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Make your home safer spending only a buck

Posted at 6:00 PM, Aug 10, 2017


Break-ins are a huge problem around the country. According to the FBI's numbers there were 2.26 million residential burglaries in 2015, that's a lot of people facing this problem.  We've watched dozens of videos of people on surveillance cameras kicking down doors and breaking into homes. 

So we tested out a theory that there is an easy way to protect your home that doesn't require much effort and even better very little money. Most of the time when you come across things like this they seem too good to be true.  So, we wanted to kick down some doors to test it out.

The person who helped us most with this story is Chris Kelley, he's a project manager with a home flipping company in the greater Denver area called The Buyout Company. He gave us an odd look when we asked him if he had a home where we could kick down the doors but came through in a big way.

Most manufacturers send 3/4 inch screws as part of the installation kit with most deadbolts and door knobs. These screws do very little to secure the strike plate, making any home an easy target for people looking to kick down a door.

"With the smaller screws you're screwing into just the door jam itself which is really just a three quarter inch piece of pine typically. So pretty weak, can break fairly easily," says Kelley

We made sure that the strike plate was secured with the 3/4 inch screws and then we locked it up and started our test.

We kicked the door 8 times before it burst open, throwing the strike plate several feet from the door.

The door itself never felt very secure and it burst open with very little effort.

It was now time to test the theory; would 3 inch screws purchased from our local hardware store for $1.18 be able to change how difficult it is to kick down the door?

We installed the longer screws and locked the door and started kicking. It felt a lot like a kickboxing routine.  We kicked and kicked and kicked.  After a couple of breaks and some intense kicks the door finally burst open.  22 kicks was the final number, in reality we couldn't tell for sure how long it would have taken because the strike plate was still intact.

The door actually broke at the dead bolt.

  It was ripped out of the actual door

while the strike plate was still firmly in place.

Kelley says, "When you put the longer screws in you're actually going into the framing of the house. It can withstand a lot of stress so I think that's the reason that the longer screws would be really helpful in securing your house."

In this instance, they gave us enough time to have someone notice our odd behavior, kicking down a front door in the middle of the day in a typical suburban neighborhood.  In the end, we believe this test was successful.