• While an alarm system will add to your home’s security, a more critical measure is fortifying your exterior doors with quality hardware. Photo: Foothill Locksmiths, Inc. (2015)

  • In addition to upgrading your lock and deadbolt, it's a good idea to reinforce your standard deadbolt strike plate with an oversized model. Photo: Foothill Locksmiths, Inc. (2015)

Blaine Lucas is president of Foothill Locksmiths, Inc.. To reach Blaine Lucas call (510) 621-7956.
How to Reinforce Your Exterior Doors

HAYWARD − Burglar alarms are a great addition to any home security system, but the reality is, they only alert you after a burglar has already gained entry. That’s why an even more important measure is reinforcing your exterior doors and doorframes to stop burglars from entering in the first place.

There are a few aspects to address when reinforcing an exterior door. Start by adding a UL 437 high-security lock made by a leading manufacturer like Medeco. Next, you should upgrade your deadbolt. Look for a high-quality model that has a one-inch steel bolt that extends into the door frame and is UL-listed for pick and drill resistance.

Another economical upgrade is to reinforce your standard deadbolt strike plate with an oversized model. Most standard strike plates are secured by mere half-inch screws, which provide almost no protection against kick-ins. An oversized strike plate adds substantial reinforcement by being secured with three-inch long screws, which anchor it to the 2×4 post in the wall. It’s important to note that adding longer screws to a standard strike plate is no substitute, as they’ll miss the 2x4s in the wall and provide minimal protection.

Blaine Lucas is a 40-year veteran of the locksmith industry and owner of Foothill Locksmiths, Inc., a Diamond Certified company since 2004. He can be reached at (510) 621-7956 or by email.

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