An Interview with Door Devil Reinforcement Technologies

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. This common phrase can be applied to almost anything. In the security industry we call this a “vulnerability” or the “path of least resistance”. In your home, in regards to home security, this weak link is often your front or back door. If you take a close look at your existing door and frame, you will see the door jamb, where the lock and deadbolt enter, is made of half inch to three quarter inch pine wood in most residential doors. And if you’ve even seen 10 year olds in karate class demonstrate chopping three quarter pine with their bare hands, then you know how vulnerable this jamb is if a 200 pound man either kicks your door or shoulders it.

1BDoor reinforcement products were created to due to necessity because an overwhelming number of home burglaries and invasions happen because of that weak link (door jamb) in your door. There are a few variations of door reinforcement technology and here we discuss “door frame reinforcement”. Typically made of steel, this device can be up to four feet long and is installed on the door jamb center, over the existing strike plates. Braces come in different styles.

When I bought my existing home, I knew right away I needed to reinforce my doors. I did some searching online and found the “Door Devil”. After installing, I reached out to the engineers who created this simple but effective device and here’s what they had to say:

So, what is the “Door Devil Kit?” It’s doorway reinforcement component device.

Who needs the DDK?

A deadbolt is held in place by less than one measly inch of soft wood in most American doorframes. Just about any determined hoodlum could kick through it.

Explain the origins of the Door Devil.

There was a rash of burglaries several years ago, even though most of the houses had alarm systems. But the intruders were gone before the cops arrived—kick down the door, ransack, then flee.

The solution was to reinforce the doors, which could be done with two metal strips attached to the doorframe. But just several weeks later, a burglar kicked down one of these doors. We had the right idea but the wrong application.

Okay then, what about Spiderman who can scale a house and get in through a window?

A very determined thief may find a way into one’s house no matter what. But kicking a door is very common because crooks know that a window alarm will immediately go off. Plus, they know neighbors could hear a window shattering. A burglar may also avoid windows due to the threat of broken glass.

I have a gun and I won’t hesitate to use it.

What if you’re not home? And if you’re home…can you get to your gun before the intruder could get his hands around your throat? And if you can fight back, what if he’s in and out before you can get to him, like, say…you’re in the bathroom when he busts in?

Got it. How well does the Door Devil work?  

It’s fabulous. Though there are two verified instances in which cops used a ram to dismantle a door after several attempts. But the doorframe and hardware remained intact, thanks to the Door Devil.

Does the Door Devil replace a monitored alarm system?

Never. The Door Devil is one more layer of protection. Alarm systems go a long way at preventing burglaries, but homes with alarms do get targeted. After all, a burglar has a little time to disarm the alarm, but few intruders are skilled at and not intimidated by this. Sometimes the thief doesn’t consider the possibility of an alarm. Sometimes the intruder doesn’t care if there’s an alarm and just wants money for his next drug fix. But a smarter, more experienced burglar knows that a house with an alarm probably has more valuables. So as you can see, the alarm isn’t the be-all end-all. You need layers.

Who should get a Door Devil?

Really, anyone who is aware enough that well over a million home are broken into every year, most resulting is financial and sentimental losses, and others in tragic deaths. Remember, we are all about layers. Alarms, window locks and films to beef up windows, cameras, dogs, signage and door reinforcement. For $60 to $80, the Door Devil is great for those who can’t afford an alarm system too. It’s also perfect for damaged doorframes, and of course, for doors that can be kicked through. It can be installed in 30-45 minutes on a typical U.S. doorframe—a 98 percent chance of fitting.

Otherwise, the product can be recessed. To find out, pinch two dimes together. That’s the thickness of the Door Devil. It just makes so much sense to add this to a home that’s already got an alarm system. I mean, how many burglars enter through the chimney, and I already explained why most don’t choose windows.

Robert Siciliano is a home and personal security expert to discussing Anti-Kick door reinforcement on YouTube. Disclosures.

Standard door frames make burglary easy

Stop what you are doing. Walk over to your front or back door. Open it. Look down at the doorjamb where the holes are—you know, where your doorknob and deadbolt locks (hopefully they are Schlage) go into the frame. Those 3/4-inch-ish holes are surrounded by what’s called a strike plate. The strike plate has two screws in it, and if you were to remove them they’d probably be smaller than 3/4-inch ones.

DoorFramesNow look back at the jamb. See the wood surrounding it? Look at the molding on the open side of the door. It’s also about 3/4 inch or so thick, right?

OK, now you see that a 3/4-inch hunk of thin pine and molding is all that separates a burglar from entering your home. Bad guys know that probably 95 percent of all front or back doors have this flimsy jamb with a strike plate separating them from entering your home.

And see this picture? This is my buddy’s shop last week. This is a steel solid-core door that has that flimsy jamb with a strike plate, BUT the jamb has 2.5-inch screws and an additional 1/4-inch steel plate behind it.

The damage is from burglars. This door was rammed with a 40 lb. oxygen cylinder over and over again…until the crooks gave up.

Most residential doors won’t take this kind of a beating. However, when installing a lock or retrofitting a lock to be more secure, it is advisable, at a minimum, to install 2.5-inch screws as replacements for the 3/4-inch screws that go into the strike plate (such as the screws that come packaged with the Schlage touchscreen deadbolt), and consider door reinforcement plates that beef up your door’s jamb or are mounted on the floor. Both are solid options, and I’d recommend both as multiple layers of security in addition to strong locks. In a future post, I’ll dissect door reinforcement technologies.

Robert Siciliano home security expert to Schlage discussinghome security and identity theft on TBS Movie and a Makeover. Disclosures. For Roberts FREE ebook text- SECURE Your@emailaddress -to 411247.