View Full Version : Cheap methods to reinforce a home, office, hotel room, etc.

March 31, 2012, 10:46 PM
I thought a thread like this would be helpful in sharing information about cheap ways to reinforce a room whether that be your hotel room, home or office. I will start with the methods that I know of and then you can feel free to add your own. Please, only list reasonable methods which are economical and expedient.

Master Lock Security Bar $15.50 - Simple bar which mounts behind door knob and has a rubber stop on the bottom which helps prevent forceful entry


Buddy Bar Door Jammer- Essentially a premium version of the Master Lock Bar and claims to work on carpet $75


GE Smart Home Wireless Kit- Has 3 window sensors, 1 door sensor, 120 decibel alarm as loud as car horn $24.00


GE Smart Home door stop- When door is opened, 120 decibel alarm goes off.$9.75


Techko hanging door knob alarm - Hangs on knob, once door is open then alarm goes off. $26.70


GE Motion Sensor - $20


Simple motion sensing flood lights and other motion sensors for all occasions - lots to choose from $10


April 1, 2012, 02:14 PM
(And this is NOT an original thought)

How ‘bout modifying those alarms so that before they erupt with the 120 decibel alarm they play the ominous, terrifying, sound of the 12 gauge pump shotgun being racked. (Which we all know makes bad guys either faint and wet themselves or run screaming from the scene.) Or maybe the four clicks of SAA being cocked, or maybe BOTH or maybe the double clutch Ma Deuce being readied or maybe the sound of the Ordnance Regiment of the Royal Fusiliers cocking their flintlocks or maybe…

Oops sorry, my meds are here and I have to go now.

old bear
April 1, 2012, 07:01 PM
How about a $3.00 rubber door shim? Cheap, easy to carry in suitcase or briefcase.

April 2, 2012, 05:18 AM
Just ordered the door jam, should be here by the end of the week.

April 2, 2012, 09:30 AM
How about a $3.00 rubber door shim? Cheap, easy to carry in suitcase or briefcase

^^^^^^^ That's it right there. Cheapest and most effective.

Just put one under a door and try to kick it in. You'll wear out your "kicker" first.

April 2, 2012, 09:40 AM
I lean a chair under the door knob so that the chair acts as a jam. Cost nothing..

April 2, 2012, 09:46 AM
There is good reason to focus on entrance-way reinforcement because 75% of all burglars enter through the door. Here are a few more ideas I found:

The Door Club $25
I have a feeling the usefulness of this item would depend upon how well its installed. Even if it is installed well, I dont think it would stop someone who is determined from bringing down the door, but I do think it would add at least several seconds to the breakdown time.


Another version of a similar device

Door Frame Reinforcement kicks with upgraded door jamb and longer screws-
There are quite a few of these kits on the internet and at retail stores like Home Depot. Again, I dont think these kits will stop someone who is determined, but will add several seconds to breakdown time.


The best way to secure an entryway in my opinion is through one of these security screen doors with a locking deadbolt. These are typically swing out designs so there is no way to kick it down. You could probably pry it open, but not kick it. I think this security screen would add minutes to breakdown time. If you combine all the tricks together such as security screen, door jamb reinforcement, door club and finally the door knob alarm then it would add several minutes to breakdown time.


At this point, the burglar would probably try an alternate method such as breaking through a window. However, breaking a window is messy and dangerous. Ever try to crawl through a broken window and then there is the noise it makes plus it really looks like you are trying to break into the house.

The preferred method of burglars is through the door.

April 2, 2012, 06:54 PM
Pepper spray? Take a face - full and tell me it doesn't work. I have, and... it does. You either drop or run (aimlessly).

April 2, 2012, 07:09 PM
Dobermans - available for a nominal fee at most shelters.
You don't have to worry about misfires, and by the time they run out of "ammo" the job's probably done.
Also, they solve the problem of "what if I don't wake up?".

April 4, 2012, 09:20 AM
I actually have these, more because of a sundowning elderly mother than fear of burglars, but they are VERY effective. The door opens slightly and the sound is louder than that of our house alarm. The one time I was exhausted and slept through it starting to sound, the dog took to howling and made sure that I was up. If a burglar had crashed into it, I'm sure it would have taken them by surprise.

April 6, 2012, 05:21 PM

April 8, 2012, 08:53 PM
thank you for this thread

April 9, 2012, 06:01 AM
I lean a chair under the door knob so that the chair acts as a jam. Cost nothing..

Yep! That's exactly what I do too.

April 9, 2012, 06:48 PM
Chair reinforcing the door and a 33 round "Happy Stick" in the G-19 on the night stand. I also request rooms at the far end of the hall away from the elevators on the highest floor. There are plenty of other folks below me to go thru first.

April 9, 2012, 07:45 PM

April 10, 2012, 02:34 AM
I recently picked up the 120db doorjamb alarm mentioned above for my garage storage area door, and two 120db motion sensor alarms (with key-fobs that use the same code) for my front door and back door areas.

My main home defense concern is someone breaking in and me not hearing them. These should alleviate that issue entirely.

I can also bring the door jam when traveling for added security.

April 10, 2012, 03:27 AM
Plus, if I"m only going to be staying a few days, I tell the desk to suspend maid service.

I used to get a weird look in the past. But I think it it is getting more common as that is no longer the case.

April 12, 2012, 04:45 PM
great stuff guys! Don't forget about the various methods used to hide your protection, while still being able to easily access it. I appreciate this thread! :cool:

-Fake books that have a cut-out portion to house a pistol

-Specialized holsters that mount behind/under furniture

-I've seen a really cool mantle clock that works the same way as the previously mentioned hide-away book.

If you know of others, please embellish!

April 13, 2012, 09:03 AM
Something alot of people overlook, dead bolts and the door frame. Firstly, the longer the actual bolt of the lock is, the harder it is to bust open the door. The striker plate is another concern. The cheap little pieces of steel aren't strong at all. I don't want anything less than 1/8 steel that's at least 6 inches long held in with a handful of the best screws you can buy or even bolts if possible. I've heard of people having them the full length of the door frame. In my opinion, overkill is never bad when it comes to this. Another thing, the door hinges. Usually people don't even think about them. Use only quality hinges with good hardware. And another thing you can do is pin the hinges. And that is drilling holes in the hinges, putting a steel dowel rod in one side and then when the door is shut, the dowel rod is going through both sides of the hinge. By doing this, even if they break the hinges loose, there is a dowel rod holding them in place still. And I recommend atleast 3 hinges, more isn't bad. And lastly, the door casings themselves. Alot of them are made as cheaply as possible. People building new houses to sell don't use the expensive stuff, it's that simple. And when they are installed, let's say I've seen some questionable work. And especially interior doors. The interior doors are usually just thrown in there.I've seen some with an inch of shims so they fit. Not exactly strong, so don't expect your inside doors to hold up if someone wants to get in the room behind it. So my advice is, don't be afraid to reinforce everything.

April 13, 2012, 08:28 PM
Having just replaced all nine hollow-core interior doors with nice solid core doors in the house, I can testify that if you have less than 1/2" of shimming in the door, you are lucky. Every single one was at least that, and two were an inch. I used 3" screws to secure the jamb to the framing, first nail to fit, then add the screws for security, at least that's what I did. You can use the new plastic shims, they won't split like the wooden shims do, made the install a bit easier.

Had a good time finding 3" oil-rubbed bronze screws, though. Next time I'll just paint the heads.

Soon as the doors are all painted, the new alarm system goes up. Uses cellular phone links so cutting the phone wire won't silence it.

I've got dead bolts on all exterior doors, of course, but added a deadbolt to the door between garage and laundry room, then another between laundry room and main interior space. So it's going to take some time to get through all that.

April 13, 2012, 09:19 PM
I am putting my safe in my closet, nothing all that valuable in it, but it's my stuff. So I want a door. The cheapest one Do It Center sells is almost $40. Or I can spend about $30 on 2x4s and make a very nice looking and solid door.

April 15, 2012, 09:17 PM
I use this spring steel door latch. It hooks into the striker plate and the steel pin prevents the door from opening.


April 18, 2012, 11:32 PM
I can't speak for all areas of protection or crime prevention but I have worked security details in several hotel & resort properties and can add this input about security-defense;

Check the lighting day & night. Proper lights(bright enough to read a magazine or paper) help deter most criminals and will allow you to be alert to serious problems. If the lights are dim or out of order, change rooms or avoid the property. Also watch for dark spots or areas where a person may conceal themselves.
When you check into a big hotel or large resort, ask for a room or suite between the 4th & 10th floor(s). Many petty thieves or criminals(rapists, sex offenders, perverts, etc) want fast, easy access to the floors & spaces. Over 3/4 floors could take to long to flee or avoid security/local law enforcement in a dispute. A room below the 10th floor works good because you can still escape a hotel fire or major emergency quickly. A security expert I saw on TV made those points & to me, it makes a lot of sense.
Secure your room & vehicle(s) and do NOT leave high value items in plain view. Doing security work in a high tourist area, I've seen many guests leave cameras, computers, gear, tools, firearms, jewelry, etc in the open of cars or in open rooms. It sounds simple but you'd be surprised how often it occurs.

Finally, I'd add that if you spend an extra $20-30.00 you may have a safer/better stay than trying to "go cheap" & be surrounded by scummy/unstable people. As a hotel security guard, I had many guests gripe about $ then be concerned about every noise or person they saw.
I know times are tough but a safe, secure environment is worth the extra $.

April 21, 2012, 10:03 PM
this badboy works wonders and is WAY cheaper than a door alarm!

there's NO way you're getting a door open with this guy in place. :cool:

April 22, 2012, 08:21 AM
How would a person know which locks are harder to pick? I took a safe to a locksmith once ( no key). And he had it open in about 10 seconds. I hear lock picking is easy if you know what you are doing.

April 22, 2012, 09:39 AM
How would a person know which locks are harder to pick?

How tough a lock (as in a key lock) is to pick often relies on the tolerances between the pins. So more expensive locks are typically harder to pick because they are manufactured with more specific tolerances.

A good rule of thumb is to see how much wiggle the key cylinder has if you just stick a small screwdriver in the key slot and turn it back and forth.

A lot of wiggle typically means it is easy to pick. Little or no wiggle typically means means it is tough.

I say "typically" because there are always exceptions.

I hope that helps.