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Harden homes

Discussion in 'Strategies, Tactics, and Training' started by Machine Shop Dude, Jul 4, 2020.

  1. Machine Shop Dude

    Machine Shop Dude Member

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    I have rear Jeff cooper article tactical architecture and am inspired to do my part to secure the safety and welfare of the occupants of the home. I live in a two story brick square house with ground level basement windows. I want to design and fabricate steel frame and mesh doors for the interior as well exterior doors of a home.

    I want the following resistance by the doors but understand the limitations a constructed structure offers
    - protection from basic tools( I can't protect against a cutting torch 9r grinder)

    -protection against simple kick in

    [slur against law enforcement in violation of forum rules deleted by staff]

    - all must be workable from inside a residence, not building a prison.

    I can do the work my self with a welder, the design is where I am lacking because I never have tried to secure/fortify anything.

    What thickness steel should I use 3/16 or 1/4?

    Would a square house style door be a better choice to replace exterior door
    In place of adding a "hard door" in between the screen door and exterior door?

    What are your thoughts on this matter?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 5, 2020
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  2. bdickens

    bdickens Member

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  3. KY DAN

    KY DAN Member

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    I mean what he is talking about sounds affordable, I mean a 20 ft pieces of 2'' wide 1/4'' thick is only 23 dollars at Modern welding supply. If you do as cooper thought you maybe$1000 invested and have better protection than a company selling sheet metal armor ever could have provided.

    I read the article on google the OP referenced and pretty much it just talks about securing your entry doors and bedroom area, I think its one of those things your helpless when your asleep.

    Your website you referenced is OK at best I mean when the battering ram was used you could see outside when hits were applied. Try moving a 3.5-4 inch think wood door with two 1 inch diameter tower bolts securing into a 1/4'' steel lined door frame. (ITS NOT MOVING UNDER HUMAN FORCE TRY IT IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE ME)
    I googled a square house door and came up with a doomsday preppers who the people were taxidermist with a bathroom/saferoom with a home made door.

    In everything OP weight will be your biggest issue so make or find good sturdy hinges and consider bracing the stud portion of frame of your home.
    Please post pictures if you are inclined this site needs more fresh ideas than it currently has in regards to hardening a home.

    IT CAN BE DONE AND YOU CAN DO IT WITH THE RIGHT TOOLS AND SKILLS (PEOPLE WILL CRAP ON YOUR DREAMS AND DESIRES BECAUSE THEY ARE AFRAID, KEEP THROWING MONEY AT IT UNTIL YOU REACH THE GOAL)
     
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  4. whughett

    whughett Member

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    I was interested until the observation about the police.
    For what it’s worth with the wireless alarm systems available and a modest monthly fee a response alarm system works, in my opinion better than any harden system to prevent entry into the premises. Do they work, with my police department it does.

    Responce is under five minutes. In the past 12 years we seem to manage to trip the alarm at least once a year or so.
     
  5. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

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    5 minutes is a very long time when you are waiting for help. Where I worked we could respond to an alarm anywhere in town in 2 1/2 minutes. But the thing is, burglar alarms were never a high priority call. If nothing else was happening they got an immediate response, however if everyone on the street was busy, the call waited until an officer cleared from whatever he was doing. One of the first things I was taught when I started on the street was: "We don't run 10-33 (lights and siren) to a burglar alarm. 99.99% of them are false alarms and it's not worth the risk to us or the public to drive like a bat out of hell through traffic."

    I view an alarm system as one layer in your defense. One thing to remember about hardening your home is that you need to be able to get out in the event of a fire.
     
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  6. bdickens

    bdickens Member

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    "Make it too tough for the enemy to get in, and you won’t be able to get out."
     
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  7. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    Well, for one, the internet is a place to get generalities, not specifics (other than off-the-shelf specifics).

    For another, asking a bunch of anonymous--if well meaning--strangers on how to custom tailor a security solution it probably less-than ideal.

    However in general you have to decide the "where" you want the additional security to occur. You have selected the building exterior, and hinted at the interior.

    Well, which "side" of the exterior? If you gin up an armored screen door of sorts, on the outside of the exterior wall you are going to have to cope with a number of issues. One is a distinct lack of depth--screen and storm doors run 3/8-3/4" thick for a reason. You also will have issues attaching to the (hopefully) 4.5" of studs on eitehr side of the door, as you will have to penetrate the exterior waterproofing--this is not casual.

    Also, this assembly will have to suffer the critical gaze of the HOA, the City, and one's Significant Other.

    If one plans for the inside of the exterior wall you run into an issue in that your front door opens inward, which leaves little room to have a gate, and virtually eliminates any ability for you to enter through your own front door unless the inner gate is left open.

    There's a concurrent issue in that it does little good to armor the front door but do nothing to the windows especially basement windows. And, you can run afoul of FD egress rules if you armor up basement egress windows.

    With some houses a person can just replace the wood framed doors with steel door frames (this is an excellent way to create more secure interior doors).

    Armoring interior doors can have some merit. This must be considered against the vulnerability of wallboard on 16" on center studs forming the walls. Also, living inside such strictures does require some examination first. Does the cat need to be able to get to a box. Does the dog get up and prowl. Is a given bedroom too stuffy with the door closed. Do you, or your Significant Other get up i nthe middle of the night to get things from the kitchen. All of those things matter.

    If you lock yourself into your house, and then into your bedroom, you are in a prison. You have given up freedom of movement for a presumed increase in security. That price can be tough to pay.
     
  8. ilbob

    ilbob Member

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    There are very cheap things you can do to harden your doors. Most doors these days are prehung so everything is screwed into the preassembled door jambs that are not real secure. Remove one of the screws in each of the hinges and replace with a 3 inch screw that will go into the stud frame the door sits in. Remove the short screws on the jamb plates and replace with screws long enough to get into the studs and not just the jamb.

    You can also get kick plates to reinforce the locking mechanism and the edge of the door. They are not real pricey and fairly easy to install.

    Exterior windows that are small enough can have a single steel bar secured vertically in the frame that if painted right is fairly hard to see but very few people could wiggle past. Not impossible to remove but time consuming.

    Nothing you do will prevent entry. The idea is to make it enough of a nuisance that the person trying to break in moves on.
     
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  9. George P

    George P Member

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  10. labnoti

    labnoti Member

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  11. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I have often questioned why people focus on doors, dead bolts, chains and such when even kids break windows all the time, even if they didn’t mean too.
     
  12. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

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    Good ideas in this video:

     
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  13. old lady new shooter

    old lady new shooter Member

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    For your exterior doors, no need to reinvent the wheel. Check Home Depot and Lowe's websites for "security doors". These are like a screen door on steroids -- instead of a screen they have perforated steel, reinforced with large steel pieces in attractive designs of your choice, special hinges that can't be removed from outside, long heavy bolts and usually two deadbolts. You can actually open the wood door to see who's outside, and talk to them, without having to worry that you are letting the BG's in. Install these over all your exterior doors.

    Then get 3M security film applied to your windows. It does not make them bullet-proof, but it makes it take a lot of noise and a very long time for anyone to get in, giving you both a warning and time to get ready. If you don't want to spend what it costs for the whole house, I would say the minimum would be any sliding glass doors to the outside, any windows next to any exterior door, and those basement windows you mentioned. Here are a few videos:
    1. The actor pretending to be a BG shoots through the glass in order to facilitate entry. With regular glass he is inside in 3 seconds after that. With this version of the film applied, it takes him 58 seconds. (Of course, it would be very unusual for a residential break-in attempt to start by shooting the glass because that would alert the homeowner.)

    2. Here's another one starting with shooting through the glass, a different version of the film, again 3 seconds without, this time 1 min 23 seconds with.
    .
    3. And here's actual surveillance video from a break-in attempt in 2010 (i.e. an older version of the film). Notice how the larger BG throws a large rock at the glass door several times to no appreciable effect before trying kicking and upper body methods. Finally they give up.

    BTW if you live where it gets very hot or very cold, a thermal component can be incorporated to help save on your AC or heating bills. :)

    Finally, it's not very hard to break into a garage that has an automatic door opener. You can foil this by installing bolts at the sides of the door that slide into the frame, like this:
    garage door lock, left side.JPG
    garage door lock, right side.JPG
    Just remember to unbolt them before you press the open button!

    Hope that helps. :)
     
  14. 748

    748 Member

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    I took my house that was in the ghetto, ripped out the sheet rock due to water damage and added an extra 2x4 around the door frame and re-screwed everything into place with 4 inch deck screws.
    Then the trim around the door was poplar and over lapped from the 2×4 to the door frame. The poplar was in direct contact with the 2x4 and door frame, no sheet rock between the 2x4 and the poplar "trim".
    Then the striker and bolt catches were reenforced with the usual 4 inch deck screws that went all the way into two or three 2x4s.
     
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  15. BreechFace

    BreechFace Member

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    The glass window makes a nice entry point right next to your hardened door.
     
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  16. old lady new shooter

    old lady new shooter Member

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    Yes, that was a style for awhile. The 3M security film I recommended upthread solves that issue nicely.
     
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  17. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    One can make themselves a more difficult target, lights, better doors, windows and such but it has been proven a thin sheet metal garage door isn’t going to stop a break in, even if it was an accident.



    When they were made from plywood, it was hard enough to keep the rollers alive just running the door up and down, now that they are super light and flimsy, they offer even less protection.

    Drug houses are a good place to find hardened entry points, the pros have developed simple tools to defeat them as well.

    Personally I like the fluid impulse charge but these do the job with a lot less drama and faster.



    Again a vehicle would be even more efficient, why they are used in more smash and grabs that more sophisticated equipment.
     
  18. old lady new shooter

    old lady new shooter Member

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    Do you have links to any cases where a home invasion started by crashing a vehicle into the garage door?
     
  19. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I don’t, I also don’t have any links that show that’s also a method of entry into business. The two that I personally know of used stolen vehicles.

    Point being that 26 gauge steel spanning the length of most garage door openings isn’t going to be a vault.

    Don’t have any links to crimes committed using this method either but another angle you might be interested in.

     
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  20. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    Deadbolting the door into you attached garage is a good habit to get into.
    Having a strengthened garage entry door also good.

    Do pay attention if the garage has an attic access in its ceiling.
     
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  21. old lady new shooter

    old lady new shooter Member

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    The bolts solution I included in post #13 (bottom two photos) totally foils the coat-hanger method, without disabling your emergency pull. :)

    I'm not surprised there are apparently no cases of home invasions where crashing a vehicle into the garage door is used as the means of initial entry. Normally BG's prefer to sneak in as quietly as possible, crashing a vehicle into the garage door would attract the attention of most of the neighbors as well as that of the homeowners being targeted.
     
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  22. old lady new shooter

    old lady new shooter Member

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    Always. :)

    See the bolts solution in post #13 (bottom two photos).
     
  23. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I didn’t say that, I just didn’t look to get you any links.

    https://news3lv.com/news/local/bingo-grandmother-comes-face-to-face-with-home-invaders

    It’s obviously not going to take less effort that throwing a rock from a flower bed through a window but to think that it could never happen would be a false sense of security.

    They are the 3rd most common entry point although I don’t see any statistics on methods used to get past them.

    https://www.sheknows.com/living/articles/1020435/common-entry-points-for-home-invasion/
     
  24. Phaedrus/69

    Phaedrus/69 Member

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    I would expect smashing through the garage door isn't super common but it's obvious enough that it should happen occasionally. I'd expect the perps to use a stolen vehicle to do it, and if they were smart they'd back into the door to avoid disabling their vehicle (not that they'd care about the car but you don't want to disable your getaway vehicle before you get away).
     
  25. old lady new shooter

    old lady new shooter Member

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    Some things don't add up about this story. What makes home invaders decide to invade this particular home, to the point of using three different methods? Also appears the door from the garage to the house was not locked, after seeing the man in her garage when she drove in, she didn't lock the deadbolt when she went into the house? I'm glad the people were apparently not injured but I kinda feel there is another shoe to be dropped.

    A thrown rock wouldn't make it through the security film I also posted about.

    The coat-hanger method is very common, it's easy and quiet.

    The article's opening premise is exactly correct IMO:
    while there are professional burglars who can get into almost any home they want, most criminals are just opportunists. “Most criminals who burglarize homes are looking for an easy hit,” he says, “a house that they can break into quickly, take something of value and leave without being detected.”
     
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