Personal Defense Tip: Screws Are Cheaper Than Lawyers

door security screw kit
Courtesy Amazon

A recent security video that’s floating around the interwebs shows a couple of criminals who are trying to kick in a door. Despite their efforts to invade what looks to be an apartment, they had no luck and then left quickly when the their would be victim opens fire through the door. Take a look . . .

Much of the discussion about the video has centered around whether the shots were justified, so let’s get that one out of the way first. Personally, I would never fire blindly through a door (no matter who may advise differently). As you can see in the video, the shots struck the wall on the other side of the hallway, right next to a neighbor’s door.

While you may think the “little bullet, big world” you’re not likely to hit your neighbors by firing through your door, you’re also not terribly likely to hit the attackers either. In fact, you’re taking a big risk, especially in a densely populated building like an apartment complex.

Legally speaking, that isn’t a great idea either. It may well constitute be reckless use of a firearm in some states. If you live in a jurisdiction with the wrong kind of prosecutor, you could find yourself facing felony charges. You could face only criminal liability for endangering your neighbors, but also possible lawsuits by your neighbors, who obviously won’t be happy to have bullets whizzing through their apartments and damaging their property. Plus, in a multi-family dwelling like the one in the video, you’re dealing with a landlord who could ask you to vacate the property will all possible haste.

All of that means spending a lot of money on lawyers to try to preserve your freedom and what remains of your personal net worth.

With that out of the way, let’s point out something about the video that’s both obvious and very important: the apartment door didn’t fail. In fact, the door held up surprisingly well despite two determined thugs doing their best to breach it. Most residential doors would have buckled under that kind of repeated pounding.

This video from a few years ago shows exactly what the thieves were expecting to happen . . .

After only a couple of kicks, the door swung open, tossing the strike plate aside and breaking the door frame. But it doesn’t have to be that easy A cheap upgrade that almost anyone can make will make home invaders’ jobs much harder.

Reinforcing the door jamb and lock with 2- or 3-inch screws allows a door to survive about three times as many kicks as standard builder grade hardware. By better securing the door jamb into the frame of the house, the door will stand up to a lot more abuse before giving way. That can give you more valuable time to arm yourself, get loved ones into a safe space and dial 911.

You can even go beyond that and make a door survive just about indefinitely. With a tougher metal-lined door and longer screws on the striker plate and hinges, along with added deadbolt locks, it can be almost impossible for a door-kicking crew to breach a door, in even if they have lots of time on their hands.

Another great way to beef up your security is with simple window film. Specifically, there are clear, window films yopu can apply to your existing windows that keep the glass from falling out when it gets shattered. When the glass doesn’t fall out of the way, it’s a lot harder for criminals to get in quickly.

None of these measures will make your home an impregnable fortress. You should still have a firearm and other defensive and deterrent measures in place. But spending only a few hundred dollars to upgrade your windows and doors can buy yourself critical time by delaying and even deterring thieves.

Relying on just a firearm, on the other hand, can be costly. Once attackers get in, you’ll be left with only one option: the gun. When you have to use a gun, you can find yourself tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars into lawyers just to keep yourself out of jail and bankruptcy court.

Why not avoid that if you can do it simply and affordably?

3 Responses

  1. Once this concept reaches a popularity critical mass leftists will try to ban door reinforcement and establish building codes stating as much because they will be found to “hinder law enforcement” and “delay first responders.”

    I wouldn’t be surprised if with enough Googling you found as much in old news reels, moron politician statements or “back the blue” boot lickers over the years.

    1. “because they will be found to “hinder law enforcement” and “delay first responders.””

      ‘Round here, the first responders all have those slide-hammer-style heavy, door battering rams.

      If you own the place, removable door bars are fairly simple to install, and vastly stronger than a door jamb…

      Or, just fabricate your own out of 2 or 3 inch-square mild steel tubing…

  2. WTF AR15 sledge hammer!?

    At least make an attempt at safe gun handling.

    Magazine still in weapon and no indication it was “made safe”

    A fire axe, a sledge hammer, a splitting maul,…. how ’bout NOT A F#CKING RIFLE!!

    Totally dont care about product advertised with this kind of demo

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