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Home Improvement Article

Security - Add a Door Guard to Your Front Door

Add a door chain or a swing bar door guard to permit partially opening your door to question people without giving them access to your home.

Condominiums: For condominium owners, the best answer is a swing bar door guard shown in the picture below. These devices can be purchased at Home Depot for less than $5.00 and are fairly easy to install, if you have the right tools i.e. an electric drill with a 3/32" drill and a Philips screwdriver. And the installation is rock solid as the underlying door frame and the door are wrapped steel. For an even stronger installation, use a 3" #10 wood wood screw in the center door frame mounting hole.

Note 1: Both shims that come in the package need to be used under the door side hardware to bring it level with the swing bar hardware.

Note 2: Condominium lessees require written approval to change their locks or make any other changes that physically modify their unit.

Townhomes: For townhome owners, a door chain is your only option as the front door opens out, not in like the condominium and apartment doors. But a door chain should be just fine in this application as it's a lot harder for someone to pull a door open than it is to shoulder or kick one in. And, fastening the hardware to the underlying steel door frame and wrapped steel door should result in a solid installation.

Note 3: Developer lessees require written approval to change their locks or make any other changes that physically modify their unit.

Apartments: Unfortunately apartment residents are not allowed to drill holes in their units. So your best option is to request the Leasing Office to install a swing bar door guard on your door. And while the Landlord is not obligated to make this security upgrade, I think you should insist because, next to not opening the door for anyone, this is your best defense against giving people access to your home.

by Peter Schulz

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