How to Increase Entry Door Security

Updated: Sep. 18, 2023

Install reinforcing hardware on your door and jamb to stop burglars. Here's how.

Next Project

1 hour




$100 - $150


Install special door and jamb reinforcement plates to keep burglars from breaking into your home. It only takes an hour.

Tools Required

  • Drill bit set
  • Drill/driver - cordless
  • Tape measure

Materials Required

  • Door and jamb reinforcing plates

You can spend hundreds of dollars on a fancy “pick-proof” deadbolt for your entry door. But you’re kidding yourself if you think that will stop most burglars.

The truth is, most bad guys 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. Then they walk right in. You can increase your entry door security and stop burglars in their tracks by beefing up your door and jamb with reinforcing hardware.

Start by measuring the entry door thickness and the spacing between the entry knob and the deadbolt cylinder. Then buy a single or a double wrap-around door reinforcement plate kit (less than $25 at any home center or hardware store) and four 1-1/2-in.-long stainless steel wood screws. Grab a doorjamb reinforcement kit as well; we recommend the StrikeMaster II.

Project step-by-step (3)

Step 1

Reinforce the door

Remove the entry knob and deadbolt cylinder. Remove the deadbolt and latch and toss the short screws.

Slide the reinforcement plate onto the door and insert the deadbolt 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.

Tightening up the screws with a drill machineTMB Studio

Step 2

Mark the latch and bolt centers

Extend the deadbolt 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.

marking a mark near doorknob with pencilTMB Studio

Step 3

Attach the jamb reinforcement plate

Remove the latch and strike plates and weather stripping from the jamb. But leave any weather stripping that’s attached to the door stop.

Extend 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. Pre-drill 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.

Attaching the jamb reinforcement plate to door frameTMB Studio