In this post, I’m going to walk you through the smoke-and-mirrors of this multi-billion dollar industry so you can save money, and sleep at night knowing your doors are secure.
The issue is that softwood lumber (pine, spruce, fir) is used to frame your door. It is simply not a good defense against the smash-and-crash impact of a would-be intruder.
According to This Old House, if the bad guys cannot get into one of your doors (front, side, and garage) then you have stopped 64% of them in their tracks!
A DETERRENT WILL NOT STOP A DETERMINED CRIMINAL
I’m sure you heard about Rob Gronkowski’s home in Foxborough, MA being broken into while he was playing in the Superbowl.
The New England Patriot’s tight end had flown to Minneapolis to play against the Philadelphia Eagles on January 29th according to Boston Globe.com.
His housemates told police that they left on February 1st and that the doors and windows were secure. Apparently not. They also forgot to turn on the alarm.
His home has 16 security cameras, but they were not deterred! And that’s not how the suspects were caught.
President of nonprofit that tracks stolen coins and currency, Doug Davis, posted an alert about two 19th century coins that the burglars had taken from Gronkowski’s house. A dealer in nearby Weymouth, MA reported purchasing the collectibles from Eric Tyrrell, who was arrested March 29th.
Hooray they have been caught! But so much for the expense of the cameras and monthly monitoring. It all failed to deter the thieves.
DETECTION OFTEN FAILS AND IS DIFFICULT TO MANAGE
So the housemates forgot to turn the alarm on. That happens. But even if they had turned the alarm on, we know that alarms are not a priority for police. How can they be when over 90% are false?
How many times have you walked out of a store and heard a car alarm going off and ignored it? My exact thought: Some dummy’s alarm going off again.
Why don’t I get concerned about a car being stolen? You know why. Because alarms are tricky and unreliable!
Even with these facts, according to Markets and Markets the alarm monitoring market is valued at USD 45.70 Billion. And it is projected to rise to USD 59.83 Billion by 2023.
The article goes on to say,
Residential buildings are expected to hold a larger share of the alarm monitoring market for building alarm monitoring throughout the forecast period as the demand for home security systems is increasing due to the rise in crime rates.
A SOLID DEFENSE WILL DEFEND YOU
Every home I’ve been to has a lock on the front and back door. For sure, some of the locks have been flimsy. And some of the doors have even been hollow.
This tells me that all believe in front door security devices, and to a certain degree, believe they can be secure in their homes. So why can’t we stop the majority of burglars from coming through the door?
- Some people believe they cannot be stopped.
- Some don’t understand the problem.
- Other people are apathetic.
- A lot of people procrastinate.
- Still, some don’t know there are solutions.
- Many are misinformed.
- And finally, some people have a false sense of security.
CAN YOU AFFORD TO BE DEFENSELESS?
The thing is, door security is simple. It’s basic stuff just like any other necessity in life. Granted, some home security products are a luxury, but this is not.
It comes down to 3 things:
1. A solid core, exterior door.
This sounds basic, right? But I recently encountered a front door that was no more solid than the average bathroom door. Buying an exterior door for your home is not splurging.
2. A 100% bump-proof, Grade 1 deadbolt and door edge support.
First of all, if your locks use keys, the manufacturers need to practice key control.
Second, make sure your locks are 100% bump proof. There are plenty of false claims out there.
Third, understand the importance of a Grade 1 lock. All too often, a lock description will say “best lock for home use” and it’s a Grade 2.
If you look at the ANSI Grading System below, you will clearly see that a Grade 2 lock is not made to stand up to a determined Smash and Crash styled intruder.
Deadbolts break down like this:
ANSI GRADE (The American Nation Standards Institute grading system) ranges from 1 (the highest grade) to 3 (the lowest grade). It factors in longevity of the lock, toughness, and latch length.
- Grade 1 is used where the toughest, most secure locks are needed. It is tested to withstand 1 million opening and closing cycles, has a 1-inch latch bolt (tongue), and can withstand 10 strikes of 75 pounds of force (150 foot-pounds).
- Grade 2 is a mid-grade lock. It is tested to withstand 800,000 opening and closing cycles, has a 5/8 inch latch bolt and can withstand 5 strikes of 75 pounds of force (120 foot-pounds).
- Grade 3 is similar to #2 in that it is also tested to withstand 800,000 opening and closing cycles and has a 5/8 inch latch bolt. However, it can only withstand 2 strikes of 75 pounds of force (90 foot-pounds).
(For bump-proof locks look here.)
Finally, most door jamb reinforcement kits, we reviewed here, come with an added product to reinforce the door edge.
3. A large, steel door jamb reinforcement with 2 1/2 inch screws.
With a solid door, a quality deadbolt, and steel door jamb reinforcement, you now have metal on metal lockset; a solid defense. You’ve seen martial arts experts break wood. But have you ever seen them break metal? Me neither.
In my review of door reinforcement products, I gave StrikeMaster II Pro five stars. You can check out their products at Amazon by clicking below.
DOING NOTHING IS A DECISION
I think you came to this site for the purpose of securing your doors. Or at least to get educated on the subject. I encourage you to make a decision toward that end.
As I said earlier, none of this is about splurging or living a life of luxury. It is about the basic necessity, the obligation, of keeping you and yours safe and secure. (And saving money)
It’s hard to believe that 50 billion dollars is spent each year on a detection system (alarms) that largely fails to do the job for which people are paying. I guess we think since we put our security in the hands of a big company and pay them money each month, everything is going to be alright.
IT’S SIMPLE: If you have a door, make sure you have one that works. If you have a deadbolt, same thing. But if you don’t believe you need a lock, then no matter. You’ve made your decision. But remember, being prepared means living without regret.
Do you think I missed something? Or maybe you see things a bit differently. I would love for you to comment or leave a question below.