Install door reinforcement hardware
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Photo 1: Reinforce the door
Slide the reinforcement plate onto the door
and insert the dead bolt and dead latch.
Secure them with 1-1/2-in.-long stainless
steel screws. Then secure the plate to the
door with the matching screws from the kit.
You can spend hundreds on a fancy
“pick-proof” dead bolt for your entry
door. But you're kidding yourself if
you think that'll stop most burglars.
The truth is, most don't know how to
pick a lock. They gain entry with one
really well-placed kick or body slam
that splits the doorjamb (and often the
door as well), and they walk right in.
You can stop burglars in their tracks by
beefing up your door and jamb with
reinforcing hardware. The components
cost about $120 and take about an hour
to install. Here's how to do it.
Start by measuring the entry door
thickness and the spacing between the
entry knob and the dead bolt cylinder.
Then buy either a single or a double
wrap-around door reinforcement plate
kit (less than $20 at any home center or
hardware store) and four 1-1/2-in.-long
stainless steel wood screws. Then
get a doorjamb reinforcement kit
(StrikeMaster II is one brand; around $80
from homedepot.com or through our affiliation with amazon.com).
Remove the entry knob and dead bolt
cylinder. Then remove the dead bolt
and latch and toss the short screws.
Install the wrap-around door reinforcement
plate and reinstall the latch and
dead bolt plates using the longer stainless
steel screws (Photo 1).
Install jamb reinforcement hardware
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Photo 2: Mark the latch and bolt centers
Extend the dead bolt slightly and close the
door. Mark the center of the bolt on the
edge of the doorjamb with a pencil. Then
mark the center of the latch on the jamb.
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Photo 3: Attach the jamb reinforcement plateExtend the pencil marks to the door stop. Then line up the center of the latch alignment
hole on the reinforcement plate with the centerline mark. Slide the plate into place.
Predrill two holes and run the supplied screws almost all the way into the jamb with your
drill. Stop before they're seated or you'll bow the door frame.
both the latch and the dead bolt “centers”
on the strike side of the jamb
(Photo 2). Remove the latch and strike
plates and weather stripping from the
jamb. But leave any weather stripping
that's attached to the door stop. Then
align the reinforcement plate, predrill
a few mounting holes and add screws
(Photo 3). Check the reinforcement plate
alignment before snugging the screws
by hand. Do not overtighten.
If the prescored dead bolt knockout
lines up with the marking along the
jamb, remove it and finish installing
the remaining screws. If it doesn't line
up, drill a new dead bolt hole with a
3/4-in. bimetal hole saw. Finally,
replace two screws in each hinge with
the longer screws provided in the kit.