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  1. #1
    Kathi Schachinger's Avatar
    Kathi Schachinger Guest

    Default security door types" comparison

    HI.
    I want to install new external security doors in my house, by adding them to the outside of the existing wooden doors that have small windows at doorknob level. I have looked at some length online, at Lowe's and at Home Depot (and Doormasters), and can't find an independent comparison of:
    1. types of doors
    a. all-glass, from-the-factory, storm doors
    b. glass-and-screen, from-the-factor, storm doors
    (I'd like to know how much, if any, security you lose by including a screen element in the door, instead of just one pane of glass)

    2. brands of doors
    a. Larson
    b. Andersen
    c. any other brand I should be considering/
    3. since they attach to the external sill of the existing doorframe, is that a real security risk?

    any answers/advice greatly appreciated.
    thanks
    Kathi

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: security door types" comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by Kathi Schachinger View Post
    HI.
    I want to install new external security doors in my house, by adding them to the outside of the existing wooden doors that have small windows at doorknob level. I have looked at some length online, at Lowe's and at Home Depot (and Doormasters), and can't find an independent comparison of:
    1. types of doors
    a. all-glass, from-the-factory, storm doors
    b. glass-and-screen, from-the-factor, storm doors
    (I'd like to know how much, if any, security you lose by including a screen element in the door, instead of just one pane of glass)

    2. brands of doors
    a. Larson
    b. Andersen
    c. any other brand I should be considering/
    3. since they attach to the external sill of the existing doorframe, is that a real security risk?

    any answers/advice greatly appreciated.
    thanks
    Kathi
    I do not like security doors or windows... They lock people out of a home but they also lock people in a home..... Even if you keep the key at the door, folks die every year from being locked in a home and it catches fire. Even with keyed deadbolts on normal entry doors folks get into trouble.

    A security door will not keep a person from breaking out a window to gain entry if they are intent on getting in.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  3. #3
    Kathi Schachinger's Avatar
    Kathi Schachinger Guest

    Default Re: security door types" comparison

    Thanks, Scott.
    We are not considering any door that has to be unlocked with a key from the inside, for starters. I saw too may replies similar to yours on this website/blog.

    I know that nothing will keep a determined person out of the house. But I'd like to make it a little harder and get some additional insulation in the process. Our existing doors in the back of the house are wooden doors with six single panes of glass in the top half of the door.

    What would you suggest to add a level of security?
    k


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,248

    Default Re: security door types" comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by Kathi Schachinger View Post
    What would you suggest to add a level of security?
    Probably, for the price of those security doors, you could get impact rated doors, then invest in some good quality locks.

    Impact rated doors will deflect a 9 pound 2x4 flying at it at 34 mph - if the door can keep that from penetrating, then a person trying to break in will still be working on the door when you come home after work for dinner ... ... as long as you have good quality locks installed.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  5. #5
    Kathi Schachinger's Avatar
    Kathi Schachinger Guest

    Default "impact-rated" doors

    Great; thanks.
    Okay, so we're looking at Larson and Andersen doors; they claim to be impact-rated.
    Here's the Larson model we are considering. Larson Manufacturing
    I can't tell whether it is up to the level you are referring to; I haven't found any way to actually compare them!
    Thanks for helping me out here!
    k


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,248

    Default Re: "impact-rated" doors

    Quote Originally Posted by Kathi Schachinger View Post
    Here's the Larson model we are considering. Larson Manufacturing
    I can't tell whether it is up to the level you are referring to; I haven't found any way to actually compare them!
    Thanks for helping me out here!
    k
    I found this ( Larson Manufacturing ) on the Larson site, and while possibly not impact rated as I described (which is for wind-borne debris areas in hurricane prone areas), it does state this:
    The new SecureElegance storm door combines innovative design, durable components and KeepSafe® laminated glass by Solutia Inc. The glass features a tough layer of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) fused between two panes of tempered glass. If the glass is broken, the laminated interlayer is designed to remain intact to reduce the risk of penetration. The glass performs similarly to the glass in automotive windshields, which is designed to keep occupants safe from shards of glass following an impact to the front of the car.
    “SecureElegance storm doors are impervious to blows from crowbars, baseball bats and even sledge hammers. It will break on the surface, but an intruder will be unable to get through,” according to Jeff Rief, Chief Operating Officer of marketing for LARSON Manufacturing. “Our goal was to develop a storm door that looks like a conventional glass door, but doesn’t appear to be an obvious barrier from inside out. We wanted people to be able to open their homes and let in light without compromising their safety, or the look of their homes.”
    However, it also states this:
    In addition to the KeepSafe glass, the SecureElegance line of doors also boasts a tough metal frame, hidden hinges and the Guardian 3 triple locking system that is unique to the industry. The Guardian 3 lock system secures the door to the jamb at the top, middle and bottom of the door. It requires two steps to lock and unlock, making it child-safe yet adult-friendly.
    I would be concerned about the "two steps to lock and unlock" - not the "to lock" part, but the 'to unlock' part.

    This is from the 2006 IRC, I'm not sure what code is applicable in your area, but this is a good reference to consider and judge against:
    - R311.4.4 Type of lock or latch. All egress doors shall be readily openable from the side from which egress is to be made without the use of a key or special knowledge or effort.

    You do not want to trap someone inside while the house is burning down around them.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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