Our home has several exterior passage doors, and a discussion on
the combo screws reminded me to post a little thing I did to gain
security when out of town.
On all the inswing doors, I installed eyebolts into the studs on
either side. They were painted to help blend into the drywall
color and also most were behind drapes anyway. I then bought some
fairly decent chain and reusable links, cutting the chains to span
the gap between the eyebolts. In several cases, where a drape or
toolbox hid one of the eyebolts, I just left the one link and
chain connected to the eyebolt, but where exposed, the chains were
removed and stored. Then, when leaving for an extended period of
time, I simply clip the other end of the chain to the eyebolt,
spanning the door with the chain. Someone can still kick in the
door, but swinging it open will be presented with the chain
blocking the door.
Luxury cars now offer a great seating option for politicians.
I've not seen drapes hanging or tool boxes stored behind an inswing
door? Your place may be different. Another hard kick on the door would
cause the eyebolts to pull out? Or use some cutters to cut the chain.
In fact it would be easier access, to use a spring loaded punch (HF
model) to knock out a tempered glass pane. Remove the chain and haul
all the booty away.
In general, it is all but impossible to make a house inpregnable to a
Back when (60s?), I think it was Popular Mechanics had a series on
building "lockbox" for a vacation home in the boonies. Found it
burglarized the next spring :).
Bill, there's little that can be done. In our case, the two
primary doors I secured with the inside chain across them are
opposite our side-wall block wall. In some other areas, the
burglars lean against the block wall, and use their feet to kick
the doors in. There's less noise than if they break out a glass.
Regarding the good people recommending a cross bar instead of the
chain, consider how "tight" the chain might be and how little
compliance there would be to permit a bolt cutter to reach around
a broken door. The chain used is not insignificant, either, FWIW.
For the rear patio door, I have a rod that is mounted across the
slider to prevent its opening. Sure, a creep can break out the
glass to enter, but the wedged bar along with security precaution
on the inactive door literally force the burglar to break out the
glass. Other windows, not fixed ones, are drilled and secured
with an eyebolt in the spot where the lower and upper sashes meet.
Again, a rock overcomes this security measure, but at least it'll
make noise- no prying would open them.
Inside, I have 3 130dB sirens feeding off a relay from the alarm
panel. If a door/window magnetic contact is broken OR if an
interior PIR is triggered OR if a garage IR beam is broken, the
sirens go off for 5 minutes. The sirens are INSIDE- not outside-
but neighbors can hear them. The point is to panic a burglar into
departing ASAP if they get inside. This is effective. Once, a
neighbor brought over a bowl of chili for us in anticipation of
our return from a trip. He entered the front door, triggering the
30-second entry delay, but forgetting to turn off the alarm. When
the 3 sirens went off, he as so startled he dropped the dish with
the chili on the floor of the kitchen and fled. He returned after
the siren went silent to clean up, but a year later, we're still
finding pieces of glass in corners or behind the refrigerator.
Nobody is so dumb that they think a home is impregnable. All you
can do is to make it difficult and noisy for a burglar to enter,
and make it more uncomfortable for them to stay and search for
Which renders the door with the same - albeit slightly stronger - protection
as those piddly chain-locks that can be defeated with bolt cutters slid
through the cracks.
A much better scheme is brackets on either side and a 2x4 between the two.
Even better is a diagonal brace from the door to some stopping point some
feet away (i.e., wall).
If you REALLY want to do it, there are doors with moveable pins attached to
the doorknob that sink into all four sides of a door, much like the bolts in
a safe door..
The Texas Prison system (and maybe others) has a division called "Texas
Prison Industries." It makes stuff.
The "stuff" is "sold" to other government agencies in the state. Amongst the
"stuff" they make are (heh) doors. Here are some:
It's a hoot to prowl around the site looking at all the neat stuff made by
the inmates - from school busses to saddles. I understand the prison system
itself is amazingly self-supporting. They grow their own food (except for
such things as coffee and pepper) including cattle, eggs, pork, etc. They
grow cotton, gin it, turn it into cloth, and make uniforms, clothing,
mattresses, etc. Quite an operation.
When an inmate "graduates," he's often learned a useful skill, such as
hoeing cotton, gathering eggs, making grits, and so forth. Lest you shrug
that off, imagine how hard it is to collect enough eggs for 175,000 inmates'
Prolly why Texas has one of the highest incarceration rates in the
country- they need a steady supply of warm bodies to staff their
plantations. The Feds are following their model- they have a large
vehicle repair depot at Bastrop (sp?), staffed by prisoners. Always
wondered how the border patrol guys feel about being out in the middle
of nowhere, depending on a 4x4 that was last rebuilt by somebody they
locked up a few months ago? (never buy an ex border patrol 4x4- they
purely beat the crap out of them...)
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