Besides adding a better deadbolt and strike and hinge reinforcement plates, another item you can add for more security are residential door security bars.
This is a metal bar that is placed between the door handle and the floor. It’s the same concept as you’ve seen in a movie with a chair.
They have a notch at the top for the handle and an adjustable padded foot at the bottom for the floor. Most are adjustable to allow for differences in heights of the door handle or to be used on sliding doors.
The concept of these security bars is they absorb force that the deadbolt doesn’t because of the different direction. Whereas, deadbolts are perpendicular to the source of the force, residential security bars are positioned behind the door and take the force directly.
Don’t Rely Completely On The Security Bar
I wouldn’t recommend using these security bars as your only means of front door security. These should be used in conjunction with other security measures.
The door security bar is an active security measure because it needs to be placed at the door manually once you’re inside. If you forget to install it then it won’t work. Most of the options I have outlined to reinforce your front door, once installed, are passive and are always working.
These Work Best For Renter’s Security
Many times if you’re in an apartment or rent a house you cannot make any changes to door hardware or add reinforcement due to the signed lease agreement. These security bars are perfect if you find yourself in this situation because most of them don’t require any modifications to the door or floor to work.
Now that we’ve gone over some security bar information….
Let’s Take A Look At The Best Ones
BuddyBar Door Jammer
BuddyBar Door Jammer is the strongest, sturdiest door security bar available but it is also the most expensive. Notch at top for doorknob is made of metal instead of plastic like other security bars. This adjustable door security bar goes from 36″ to 51″ with locking metal teeth that according to the manufacturer holds better as more pressure is applied. This translates into more force is needed to get it to fail.
- Withstands 2,560 pounds of force – beyond a human’s capability
- Adjustable from 36in to 51in.
- Made of 16 gauge steel, thicker and stronger than industry standard 20 gauge
- Uses a metal teeth interlocking mechanism to lock at correct height
- Has a rubber foot that works on all kinds of flooring
- No plastic parts
- Is not designed to be used on a sliding door
- Weighs 8.2 lbs, heavier than most other security bars
- Cost the most of the security bars at $109
Mace Brand Jammer Door Brace
The Mace Brand Jammer Door Brace has pins instead of the catches like the Master Lock, this makes it less likely to fail under pressure. The collapsible 3 piece design allows for compact storage. Some have reported problems with the rubber end cap allowing it to slide on some surfaces.
- Notch and foot can be removed to use in sliding doors
- Adjustable from 24in to 46in. with 3 collapsible pieces
- Made of 20 gauge steel
- Security bracing pins hold pieces securely in place
- Some users have said it appears to be flimsy and not long enough to reach their doorknob
You’ve most likely heard of MasterLock through their line of padlocks. They also make lock boxes, gun locks, safes and door hardware. The 265D is the only Master Lock door security bar and that’s probably a good thing since the quality is not that good.
- Notch can be removed to use in sliding doors
- Foot is a ball joint to allow the foot to be flat to the floor
- Adjustable from 27.5in to 44.5in.
- Made of 20 gauge steel
- Best for on a budget at only $20
- Quality has been biggest complaint of users
- while the tube is made of 20 gauge steel the top and bottom pieces are made of hard plastic that can be broken off if hit or put under stress
- tube height is adjusted with a spring loaded catch and the spring sometimes fails
- there is a pad that comes with it to attach to the foot, if the pad is missing and you apply this bar it will damage your floor
Brinks 675-83001 Door Security Bar
Brinks has a well known name due to its armored trucks and safes. They have been in business since 1859, so they have a long history. However, Hampton Products actually has been manufacturing door hardware and security bars under the Brinks name since 2007.
- Can be used on doors and sliding doors
- Pivoting padded foot
- Adjustable from 25in to 43in.
- Made of 20 gauge steel
- Lifetime warranty
- Lightweight at 2.4 pounds
- It has a plastic, instead of rubber, foot that will slide on tile or hardwood floors
- Some found the foot to be loose on arrival and couldn’t reattach
- Top notch piece and bottom foot made of plastic so they are susceptible to breaking
- Is adjustable with pin catches like the MasterLock
The DoorJammer is advertised as a portable security device for doors when traveling but it can be used at home as well. It works by transferring the force applied from outside the door to a vertical force into the floor. The foot needs to be screwed down to adjust to the difference between the floor and the bottom of the doors. If the distance is much more than 3/4″ you might need to get an extender to make this work.
- Lightweight at only 8 ounces
- Specially designed for travel
- Made of lightweight aluminum
- Work on any type of flooring
- Easily remove in an emergency by pulling it upward
- Doesn’t work for sliding patio doors
- The lip snaps off at the corner where the door sits when force is applied
- If using on carpet the foot needs to be screwed down a lot to sit on subfloor
If you want to rely on a door security bar for safety I suggest you get the BuddyBar model. It may cost more but if this is a part of or your only home defense the $109 is worth it.
This is a comparison between the BuddyBar locking mechanism and MasterLock’s. When comparing the locking mechanism and the gauge of the steel construction, BuddyBar might cost more but the strength and quality is much better.