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Durkin Tactical Franklin Armory
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Posted: 8/21/2017 12:16:57 AM EDT
I am thinking about purchasing a Armor Concepts door kit for my front door and just adding longer screws and longer Strike Plates to my other doors. Appears the hinge screws are only 3/4" long. I have #14 X 3-1/2"SPAX screws for the jamb side and was wondering how long the screws should be on the door side?  Any other input on making doors stronger is appreciated.
Link Posted: 8/21/2017 1:17:45 AM EDT
Longer screws in hinges, striker plates and jambs.    Pull the trim off from around the door inside to see how it is shimed up in the opening.  I pull shims and replace with plywood or boards trimmed to fit so there is good wood holding the jamb and screws. Your screw length should be at least 3 inches to bite  into both 2x4s holding up the header.

I put 1 or 2 long  screws in each hinge, depending on design and layout.  I will put a long screw between each hinge too.  Jamb side I put one long screw same height as hinge side long srews.  Long striker plate gets 3 long screws with one close to dead bolt, 2 others at ends of plate.  If possible get a striker with the dead bolt pocket reinforced with a steel box that is part of the plate.  Drill and screw the bottom inside of that box to the jamb with a long screw.

There are some screws that have a small post sticking out that is used in the hinges.Hinge pins  really aimed at doors with hinges exposed on doors that swing out.

I like these to keep little kids from opening doors and the stiffen up a door if one is up high and low.  Flip action lock

And change out the locks so they don't use a kwickset key profile.  90% of house locks use kwickset  profile and one bump key will get you into those houses.  I know, I paid,a locksmith to get my family into our house after we moved.  Had doors reinforced but had not changed locks yet.  Wife locked our one set of keys in the house.  Locksmith tried to be fancy and I told him to bump it with a bumpkey.  He looked at me with a concern look and I said. "If I had one I would already be inside."   2 bumps and we were in.
Link Posted: 8/21/2017 2:58:07 AM EDT
@Meche_03 has some really good suggestions, but a wooden door or a wooden core door where the steel sheathing does not wrap completely around the door will always be a huge point of vulnerability. You can secure your door hinges, frame and jamb all you want but unless it is a steel reinforced door with a steel (commercial) door frame, I can kick it in with one blow destroying both the door and the jamb, and separating the door from the door post.

Side doors, back doors, and garage entry doors should be steel clad solid core (preferably commercial exterior doors) and open outwards. Steel frames. Striker shields. Additional metal cladding around the knobs.

The problem is that commercial doors are expensive. Like $1000 a pop (for a pre-hung exterior door with a steel doorframe)(with hardware) kind of expensive. What you can do is install a security gate in front of your front door. There are plenty of them out there that are strong enough to withstand a sledgehammer attack for a couple minutes, long enough for the occupants to arm themselves or at least be fully aware that someone is trying to enter. 

The farther you can keep a home invader from the door itself, the better. 

The security gate below is not mine, but mine is similar. Opens outward. Top lock is a dual-cylinder deadbolt (key lock on both sides, no lever to turn by hand) and the outside handle will separate from the security gate if someone pulls on it too hard to try to force it open.

(obviously you would not want to have a window right next to your door as pictured)

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Link Posted: 8/22/2017 12:09:56 AM EDT
I agree.  Doors should be solid core or steel with reinforcement throughout door and not just at hinge and handle areas.  My old house had steel security doors on all exterior doors.  When locked they would lock at the jamb and striker side and had a bar that went up and down into sill plate and top of jamb.  

But if you don't have good solid doors it's why I like those twist plate locks.  It keeps someone from kicking or prying upper and lower door area to bend the door.  If you bend a metal door by kicking it hard on the striker side you can actually buckle the door and fold it down the middle enough that the door can be swung open.

Key is to make the door harder to open.  With enough time any door can be opened.  A vast majority of bad guys will not try beyond a hard boot kick, bump key, or pipe wrench to force knob open.  

If it's a door not used often then a good cross bar will work wonders.

Adjust your striker plate so the door latches correctly.   The angled part of the door latch should go into the pocket in the door.  The little square bar behind the latch should notgo into the pocket.  That bar keeps the latch from moving unless the knob turns.  If the bar goes into the pocket then you can push a piece of metal or plastic into the latch and push the latch back into the door just like it's closing on a striker again.
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