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.

Door FramesNow 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.

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