Strike Plates

Due to the massive amount of break in’s we are seeing in the Las Vegas valley,  I am in the process of  publishing 10 security tips over the next few days, to help you make your home more secure. Here is Security Tip #2

#2 – Strike Plates – If you knew how easy it was to kick in your front door you would probably be very afraid. You see the actual door slab is usually hung to the inside of the jamb so it can swing fully open on the inside. The problem with this is the strike plate has to line up with the door slab.

In case you were wondering the strike plate is the piece of metal that screws to your door jamb that your dead bolt slides into. If this sits to the extreme interior of your door jamb, there isn’t much for those screws to grab to, usually less than 1/4 of an inch. The wood is made weaker already by driving a screw through already, so it really isn’t all that hard to kick it in. The wood splinters and then all that’s left is some drywall and casing.

The picture here shows the back side of the strike plate, on a door that has no drywall or casing installed yet. Can you see how much wood the screws will catch when installed? In this application it will catch about 3/16” of an inch and that’s not very much at all. So what’s the solution?

The first solution is to use minimum 3” screws and drive them deep into the adjacent studs. This way there is more wood to have to kick in when the time comes. The next step is to purchase an upgraded strike plate. There are strike plates available that are sturdier and secure to the door in a more secure manner. There are too many variations to discuss them all here but, you can see them in the millwork section of your local home store.

Then finally you can install a secure metal plate to the jamb before you install the door. This way there is literally no way your door can be kicked in. Unfortunately, the door has to be completely removed for this application, but it is well worth it. If you are in the market for a new front or entry door, please make sure your contractor installs this type of security plate for you.

Then you can rest at ease knowing that at least your entry doors are safe from intrusion. Keep checking back for the rest of the security tips, so you can feel the same way about the rest of your home. Remember, for a limited time we are offering our Home Security Audit at no charge for a limited time. Normally $195, our window and door professional will show you how to make your home secure for free. Call us at 608-8408 or visit us at




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