Tech Tips: Preventing Forced Entry

Aug. 2, 2019
To create the greatest possible deterrent, Frontline Defense created the full door latch protector

Forced entry is a popular technique employed by criminals when committing burglaries, robberies and home invasions. Most doors are very vulnerable to forced entry, even when they are equipped with auxiliary locks like deadbolts.

The construction of the door and frame is an important factor when determining an opening’s vulnerability to attack.

Locksmiths frequently work on doors, repairing, replacing and upgrading them. Often the door repair is associated with another issue on the door, such as it requiring to be upgraded to electronic access control, an improved locking arrangement, or a door which does not open or close properly.

I can recall numerous situations where although I was very willing to perform upgrades, problems with the doors themselves needed to be addressed. Bad hinges mounted on racked or rusty frames is a common issue. Warped jambs or doors are another. It is amazing how a warped door will resist being twisted back into alignment.

On one occasion the door seemed reasonably sound, but would not open because the sidewalk had buckled. In that case, the door was not in use, but the occupants wanted to begin using the door. This door would not open far enough for Twiggy to slip through it. It was Fire Exit door and it seemed weird the Fire Marshal had let it go. He was always pretty fussy when he inspected my doors!

Some door accessories are designed to repair damaged doors and frames, but in many cases, the repairs are labor intensive, are not aesthetically appealing (they look bad) and the repairs are a likely point of failure against future attacks.

Also the building code has strict rules as to what can be done in the way of repair and modifications to doors, particularly Fire Rated Doors.

To maintain high standards for my work I keep the requirements for fire doors in mind when I work on any door.

The best scenario is to install approved accessories to a properly working door before an attack.

Historically felons have found easy access to property by merely using a pry bar or similar device to pop open doors to gain access. To create the greatest possible deterrent against this type of entry, Frontline created the full door latch protector.

Since 2008, Frontline has supplied this technology to retail, government, commercial and residential doors, deterring and eliminating forceful entry into buildings creating safety and security for all owners.

Designed for both out-swing and in-swing doors, the system is offered in both aluminum and steel material and available in several standard colors, and can be custom ordered to fit any size and color required.

Flat Astragal:

4101  Steel Flat Bar Powder Coated Silver – 3” X 82”

4103  Steel Flat Bar Powder Coated Brown – 3” X 82”

4201  Steel Bar Powder Coated Silver – 4” X 82”

4203  Steel Bar Powder Coated Brown – 4” X 82”

Offset Astragal:

5101  Steel Offset Bar Powder Coated Silver – 3” X 82”

5103  Steel Offset Bar Powder Coated Brown – 3” X 82”

5201  Steel Offset Bar Powder Coated Silver – 4” X 82”

5203  Steel Offset Bar Powder Coated Brown – 4” X 82”

Installation hardware is included with all orders. Custom door latch protectors are also available.

The Locksmith Ledger interviewed Ron Murray, the Owner of Frontline Defense Systems Inc. for details on his company and his products. Following are the Ledger's questions and Murray's answers.

Please tell us about yourself and your company.

I have owned Pop-A-Lock of Edmonton since 2014. wWe became very big supporters of the product installing over 150 per year so when the opportunity came up last fall, we jumped at it.

What inspired you to invent this product?

We didn't invent it; we became big supporters after seeing break-ins drop to near zero after installing them

Can it be used on fire or smoke doors?

Yes, not only does it prevent prying but it also fills the gap between doors and/or door and frame to reduce wind and air seepage

Can it be used on both inswinging and outswinging doors?

Yes.  There are two different versions, one for inswing, one for outswing

Is it for exterior or interior doors?

Both. Exterior are almost always outswing, while mechanical, electrical, boiler rooms often have inswing doors and we have a solution for that. In addition, we have heard of them being installed on hotel room doors to prevent a pry tool from being run up the frame and popping the latch.

Is it for residential or commercial use?

The best place for it is multi-family residential, high traffic buildings with latches and not deadbolts. Anything with an electric strike first or any strike plate is an obvious one and we see the most dramatic drop in criminal access on these doors.

On commercial doors, it provides an extra layer of protection. On rear exit doors that criminals pry, although they can't get in, they break the seal on the door, negating its fire rating. They are used for high target shops like cell phone stores, cannabis and vape shops, money exchange places and even doors at bars, restaurants and liquor stores.

For residential use, we sell the inswings on single family homes and apartments for an extra layer of protection. Primarily these work as a deterrent. Criminals see them as a harder target and although the crime does not go away, it goes elsewhere and you are less likely to be the victim

The product has hardly been marketed outside of western Canada yet is found on almost every apartment and condo building in Alberta. Any that don’t have it become the next target.

Where can the product NOT be used?

Right now, automatic sliding doors do not work with it. Also revolving doors and some double doors where both are active

What is the product's efficacy?

We have seen problem buildings go from finding homeless people sleeping in them nightly to zero right away.  We almost always see an increase in problems in buildings without them as soon as we put new ones on a building next door.

What products do you offer?

Outswing  - Steel or aluminum

  • 82", 95" and 107" (107 in steel only) length
  • three different widths and two different throat sizes
  • Clear, duronotic, white or black

Inswing - aluminum only, lengths of 82 and 95" in finishes of clear, white, duronotic and black

What custom door latch protectors do you offer?

We can do almost anything custom in steel, from flat and offset astragals to interlocks, any size, finish or length.  Aluminum is much more restricted

Do you have any new products forthcoming?

We are looking at a two-piece interlocker for sliding doors.

For more information, visit

About the Author

Tim O'Leary

Tim O'Leary is a security consultant, trainer and technician who has also been writing articles on all areas of locksmithing & physical security for many years.