What Are the Different Types of Door Security?

Christian Petersen

Door security systems are any device or system designed to prevent unauthorized access through a doorway, such as occurs during a break-in or burglary. They can take many forms: locks, chains, reinforcements, and alarms. Door construction itself is an important factor for door security as inferior materials or assembly methods can compromise a door's ability to maintain structural integrity during a break in.

Locks are the most common type of door security.
Locks are the most common type of door security.

The first consideration in any comprehensive door security plan is the construction of the door and its frame. Strongly constructed metal or solid wood doors with reinforced frames resist forced entry much better than cheaper laminated or hollow core doors. Laminated doors can splinter and de-laminate when struck forcefully. Solid wood or steel doors are much harder to damage, although sometimes a compromise is reached by reinforcing a laminated door with a metal plate that wraps around the door from front to back in the area where the lock is located. Reinforced door frames and door jambs are also important for structural integrity and can help prevent a door from being compromised by brute force.

Alarm systems are another important form of door security.
Alarm systems are another important form of door security.

Locks are the single most common type of door security and can take many forms. Standard doorknobs have locks which lock the door bolt in place, but these are not especially strong in most cases. A typical exterior door on many homes will have a separate keyed lock that operates a deadbolt, which is a metal bar that extends from the lock into the door frame to hold the door in place. These locks, when properly installed are reasonably effective. Some deadbolt locks are designed to be resistant to picking and tampering and may be mounted on the door with a large metal plate for reinforcement and added strength.

Other types of door locks are possible as well, including sliding chain locks which allow the door to be opened slightly when engaged, but prevent removal of the chain. Hook and eye latches, manual sliding bars, and other specialty locks and latches are also sometimes used. Metal or wooden blocks or bars placed across the door, extending over the frame in either direction are another very simple type of lock, although this may also be considered a type of reinforcement.

Door reinforcement can take many forms besides built-in or structural improvements like reinforced jambs and frames. Bars, locking doorstops, and braces can be used to reinforce a door, preventing it from being opened even if the lock is compromised. These kinds of devices, such as a bracing bar, typically mount on the floor and extend to the door. A sturdy floor mount anchors one end of the bar, which extends towards the door at an angle, where it locks in place in another fixture. These types of braces are very strong, making it nearly impossible to force open a door.

Alarm systems are another important form of door security. Electronic systems sound an alarm, either on-site, at a remote location that is monitored, or both. Local alarms can frighten off potential intruders, and remote monitoring can notify authorities automatically or alert a human monitor that an intrusion has occurred so that they can take appropriate action.

Some door security devices and systems don't really fit into any of these categories. Door viewing ports, or spy-holes, allow for direct visual inspection of visitors or potential intruders. Cameras serve the same purpose but allow for remote visual monitoring and long term recording of the door and surroundings for future reference if necessary. Intercom devices allow for secure communication from one side of the door to the other, and hinge screws are special devices that hold a door in place even if the hinge pins have been removed.

Door security systems are designed to prevent unauthorized access through a doorway.
Door security systems are designed to prevent unauthorized access through a doorway.

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Discussion Comments


My husband and I just removed our old screen door and replaced it with a more secure storm door. This was quite a job since neither of us had hung a door before, but the project was well worth the effort in my opinion.

I love the look of the old fashioned screen door, but it is virtually useless as a means of security. The glass in the new storm door is break resistant, and the lock is sturdy, if not fail proof. I feel more secure with two strong doors between me and whatever danger is on the other side of the door.


Having some type of electronic warning system attached to your doors and windows makes a lot of sense. You don't have to purchase an expensive full-blown alarm system that comes with a monthly monitoring fee, but you should have something.

I was surprised to learn just how affordable some of the smaller systems are. They won't prevent a break-in, but they will warn whoever is in the house, and this is important. Also, the alarm might scare away the intruder.


I have always been a bit leery about having a door with glass windows or glass sections of any kind, especially when the glass sections are large enough and positioned so that someone could break the glass and then reach through and open the door. We have one of these at our back door, and I have been planning to replace it with a more secure door of some type.

The other day, my girlfriend found an article on the Internet about a piece of plastic film that you can place over the glass in the door, and the glass is supposed to be protected from breaking, even when someone hits it with a heavy object. I read the article and watched the attached video. The demonstration looked good on the video, but this seems too good to be true, so I'm not sold yet.

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