Having the right door hinge can make a big difference in home security. When burglars look at your front door, they will check if the door swings outward, with the hinge pins exposed on the outside of the house. This would allow them to tap the hinge pins up and out, and lift the door off its hinges, removing the door without unlocking it.
Although many homes now take the precaution to install front doors so the hinges rest inside of the house, many exterior doors to garages and patios still swing outward and have their hinges exposed.
The following door hinge designs will help prevent exposed hinge pins from being removed, and will deter burglars from attempting to detach the door in this manner. Even if your hinge pins are on the inside face of the door, itís still recommended to incorporate these hinges for added security.
Setscrew In The Hinge
One design keeps the hinge pin in place with a setscrew, or a small screw threaded through the middle of the hinge. If the door is closed, the setscrew cannot be accessed. You also can fashion this style of hinge yourself by drilling a hole through the middle of the hinge and into the pin, and then installing a small setscrew. However, if the door is in the open position, the setscrew is exposed and can be retracted, and the hinge pins removed. So remember to grind down this setscrew so would-be burglars cannot take it out.
Fast-Riveted (Crimped) Pins
These pins are longer than the hinge height, and once inserted into the hinge, they are crimped on their ends to create a rivet on the top and bottom of the pin. The crimping prevents the pinís removal. These pins give the most security, but you wonít be able to easily detach your door if you need to: Youíll have to remove the hinges entirely in order to do so.
Safety studs or pegs offer another option to keep your hinges secure. Hinges are available to purchase with this stud already in place, but if the screw-holes on the two sides (or leaves) of your hinges line up, a stud or small metal peg can be installed in one of the holes to fit into the corresponding leafís hole when the door is closed. That way, even if the hinge pin is removed, the door still cannot be taken off its hinges because the stud holds it in place. If the screw-holes on the hinge leaves donít line up, drill to provide a matching hole. Then place a screw without a head or a short, thick nail into one of the screw-holes and have it projecting out to engage the opposite leaf. Safety studs are a good security measure if you still need to remove your door from time to time, but donít want to commit the time and effort to unscrew its hinges.
Consult The Pros
Before making any adjustments or retrofits to your door hinges, itís best to consult a locksmith or security contractor. They can assess your hinges and make any other professional recommendations to keep your doorways secure.
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