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Old 11-03-2018, 12:19 PM
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As a street cop I found that the only inexpensive door bars that prevented home door kick-in and pry-job B&E's 100% of the time were HD steel brackets lag-screwed deep into each side of the door framing with the brackets holding a 2x4 wooden bar horizontally across the door.

A complete door bar set-up for one door that opens inward only costs about $15 = two HD steel door bar brackets (one closed + one open), seven 1/4" x 3 1/2" lag screws, one 2x4 cut to length.

The closed bracket is installed on the doorknob side of the door frame, the open bracket on the other side making a fast and easy in-out set-up for the 2x4. If wanted, a 3/8" hole (or similar) can be drilled through the 2x4 and part way into the door frame right next to the open bracket so an undersized bolt can be hand inserted to lock the 2x4 in place, but can be quickly removed from inside the house in an emergency, especially if it is 1" longer than the hole is deep so it is easy to find and remove in the dark. This "extra" bolt prevents the bar from being moved (unlocked) from outside.

Brackets I have used and recommend are available at Amazon:

Narional Hardware Door Brackets: # N235291 and # N100-792 15

NOTE: If you have glass windows in the door or as side-lights your door will probably not be burglar-proof, depending on where the windows are located in relation to the bar.
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Old 11-03-2018, 12:47 PM
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Thank you for this post.

I would imagine that this would also work for windows IF custom made shutters (covering the inside) could be barred this way, too.

How do you (or would you) secure your windows in a bad SHTF situation?
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Old 11-03-2018, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Neut Anderson View Post
As a street cop I found that the only inexpensive door bars that prevented home door kick-in and pry-job B&E's 100% of the time were HD steel brackets lag-screwed deep into each side of the door framing with the brackets holding a 2x4 wooden bar horizontally across the door.

A complete door bar set-up for one door that opens inward only costs about $15 = two HD steel door bar brackets (one closed + one open), seven 1/4" x 3 1/2" lag screws, one 2x4 cut to length.

The closed bracket is installed on the doorknob side of the door frame, the open bracket on the other side = fast and easy in-out for 2x4. If wanted, a 3/8" hole (or similar) can be drilled through the 2x4 and into the door frame next to the open bracket so an undersized bolt can be hand inserted and easily removed from inside the house in an emergency, but still prevent the bar from being removed from outside.

Brackets I have used and recommend are available at Amazon:

Narional Hardware Door Brackets: # N235291 and # N100-792 15

NOTE: If you have glass windows in the door or as side-lights your door will probably not be burglar-proof, depending on where the windows are located in relation to the bar.
Funny. Funny only because I did similar when I built my other house..my framed portion is heavy duty including steel..then I made brackets that held 2 2x4s on their 3 1/2 sides instead of on edge. 1 set above the knob, and 1 set below.

It would have been easier for someone to chainsaw their way through the side of the house than to come through the door.
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Old 11-03-2018, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by GrizzlyetteAdams View Post
Thank you for this post.

I would imagine that this would also work for windows IF custom made shutters (covering the inside) could be barred this way, too.

How do you (or would you) secure your windows in a bad SHTF situation?
The door bars should also work on your shuttered-windows. Firearms are needed to stop home invaders once they gain entrance.

I have aluminum frame windows that slide up to open. I also have a very loud burglar alarm on all doors & windows (sounds like a police siren and can be heard 3 blocks away). What I did was install 3" lag bolts (not lag screws) through every window frame and part way into the 2x4 window framing in such a way that the windows can only be pried up far enough to set off my alarm (about 1") before being stopped by the protruding lag bolt heads. The lag bolts are inserted in slightly larger diameter holes so they can be quickly removed by hand from inside in case of fire, but not from the outside without breaking the double-pane glass.

This method is good enough to stop most burglars, but not sure it would stop home-invaders who might be willing to make a lot of noise by breaking the glass. I intentionally leave the windows unlocked so a burglar can set off the alarm by raising it about an inch without prying, but still can't get the window open without breaking the glass!
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Old 11-03-2018, 01:29 PM
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Funny. Funny only because I did similar when I built my other house..my framed portion is heavy duty including steel..then I made brackets that held 2 2x4s on their 3 1/2 sides instead of on edge. 1 set above the knob, and 1 set below.

It would have been easier for someone to chainsaw their way through the side of the house than to come through the door.
Actually, like you, I also have two burglar bars guarding my front door. I personally think one 2x4 door bar is strong enough protection but had an extra set of brackets and the other half of the original 2x4 so installed the second bar about 2 feet lower than the first. The brackets are a very nice silver metallic color as delivered, no paint needed, but I did stain the 2x4's the same color as my door.
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Old 11-03-2018, 08:01 PM
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Burglar bars are a death trap in fire.

Burglar screens are much better. Woven stainless steel mesh. Originally developed for hurricane damage screens, the first makers had to wait for building code officials to start recommending and later mandating them on the coast. So the makers limped along with the product by selling them to NYC and Chicago public housing programs as a less expensive option to burglar bars or glass with embedded metal mesh.

They performed beyond all expectations and kept a lot of people safe for hours of determined assaults on these screens by thugs.

True, you can shoot through them but the same is true for bars as well. But unless you bring an angle grinder and the power needed to run it for over half an hour then you aren't getting in. An axe or pick? You'll be there all day. These screens are designed for a 100mph impact with a 2x4 without distorting the inch to the common window glass behind it.

They do duty as bug screens, thermal screens if powder coated, hurricane protection, thug protection, and are very affordable.

Cost? About the price of a modern window, like from Anderson. No need to remove your old window either. New home builders need just double the cost of their expected window needs and they are covered.

Best of all, because they completely cover the window there is no need for a padlock and hinge system. It's got an easy flip lever that releases them from the inside without need for a padlock. You would have to get through the screen first before you can access the lever. If they ever did get through then what's the need to even bother with the release lever then?

They have options to cover regular and sliding patio doors too.

These companies dot the Gulf Coast and up the Atlantic Coast until the Carolinas. No need for me to pitch one company. The designs are all set to a building code standard already and that standard is tough. You just need to call as many as you can for a rough quote. Distance from each place plays a role, but most have multiple affiliates they work with. They may each talk how unique they are but they are still putting out a fairly standardized product that the minimum code standards are very tough already. Just go for the best deal you are quoted.

I live with an HOA that thinks bars make they neighborhood look trashy. Bars are almost never approved and the HOA has sued several for installing bars without their approval and won. Money down the drain. They took one look at my request and asked one thing. It just looks like a common bug screen? Yep, and they rubber stamped it. They were even surprised I bothered top ask. They were pleased enough to mention it later for others looking for HOA approval of their bars.

Very gray man. No one knows that the brick facade might actually be easier to get through than my windows. While they are trying for an hour to break through my window screens I'll be loading magazines to welcome them.
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Old 11-03-2018, 09:17 PM
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When my mom got worried about meth monkeys breaking into her house at night while she was in bed, my brother and I got some rebar and welded up a grate that was the same size as her screen door. Since it was mounted outside of the screen door, we got some inexpensive aluminum channel and used it to cover the rebar so the grating wouldn't make the house look like a jail. Since aluminum is soft, we used a normal miter saw to cut it so fit together so the grate looked kind of like a normal storm door. The final touch that made mom smile was when we polished the channel using Mother's so it looked like chrome. To break in you'd probably have to hook a chain to the grate and rip it out of the wall with a tractor.
We made smaller grates for all the windows with the horizontal bars splitting the window in half and then splitting the upper and lower panes in half. With the polished aluminum the grates all look factory.
We ended up doing the same thing for my two divorced sisters.
If you enjoy welding and polishing aluminum you can turn your house into a fortress for very little cost without making it look like a jail the way wrought iron work does.
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Old 11-03-2018, 11:31 PM
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Originally Posted by randolphrowzeebragg View Post
When my mom got worried about meth monkeys breaking into her house at night while she was in bed, my brother and I got some rebar and welded up a grate that was the same size as her screen door. Since it was mounted outside of the screen door, we got some inexpensive aluminum channel and used it to cover the rebar so the grating wouldn't make the house look like a jail. Since aluminum is soft, we used a normal miter saw to cut it so fit together so the grate looked kind of like a normal storm door. The final touch that made mom smile was when we polished the channel using Mother's so it looked like chrome. To break in you'd probably have to hook a chain to the grate and rip it out of the wall with a tractor.
We made smaller grates for all the windows with the horizontal bars splitting the window in half and then splitting the upper and lower panes in half. With the polished aluminum the grates all look factory.
We ended up doing the same thing for my two divorced sisters.
If you enjoy welding and polishing aluminum you can turn your house into a fortress for very little cost without making it look like a jail the way wrought iron work does.
It might look good now but you made a fatal flaw. 2 dissimilar metals touching each other make a battery when in the presence of any moisture at all. That creates electrolytic action. Which in turn aggressively stimulates corrosion.

If it was a cheap quick job you don't mind doing again every so often then you need not be concerned.

But if the cost or effort was high enough that doing it again soon enough is a concern then I have bad news for you.

As for an affordable screen door then look at Lowes or Home Deport for their screens made out of perforated plate steel. Just square steel tubing welded to a sheet of steel perf-plate and a place for a lock set.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Unique-H...4001/205110477

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Gatehouse-S...75-in/50374786

Keeps the bugs and fingers out. They swing out so there is no kicking them in. As long as it is darker inside than out then it becomes one way in viewing out. Works great during the day for unexpected knocks on your door. Not good at night unless you turn a bright porch light on, but if you are getting unexpected knocks at night you should already set for bear attack. It won't stop rifle fire but it should stop or severely attenuate pistol fire. Just be sure you install it with security bolts. They go in real fast and it will run you less than $200 including the taxes and security bolts. You will need a lock set on top of that but the range varies too widely due to personal aesthetics and risk tolerance to bother to compute that into my rough estimate. But for a half day job for one person it's cheap and easy. Glowing reviews too.
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Old 11-04-2018, 08:43 AM
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we use a bar on the door of our garage man door using those home depot brackets.

One of the strategies burglars have been using is to use a jack to spread the frame of a door so the deadbolt becomes ineffective. They have stolen many $5-$10K road bikes.
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Old 11-04-2018, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by IamZeke View Post
It might look good now but you made a fatal flaw. 2 dissimilar metals touching each other make a battery when in the presence of any moisture at all. That creates electrolytic action. Which in turn aggressively stimulates corrosion.

If it was a cheap quick job you don't mind doing again every so often then you need not be concerned.

But if the cost or effort was high enough that doing it again soon enough is a concern then I have bad news for you.

As for an affordable screen door then look at Lowes or Home Deport for their screens made out of perforated plate steel. Just square steel tubing welded to a sheet of steel perf-plate and a place for a lock set.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Unique-H...4001/205110477

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Gatehouse-S...75-in/50374786

Keeps the bugs and fingers out. They swing out so there is no kicking them in. As long as it is darker inside than out then it becomes one way in viewing out. Works great during the day for unexpected knocks on your door. Not good at night unless you turn a bright porch light on, but if you are getting unexpected knocks at night you should already set for bear attack. It won't stop rifle fire but it should stop or severely attenuate pistol fire. Just be sure you install it with security bolts. They go in real fast and it will run you less than $200 including the taxes and security bolts. You will need a lock set on top of that but the range varies too widely due to personal aesthetics and risk tolerance to bother to compute that into my rough estimate. But for a half day job for one person it's cheap and easy. Glowing reviews too.
Since the rebar was stuff left over from a previous job and was pretty rusty, we had to clean everything with a rotary wire brush to make the welds cleaner. Then we sprayed it with poly paint to prevent more rusting. We attached the aluminum channel using epoxy since it is only for trim and doesn't carry any weight. I've used the same system several times before since rebar is cheap and strong and the aluminum trim can be cut with a normal miter saw much like if you were running baseboard or chair molding. After polishing the aluminum I sprayed it with clear poly to seal it and it still looks good several years later.
I don't like buying anything new if I can reuse or re-purpose something. I'd never buy something ready made if I could make it instead. We got the rebar for free at a construction site in exchange for hauling it off. Without a doubt it is the most useful metal I have. You can use a torch to bend it into about any shape and it takes a weld great. We use it around the farm for all kinds of things that most people would use wood for, and if you sand, prime and paint it it looks pretty good.
I can't help but smile every time I use it.
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Old 11-05-2018, 02:27 PM
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I don't think some (especially IAMZEKE) have read my burglar bar installation directions completely. The 2x4 door-bars are installed so that they can be removed in less than 5 seconds by hand with no tools needed, even in the dark. If installed correctly, they are kick & pry proof from outside but can be opened instantly by hand from inside.

Anyone who is confused please go back reread the installation instructions in my other posts above starting with post #1. Nothing else works as well for anywhere near $15 per door, and contrary to the misinformed, when installed correctly they do not present a safety hazard of any kind.
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Old 11-05-2018, 04:39 PM
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These are a great option and very inexpensive, same concept.

Install eye-bolts screwed deep into the door stud on both sides at the top/bottom/middle of the door. Slide a 3' cut piece of rebar steel through it. Very strong. Would be VERY hard to kick in a door with this. And not as easy to break thru the door and slide out all the way.

The eye bolts are nearly free in price, purchased in bulk. Down to maybe 50 cents each.
Rebar can be had nearly free, or very cheap, and often found in scrap. Just use a metal hacksaw and cut to length.

Cost is probably under $10 per door.



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Old 11-05-2018, 05:13 PM
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I don't think some (especially IAMZEKE) have read my burglar bar installation directions completely. The 2x4 door-bars are installed so that they can be removed in less than 5 seconds by hand with no tools needed, even in the dark. If installed correctly, they are kick & pry proof from outside but can be opened instantly by hand from inside.

Anyone who is confused please go back reread the installation instructions in my other posts above starting with post #1. Nothing else works as well for anywhere near $15 per door, and contrary to the misinformed, when installed correctly they do not present a safety hazard of any kind.
I understood your post completely. It was a combo of terminology and thread title that caused my post. "Burglar bars" are a certain thing. Those are wrought iron security bars that cover the exterior of building openings.

What you are talking about has a proper name and a common name. The proper name going back at least a thousand years or more is a draw bar. Though some call it a locking bar.

Then when the discussion came to windows I chose to to post because that's where most install real burglar bars. I foresaw potential confusion in readers. Think of my post as a preemptive addendum.

As a side note, I don't think the draw bar is a good idea for windows. The lag bolt is to a degree, if the thug is worried about making a sound. Though you have to understand the mentality of thugs. If they know you are home or don't care to check if someone is then why would they care about noise? Smash and grab is relying more on speed and violence than stealth. Lag bolts would definitely stop a true burglar hoping to sneak in and out unheard. Those not caring about the sound won't be deterred and will be coming in as fast as they can. The lag bolt will be nothing to them and likely not even a bar resting across the window either. They will just flip it off when the window gets busted. You would have to screw the bar to the bracket and you end up with a fire trap.

Doors have a lot of good options, and many quite affordable. Windows are a lot harder to deal with. Beyond the broomstick in the channel or other types of jambs the options tend to be expensive and special for each kind of window.
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Old 11-05-2018, 05:31 PM
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Just seems that many women and children with small hands and not much upper body strength would have difficulty getting the 2x4 stud out if there if there were no lights and the place were on fire. Also, the brackets aren't exactly sightly and the installation isn't simple or easy. You'd probably need a ratchet to crank down the lag bolts while someone holds the bracket in place. Not extremely difficult, but not exactly easy either for a woman who isn't familiar with tools.
If you used the eye bolts you wouldn't necessarily have to use heavy rebar, you could get a 4' section 3/8" aluminum rod for under ten bucks and then USE THE ROD to install the eye bolts. Just get the bolt started and then slide the bar though the eye and you've got a ton of leverage to spin the bolt into the door jam. No tools required. You can buy a 3/8" eye bolt that's six inches long for under a buck each.
Even better, since the eye bolts are fairly innocuous, you could install one bar say 2' above the door knob and another 2' below it and have twice the protection. A child could insert and remove the aluminum bars, since unlike the 2x4" stud and bracket the aluminum rod would slide smoothly into and out of the eye bolts.
I don't know if a ten-year-old kid could even pick up a four-foot stud, let alone slide it into and get it out of the door brackets.
Not picking a fight, just stating an alternative that might be more useful for smaller folks.
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Old 11-07-2018, 12:46 AM
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The problem with the rebar door bar (and similar) is that they can't be easily secured in place so that a burglar can't slip a knife blade or similar thin bladed tool between the door and door frame and move the bar out of the eyebolts and thus gain entry. This is especially true if the bar is installed so that it is easily opened in case of fire or other emergencies as it should be.

But it is an interesting idea that I've never seen used in real life like I've seen 2x4 door bars used.
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Old 11-07-2018, 06:13 AM
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The problem with the rebar door bar (and similar) is that they can't be easily secured in place so that a burglar can't slip a knife blade or similar thin bladed tool between the door and door frame and move the bar out of the eyebolts and thus gain entry. This is especially true if the bar is installed so that it is easily opened in case of fire or other emergencies as it should be.
I accidentally locked myself out of a friends house in the middle of the night and didn't want to wake him up but I found a paint scraper on his porch and used it to work out the draw bar in exactly this manner.

Personally, I make my own doors from laminated 2x8's or 10's and plywood.





They weigh about 150lbs each and are secured with draw bolts and heavy chain hooks.

They all open outward so cannot be bashed in without having to take out the entire wall.
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Old 11-07-2018, 10:14 AM
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Pictures of some of the things you talked about would be helpful
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Old 11-08-2018, 03:45 PM
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Pictures of some of the things you talked about would be helpful
Go to my first post and use that info to see photos of the brackets on Amazon.
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Old 11-08-2018, 05:33 PM
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The problem with the rebar door bar (and similar) is that they can't be easily secured in place so that a burglar can't slip a knife blade or similar thin bladed tool between the door and door frame and move the bar out of the eyebolts and thus gain entry. This is especially true if the bar is installed so that it is easily opened in case of fire or other emergencies as it should be.

But it is an interesting idea that I've never seen used in real life like I've seen 2x4 door bars used.
If you install the eye bolts correctly you wouldn't be able to open the door enough to move the aluminum bar. If you crank the eye bolts down so they are flush with door frame the bars will be in contact with the inside surface of the door so even if the door were only an inch thick, you would have to open the door an inch to get access to the inside, which wouldn't be possible. Also, unless the intruder is someone who's familiar with the setup, he wouldn't know what was preventing him from getting in.
Also, the threat of using a knife to move the bar isn't valid because the aluminum bar is too hard to allow the knife to cut into it. On the other hand, if you use a wooden bar the knife could gain purchase easily.
To prevent the aluminum bar from sliding out of the eye bolts it would be easy to bend the ends of the bar that protrude past the eye bolts down at a 45 degree angle by jamming the bar into something strong like a piece of masonry or a car bumper and then putting some weight on the other end. The bar would be light and easy to install and remove from the inside and almost impossible from the outside.
If you use zinc plated eye bolts and polish the aluminum bar the installation would look almost like decoration. I use the same kind of bar to make custom racks for motorcycles and ATVs and once you polish it, it looks like chrome.
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Old 11-08-2018, 05:47 PM
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The problem with the rebar door bar (and similar) is that they can't be easily secured in place so that a burglar can't slip a knife blade or similar thin bladed tool between the door and door frame and move the bar out of the eyebolts and thus gain entry. This is especially true if the bar is installed so that it is easily opened in case of fire or other emergencies as it should be.

But it is an interesting idea that I've never seen used in real life like I've seen 2x4 door bars used.
I suppose in theory yes, but with that much effort they could just as easily simply bust a window. In order to do as you suggest, they have to have the proper prowler tools, know what is preventing the door from opening, and put in some effort to do it. That takes time. And makes noise. Having a person on your porch clearly trying to gain entry adds to deterrence, increased odds of failure and being spotted, adds a lot of noise, etc. It also effectively prevents the smash and grab, door kicking entry, etc.

Falling 3' lengths of rebar is going to make a lot of noise. That noise of dealing with rebar would add to your time and ability to defend yourself if you're home, too. Noise wakes up people, dogs, etc.

No affordable practical home is going to be impenetrable. I'm merely offering this as a very inexpensive added layer of security.

This setup can also be used to harden interior rooms. Even flimsy interior doors can be hardened with 3 sets (top, middle, bottom), maybe even 5 sets. If you live in a vulnerable area, install these at night before bed. Without it an adult could kick in the door with one kick. With such devices, it would require a lot of door smashing and reaching in to remove the rebars. So figure it adds a full minute which could a life saving minute.

In that minute, the police can be summoned and on their way, a gun can be accessed and loaded, escape out a window may be possible, etc.
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