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8 Effective Ways You Can Boost Apartment Door Security

by | Security Hacks

Most apartment doors are an easy target for intruders. Sometimes getting into the building is more difficult than breaking into one of its apartments. Maybe it’s the reason why most people has a false sense of security.

Apartment door security is something you should really care about. Sometimes just by taking a few measures, you can dramatically reduce the risk of a possible break-in. You don’t have to own the most secure apartment in the building. Burglars don’t like unnecessary risks and all you have to do is make them believe that breaking into your apartment has a really awful risk-reward ratio.

You can secure your apartment door many ways. There are a lot of complicated methods out there but if you’re like me, you prefer the hassle-free solutions. This is what this article is all about. Let’s see how you can burglar-proof your door easily and effectively.

Quick Tip: What are your chances of being burglarized? Are your home at risk? Find the answer and be one step ahead of criminals by knowing some stats they don’t want you to know. We’ve collected all the data you should know in this article

How can you secure your apartment door? In brief:

  1. Install a good quality deadbolt (an ANSI Grade 1)
  2. Check the deadbolt strike plate and if necessary, replace it to a more secure one
  3. Add hinge bolts
  4. Install sash jammers
  5. Use a strike plate lock when you’re at home
  6. Scare off criminals with a door stop
  7. Install a real or a dummy security camera to discourage the burglars
  8. Use a security bar or a door barricade – they will make your door much more resistant to kick-ins

1. Add a Grade 1 Deadbolt to Your Apartment Door

When it comes to door security, locks are the most obvious things to check and upgrade. A cheap and unreliable deadbolt calls intruders’ attention in no time. On the other hand, a good quality deadbolt often discourages criminals and can serve as a deterrent.

The American Nation Standards Institute (ANSI) has a reliable grading system that ranges from 1 to 3. If you decide to add an extra deadbolt to your apartment door (or replace an existing one) make sure you choose a Grade 1 type that is the most secure category. I recommend you have a look at this deadbolt with Grade 1 certification from Kwikset.

There’s usually not much difference in price between Grade 2 and Grade 1 deadbolts, so you’re better off with the latter one. If you prefer smart locks, check out our review about one of the most popular (and affordable) smart deadbolts here.

2. Reinforce the Deadbolt Strike Plate and Install Hinge Bolts to Prevent Intruders from Kicking In Your Apartment Door

A deadbolt strike plate is one of the two main parts of a deadbolt locking system. It’s a metal plate attached to the door frame that holds the bolt when the lock is closed.

When it comes to door security, a good quality (like Grade 1) deadbolt is extremely important, but in itself is not enough: you also want to reinforce the door frame the deadbolt extends into. This is where strike plates come in. It’s very important to understand that the strength of your apartment door depends to a large extent on the durability and quality of the strike plate.

There are many ways you can reinforce a deadbolt locking system. One of the most effective and simplest methods is to replace the existing strike plate to a more secure one. Make sure you choose a strike plate with long anchor screws and with a so-called strike-box (it’s a steel cup the bolt locks into). Visit your local locksmith shop or get one on Amazon. It only costs a few bucks.

Another way of making your door more resistant to kick-ins is to install hinge bolts. These are small metal bolts that fit into a hole on the door frame. They’re usually installed above and below the hinges.

Hinge bolts are especially important security additions when you have a door that opens outwards because in that case, burglars can easily access the hinge pins from the outside. Just like strike plates, hinge bolts are also inexpensive and can greatly enhance apartment door security.

If you want to make your door kick-proof, make sure you also check out our step-by-step guide here for more tips and tricks.

3. Sash Jammers: Simple Devices with Great Impact on Apartment Door Security

When it comes to door security, installing sash jammers is a simple yet effective solution. They’re inexpensive and you can install them easily and quickly. You can mount most models using only two screws. Usually, it’s recommended to place two sash jammers on the door frame, about four inches from the top and the bottom of the door.

One important thing to note about sash jammers: over time certain models tend to become loose and when it happens they may drop down after you close the door and lock you out. You can prevent this situation by checking the tightness during installation, and replacing the sash jammer when it becomes loose.

As an alternative, you can use a keyless door reinforcement lock. Installation is very simple and it can withstand hundreds of pounds of force. If you want to reinforce your apartment door from the inside, I definitely recommend you to check out this inexpensive item.

Need to secure a door without using a lock? Click here to find some useful methods that really work.

4. Door Stop Alarm: Cheap and Easy Solution to Scare Off Intruders

Door stop alarms are simple devices. They run on batteries and usually have a wedge shape. They require no real installation: you just have to switch on the alarm and slide it underneath the door. If someone attempts to open the door the alarm sounds. It’s pretty loud so you will hear it even if you’re asleep and most burglars will be deterred.

Besides being inexpensive, a major advantage of a door stop alarm is that it doesn’t require any drilling or screwing to work so you don’t have to make any permanent changes to the apartment. That makes it a perfect choice for tenants. Its biggest drawback is that you can only use it when you’re at home.

Check out current pricing on Amazon here.

5. Reinforce Your Apartment Door with a Strike Plate Lock

A strike plate lock is a simple and very durable security device that dramatically reduces the chance of any intrusion while you’re at home. Moreover, its installation is very easy: you just have to fix it to the door frame using two screws. That’s all. Adding a strike plate lock is one of the best ways to secure a door from the inside.

A door chain can be an alternative to a strike plate lock. They may seem very similar at first sight, however, there are some really important differences. A heavy-duty strike plate lock is able to withstand more than 50 full force kicks, while a standard door chain usually breaks after just a few ones. Also, you can install easier and faster a strike plate lock than a door chain. Regarding the price, there’s not much difference: a strike plate lock usually costs almost the same as a good quality door chain.

Watch the video below to see why a strike plate lock is one of the best solutions if you want to secure your door from being kicked in.

6. Discourage Intruders with a Security Camera (Real or Dummy One)

None of the criminals like to be recorded and most of them try to avoid apartments with a security camera at all costs. It’s just not worth the risk. Thus there’s a much lower chance of being robbed if your apartment door is secured by a surveillance camera.

Depending on how much money you want to spend, you can choose a real or a dummy security camera. If your sole purpose is to deterrent intruders then go for a dummy camera. There are some inexpensive models on Amazon that indeed look like real ones.

If you need more than just a visual deterrent, opt for a real security camera. You can get a quality one for a pretty affordable price on Amazon. They usually feature night vision, motion detection, strobe lights to scare off burglars and work with Alexa and Google Home as well.

As an alternative, check out Ring’s home security system that offers a cost-effective all-in-one solution to protect your apartment from burglars, fires and water damage.

A security camera watching your apartment door is a clear message for burglars that they had better search for another victim because you take security seriously.

7. Strengthen Your Apartment Door with a Security Bar

Using a security bar is a great inexpensive solution if you want to secure your apartment door from the inside. It requires no installation, you just have to place the yoke under the handle and the other end of the security bar on the floor and you’re done.

Security bars are adjustable therefore they fit most standard apartment doors. They are usually made of steel, so their durability is not bad either. If intruders try to kick in a door reinforced with a security bar, they will have a much harder time because the security bar will absorb most of the forces. After a few tries, most intruders will give up and take to their heels.

If you don’t want to mess with drilling and screwing but need to secure your apartment door from the inside, consider investing in a quality security bar, like this one. Besides portable door barricades, security bars are one of the best temporary solutions out there.

FYI – If you want to secure an outward opening door, click here for the best methods and to learn why you should pay close attention to the hinges.

8. Make Your Apartment Door Even More Resistant with a Door Barricade


Basically, there are two types of door barricades: portable and permanent. Usually, a fixed, permanent barricade gives you better protection against force attacks and kick-ins. However, you can significantly improve apartment door security with a portable barricade too. One major advantage of door barricades is that they use the strength of the floor instead of the door frame (that’s why they’re great additions to deadbolts).

The installation of a permanent door barricade is quick and easy and can be done on most types of floor: wood, cement, stone, carpeted and tile. First, you have to screw the base plate down to the floor and then slide in the barrier to lock the door. When you want to open the door you just have to slide out the barrier with a single motion.

Check out current pricing on Amazon here.

A portable door barricade comes in handy when you’re not allowed to drill holes in the floor but you want to secure your apartment door from the inside. It’s very easy to use, you just have to slide the base under the door and then adjust the foot at the end of the hinge leg. You can combine it with a security bar for maximum protection.

Long story short, if you want to reinforce your door without damaging it, opt for a door barricade or a security bar (or both).

If you have a UPVC door, check out our article on how you can secure it easily.

You’ll find a collection of 70+ home safety measures in this article. Check it out if you want to take safety to the next level.

Summary

As you can see there are many possibilities to reinforce your apartment door. All the above methods are effective, but that doesn’t mean you have to apply all of those to prevent a burglary. Check your apartment door and find the weak points. Does it open outwards? Then start by installing hinge bolts. Is there a cheap deadbolt strike plate without a strike-box? Replace it for a more secure one. And so on. I think you get the point.

If you’re not allowed to make any permanent changes, there are some great temporary solutions on the list. But if you still feel unsafe in the apartment talk to the owner. Chances are great that you will be allowed to take the necessary permanent security measures. After all, it’s all about your safety.

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About the Author

James Mora is the founder of DailyHomeSafety. He is an avid DIYer, former healthcare professional and security manager. He is passionate about home improvement and teaching.