cylinders out there that are generally regarded as "destructive opening only" for lack of a better term. The Abloy Protec 2, the EVVA MCS, and the Mul-T-Lock MT5. The world was absolutely stunned when a guy managed to open a EVVA MCS cylinder under laboratory conditions after many months of practicing on that specific cylinder plus knowing exactly how it was bitted. So everyone's impressed as fuck this guy did it at all but simultaneously not remotely worried about it happening in the wild.
raptor wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 1:42 pm
IMO there is no way to keep a determined thief out. If the door and lock is too difficult they will move to the weakest link. Like this guy.
https://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2017/11/ ... e-in-wall/
Still you can slow them down and make them hopefully go look elsewhere.
Yep, that's all we're aiming for. Thankfully, our walls would at least require a Sawzall since it's an older house but, really, someone's just going to put a rock through the glass if they want in.

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Re: Exterior Door Security

Post by raptor » Thu May 23, 2019 3:25 pm

williaty wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 1:54 pm

snip .... but, really, someone's just going to put a rock through the glass if they want in.
Yep.
We have hurricane resistant glass and frames but all that means is that it take a few ore whacks with a sledge hammer after scoring it with a glass cutter.

In my neighborhood we had a recent home intrusion where the guys jumped two fences, went to the back of the house to break into the back via breaking a window.

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Re: Exterior Door Security

Post by moab » Thu May 23, 2019 4:49 pm

Here in LA there is a whole industry that provides heavy security screen doors. And welded bars over your windows. Normally only seen in the worst neighborhoods. But it's city wide. It's a necessity here. And millions of homes must have them. The black security screen doors are very typical here. As are the window bars. Anyplace else they'd look out of place. But they are ugly as hell. No one's getting in without an angle grinder. But it's hard to look at. I might consider it for a rural dwelling that your not always at. But on a normal home not so much.
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Re: Exterior Door Security

Post by RoneKiln » Mon Jun 10, 2019 1:07 am

Even in an apartment you can replace all the hinge screws with 3 inch heavy construction screws and add a cheap but extremely tough security plate for the deadbolt to anchor into. That way everything ties into the studs and not just the door frame.

My door has a glass window in it, so I got a deadbolt that requires a key from both sides. Anyone can just throw a rock through a window to get in, but hauling anything out will suck for them. They'll have to get everything out through the window. Just about everything worth stealing is in a heavy locked metal cabinet bolted to the wall.
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