Home security is fast becoming an important topic of concern here in America. As the economy worsens, the crime rate for burglaries and robberies is rising. The local news has stories almost daily of break-ins at homes and business in which the predominant method of entry is kicking in one of the exterior doors.
Over the years I have spent as an insurance adjuster, I’ve been to at least a hundred homes to investigate burglaries and help the homeowners prepare their insurance claim. Seldom have I found incidents where the burglar came in through a window. Burglars nearly always make their entry through a door.
Most people use deadbolt locks and their first line of defense. Nothing wrong with that. I’ve never seen a deadbolt lock fail. The deadbolt is not the weakest link in the chain when it comes to securing an exterior door.
The weak link is the door jamb.
For you that are unfamiliar with the term “jamb,” it is the frame to which the door is mounted by hinges. When you turn the key the deadbolt lock throws a steel bolt into a latch on the jamb.
For tens of millions of homes, apartments and businesses, the exterior door jamb is made of wood. In residential applications, the door jamb usually has a thickness of ¾”. Sometimes exterior door jambs can have a 1 ½” thickness.
The screws that mount the latchplate onto the jamb are usually ¾” wood screws, and are usually about 1” away from the edge of the jamb. So, when a bad guy kicks your door, there is only about 1” of wood in the jamb offering any resistance. One inch of pine wood, or even oak, does not give you much protection.
In almost every burglary claim I’ve handled where the burglar came in through a door, it was the wood door jamb that failed...usually on about the second kick. And the cost of replacing a damaged door and jamb can easily run $750 - $1,000.
The best solution to securing your exterior doors against break-in would be to install steel jambs and steel doors. However, that can be very expensive.
Sliding glass doors are also an easy entry point for thieves. Placing a dowel, bar or stick in the track does not prevent your door from being lifted out of the track.
There is another solution that is cost effective and works great!
Armor Concepts is a company based in Saddle Brook, NJ that has created three products that solve this security problem. They are:
• Door Jamb Armor - A patented door security and repair solution that will help stop home invasions before they begin. Door Jamb Armor can also be used to repair a previously damaged jamb and can be installed in under an hour by the average do-it-yourselfer. All pieces are made of galvanized steel and are powder coated so they will stand up to harsh weather and can be painted to match your door. You will barely notice the steel door armor once it's installed. Door Jamb Armor will allow you to turn any door into a security door that's attractive and economical.
• FIX-A-JAMB - A cheap, quick and attractive door frame repair solution
• Armor Latch - An effective and economical sliding glass door security solution. Prevents sliding glass doors from being lifted out the track.
You can see some dramatic product testing video at the company’s website at: http://www.djarmor.com One video shows use of a police battering ram. The jamb holds rock solid.
These products can be found at big box home improvement retailers like Lowe’s.
If you do not protect your doors and jambs, it will be cheaper for you if you’ll just go ahead and leave the doors unlocked. At least the thieves will only steal your belongings, not destroy your door and then steal your stuff.