Latch Protection and Security Strikes

Latch protection products limit access to the latch and the bolt areas between the lock edge of the door and the jamb.

The latch protection must have a plate tall enough to permit the mounting screws to be located above and below the mortise body. The plate must be narrow enough to mount onto the exterior of the door and not obstruct the trim. If no trim is desired, an anti-vandal handle can be installed.

The plate must have a raised area (bump-out) to accommodate the exposed lip of a strike plate on a flush door equipped with a mortise or cylindrical lock strike plate. No bump-out is required for deadbolt protection.

If the door is equipped with a cylindrical lock instead of a mortise lock, different latch protection will need to be installed to accommodate different backsets and trim dimensions.

There is latch protection designed for offset doors as well as flush doors. If the door is just about flush with the forward edge of the jamb, the latch protection is a flat or relatively flat plate. If the door is offset, having a reveal, the latch protection must have a compatible series of bends for the door to close and latch.

In addition, some latch protection is equipped with one or two welded pins that enter drilled holes in the jamb. The purpose of the pin is to prevent an aluminum or metal doorjamb from being spread to create an opening large enough to accommodate the extended bolt, allowing the door to swing open.

Latch protection is also available for in-swing doors. The latch protection can consist of two “U” shaped pieces of metal. One piece is mounted onto the face of the jamb stop with the “U” shape pointing towards the door. The second piece is mounted onto the door. When the door closes, the two pieces interconnect stopping access to the latch or bolt area and preventing access to the latch protection mounting screws. M.A.G. Engineering Inc. manufactures this type of interlocking latch protection.

Out-swing latch protection is usually mounted onto the door using carriage bolts or heavy duty rivets. Depending upon the manufacturer, the carriage bolts or rivets may or may not be supplied.

A less visible alternative to surface mounted latch or bolt protection is the security strike. Oversized strike plates are available in a variety of metals, sizes and applications. They are designed to minimize the gap between the lock edge of the door and the jamb and to provide an increased level of security against forcing open a door.

These “super sized” strikes are normally installed on in swinging doors. Security strikes are available for latch and deadbolt locks as well as combination of latch and deadbolt openings. They are available in different lengths, some more than 18 inches and have upwards of nine mounting screw holes. Most of these strikes are designed to accommodate #10 screws three inches or longer. The screws are designed to not only screw into the jamb frame but into the studs securing the exterior and interior walls.

Depending upon the gap between the lock edge of the door and the jamb, the security strike plate can be either surface mounted or partially surface mounted in order to reduce access to the latch or bolt while increasing the level of security against forcing the door.

A variation on the security strike is the Sure-Strike that provides bolt and forced entry latch bolt and forced entry protection that works with the end user’s existing deadbolt locks. The Sure-Strike is an oversized strike plate whose larger (1-1/8” diameter) opening contains a number of spring loaded stainless steel pins within an elongated body. This body is designed to extend into a wall stud, providing additional protection against lateral movement.

When the deadbolt extends into the Sure-Strike, only those pins that are pressed against by the bolt are pushed back. The remaining pins stay in place, minimizing the amount of door travel when the deadbolt has been locked. When the deadbolt is unlocked, the Sure-Strike pins spring back into position flush with the surface of the strike plate. The faceplate of the Sure-Strike is manufactured from cold rolled steel.

Latch and bolt protection is important, even if the door or adjacent area is equipped with glass window large enough for someone to walk through. A break-in is more likely to occur through a door that has little or no additional protection. Adding latch protection provides visual deterrent.

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