Front Door Security Part One - Hinges
Home security is a priority to every home owner. Poor security puts your home, your family and your belongings at risk, as well as giving you a high home insurance premium.
Standard hinges provide a very limited level of security. If the front or back door opens outwards, the hinges will be not only visible, but also accessible, from the outside. This would allow potential burglars or attackers to remove the pin from the centre of the hinge quite easily. Once the pin is removed, the door can be prised open for full access to the property. For doors which open internally, with standard hinges visible only from the inside, there is still the risk of having the door forced open and off of its hinges.
Although most old doors will still use standard hinges, doors which have been installed or replaced in recent years will use some form of security hinge. The level of security offered by these hinges varies and the right choice will vary from situation to situation. When buying a new front door or back door, it is best to choose one that has a wide range of options so you can choose the hardware that best suits your homes security needs.
One type of security hinge is the safety stud hinge. Safety stud hinges fit into insets carved out of the door and door frame. This is known as a mortised hinge. The pin remains vulnerable, as in a standard hinge, but a stud positioned on one leaf fits into a hole positioned on the opposite leaf. When the door is closed, the stud holds the door in the frame, preventing the door from being removed even when the pin has been taken out.
Another type of security hinge is the riveted pin hinge (also known as fast-riveted or crimped pins). These are made with a pin longer than the length of the hinge. The excess pin is spun down to create rivet-like ends on the top and the bottom of the hinge. This prevents the removal of the pin but allows the hinge to function in the standard way.
Finally, you can get non-removable pin security hinges. These are standard hinges with a small hole in the centre, allowing a set screw to keep the pin in place. When the door is open, the set screw is exposed and can be removed, allowing for removal of the pin. When the door is closed the set screw is inaccessible, protecting the door from being removed.
Most people do not consider the hinges when it comes to buying a new front door. Using secure hinges is just as important as using a secure lock, since on unsecured hinges the pin can be tapped out and removed, allowing the door to be opened despite being locked.
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