//The Door Guardian//
Before I talk about “The Door Guardian”, I want to thank everybody who participated in the TimelessFinance First Anniversary Giveaway. Later on Friday I’ll post winners further down on this page.
I really like my new neighbours in The Hammer. We live between another young family and a Centenarian; I actually can’t recall meeting anybody 100+, so this kind of longevity is quite remarkable to me. But this doesn’t mean security is unimportant — criminals don’t avoid neighbourhoods because they have nice residents. It’s important to note that security features merely deter crime; only an armed good guy (or armed robot) can stop a bad guy. But until our tyrannical government legalizes robot sentry turrets, I’ll focus my efforts on deterring and delaying criminals’ paths of entry. An important deterrent is to ensure every external door has two locking points. When a burglar kicks in a door or pries it, part of the door handle (e.g. the latch bolt) is typically what gives in. The hinges rarely break. Making the weaker side of any external door stronger is thus an important task for securing your home.
The best option for making a door stronger is to install a three-point locking door. But this is a personal finance blog so I can’t, in good conscience, recommend a multi-thousand dollar custom door option when some simple modifications will suffice. Unless the marginal utility you derive from security justifies spending thousands on your doors, a deadbolt is an affordable alternative. A deadbolt can increase the time it takes an intruder to make entry, and a decent deadbolt costs less than $20. If you’ve got a properly installed strike and a strong jamb, the right type of deadbolt will stand up to quite a few kicks.
My house had a secondary locking mechanism (deadbolts) on two out of three doors. Adding such a mechanism to the third door was an important, quick improvement (why bother with deadbolts on two doors if a third door can be easily busted into?) But there was a problem — the door is metal with a hollow core. I have neither the ability nor the inclination to install a deadbolt on a metal door. A chain lock was out of the question — those things just don’t work, especially since I’d be screwing it into drywall on the inside. I’ve seen a locking system in hotel rooms where an immobile “arm” is attached to the door and a swinging u-shaped latch (which flips over the arm) is attached to the wall. This system would work — except that the door in question has trim all around it.
I found an excellent compromise in “The Door Guardian”. Here it is installed on my door (or, more accurately, my door frame):
I picked one up at Home Depot for $19.99 (which I consider to be steep if you’re locking a bunch of doors but I only had one door to secure). This deadbolt locking system attaches to the door’s frame with 3-inch screws. For the door to be kicked open, the part of the frame holding The Door Guardian would need to get ripped out. But when the door is closed, it’s applying constant pressure to the lock, holding it snug against the frame. That makes it harder to rip out the lock. The design is elegant in its simplicity. You can’t lock and unlock this device from outside the door, so only put it on doors you wouldn’t typically use for coming-and-going.
The installation was simple. Having said this, the product’s claim that “all you need is a screwdriver” to install it is definitely inaccurate. I couldn’t even open the package without scissors. To install the lock properly, you need to put 3-inch screws into your freaking door frame — good luck doing this if you don’t have a drill to make pilot holes.
I highly encourage you to look at The Door Guardian if you need an extra locking mechanism for a door. Install it up high and it makes a great child safety lock, too.
//Cat – playing with her doll//
//TimelessFinance First Anniversary Giveaway//
Thanks to all who participated, here are the winners: (I found out the list gets published in the RaffleCopter widget but I’ll post them here since I promised it anyway:)
Vix V (an awesome blogger and fellow “My Money and Me” honouree)- Winner of 1st prize – $250 through PayPal
Gene (who you likely recognize from the comments!)- Winner of 2nd prize – TurboTax (one 2013 Canadian online license) and The Beginner’s Guide to Saving and Investing for Canadians
Mochi and Macarons (another awesome blogger who writes about building wealth not excuses) –
Winner of 3rd prize – TurboTax (one 2013 Canadian online license)
Mochi graciously let me know that she wouldn’t make use of the TurboTax license so I re-drew the 3rd place prize. The new winner is a TF supporter since our D.O.B. and a good friend, Jack Braithwaite. Congrats Jack!
And congrats to the winners of the secondary promotional giveaway for bloggers, Mr. CBB ($100) and Pauline ($50)!