Whether you live in a house, apartment, duplex condominium or a mobile home, you deserve to feel safe. It’s a sad fact, but there’s a home intrusion committed in the US every 13 seconds of every day. Security door bars are an important security layer for protecting your home. They’re particularly useful for protecting front door ‘forced’ type entries, which are quite common. Door bars are essential for weak patio doors too, as these are usually the most vulnerable doors in a home.
Watch how this simple door security bar prevents forced break-ins:
What Is a Door Security Bar?
A typical door security bar is a high quality steel bar that stretches across the width of a door to prevent entry (see video above). They come in various sizes to accommodate all door types. Some even have built in alarm systems for an added layer of security. For sliding type doors, portable door jammers (see below) do a great job.
Why Use a Door Security Bar?
Perhaps you already have heavy duty doors with strong locks. So you may be wondering why even bother with door security bars or jammers. To put it simply, they provide an additional and inexpensive layer of effective home security. Seasoned burglars are good at breaking all kinds of door locks and dislodging sliding doors effortlessly. Using a good quality door bar or jammer not only helps to protect you and your property—the peace of mind that comes with good home security is priceless. According to the Chula Vista Residential Burglary Reduction Project, the front door of a home is the preferred entry point for the majority of housebreakers.
Door security bars and door jammers can also act as good deterrents. Remember, an opportunist burglar wants an easy job. They certainly don’t want to be messing around with tough security. The better you protect your property, the more chance there is of a burglar moving on to easier pickings. Only you will know what doors are vulnerable around your home, or if you don’t, maybe now is a good time to go and check them for vulnerability.
How Door Security Bars Work
Door security bars provide a superior security measure over locks and other door security devices. Some models only weigh around a pound yet they can withstand up to 350 pounds of brute force. A high percentage of burglars prefer to break in through the front door if that’s an option. This is reason enough to ensure your front door is as secure as it can be.
A quality door security bar will stop any attempts of forced entry. Some bars have to fit into the actual door molding, but it’s only a two minute job for any handyman. Other types attach to the actual door frame (recommended) and provide the strongest solution. When fitted correctly, these bars make your doors virtually kick-proof.
The bars come in variable lengths to accommodate different door widths, ranging from 38-43 inches. Most of them are adjustable, which means you can use them to secure most types of doors. They are simple to use and easy to lift up or remove when not needed. Some door security bars have an alarm installed to provide and additional layer of security—even dog alarms. Though it may sound comical, modern dog alarms are very convincing.
How a Door Jammer Works
Door jammers do a similar job to bars in that they prevent forced entry. Unlike door security bars, which fix horizontally across a door, jammers are portable and need no installation. They also work with any door type, which is great news for weak patio doors. The smaller portable jammers are also perfect for travelling, compact enough to carry in handbags. They can add extra security to public toilet doors and hotel rooms. A typical door jammer works by using a bar that braces onto the floor at one end. The other end hooks underneath the actual doorknob or handle thus jamming the door. They have a padded foot grip that helps to protect the floor and keep the jammer steady.
The smaller models simply function as powerful doorstops. All you do is slip the jammer under the door to secure it. Any horizontal force applied to the outside of a door then converts to vertical force, and this is what anchors the door jammer. In other words, the more someone tries to push their way in from the outside, the more the jammer digs in to block entry. The only drawback with door jammers is that they need a small gap under the door (about 1/8″). This is fine for most situations, but there may be some doors that don’t have a gap or a gap big enough.
Where to Use Door Security Bars
If you do nothing else, burglar-proof the front door as best you can. Consider using a door security bar as it offers an affordable and efficient additional layer of home security. About 56% of all break-ins occur through doors so good door security is vital.
If you live in an apartment, you will likely only have one entrance point that needs securing. If you live in a house, there are many more entry points for burglars to choose from, including:
- Front door
- Garage door, especially any door that connect the garage to the main house
- Side doors
- Back doors, including patio doors which can be particularly vulnerable
About 23 percent of all home break-ins occur through the ground floor windows. Please read our articles on window security for tips and advice on that. Regarding point four above, burglars just love patio doors. If you have patio doors and haven’t done anything about strengthening their security, then keep reading.
Most opportunist burglars have a common procedure for breaking in that looks like this:
- Almost always try to break in via the front door first
- Side doors are the second choice
- If the above fails, they may move to the back of the property
Others will simply give up and move on if they can’t access through the front door. Savvy burglars do not take their time and mull over options. They want to be in and out fast, anywhere between 8-12 minutes at best. The longer they have to faff about with secure doors, the more likely they are to go elsewhere and look for an easier property.
A patio door security bar will provide you with added safety and security. It will also act as a visual deterrent to any opportunistic housebreaker snooping around the back. Some burglars will break the glass, but this is not always easy and it’s certainly noisy, which is why most intruders don’t bother. They much prefer to get in by forcing the door. An adjustable patio door security bar mounts in the middle of the two doors. It’s a simple concept but incredibly effective. Most of these bars fold up vertically against the frame when not in use. If you have sliding type doors, then use patio door jammers.
Point to note: The common way for an intruder to break into a property is to simply kick the door in. The vulnerable part of most doors is a weak lock strike plate. If this relates to your doors, upgrade to heavy duty strike plates. That’s in addition to using a door security bar—not instead of.
Who Benefits Most from Door Security Bars
Anyone who is serious about home security should consider using security bars for their doors, or at least door jammers. These effective security tools are not to replace other home security systems. Again, the idea behind door bars and jammers is to provide an extra layer of valuable security. A question a lot of people ask is when should I use door security bars? The answer is when you don’t have them. They are for anyone who has a home with doors, and that includes just about everyone apart from cavemen.