I had a couple minutes downtime today to work on a small home security project I’ve been meaning to do for a while now.

On the right are the screws that were holding my exterior door hinges and lock strike plates to the house. On the left are screws similar to those that now serve that purpose. For reference, they are 3 inches long.

So what, you say? Let’s take a look at how a door frame is generally built.

It’s a little hard to make out, but the heads of the screws are about flush with the door frame, where they would be installed in a hinge or strike plate. Note that the short screw just penetrates the half-inch door frame member, which is backed by a small void. The longer screw penetrates through the door frame, through the gap, and well into the jack studs beyond.

This minor improvement only cost about 50 screws and 20 minutes of my time. It should make the door a little more resistant to being forced open. How resistant? It will probably now take three kicks to break open, instead of just one. I’ve probably gained myself about 5 seconds against a forced entry home invasion.

If that’s time used to move to concealment, or to grab a rifle, or even just to wake up, then it’s 5 very important seconds.

(This project is very easy to do – just change one screw at a time!)

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