The door hinges play an essential role in home security. Unfortunately, many homeowners overlook this hardware’s usefulness even though they can secure your door and prolong its longevity.
If you have a front door that opens on the outside, a potential burglar can lift it off and enter your home without bothering to unlock it. Therefore, it is vital to learn about security hinges everything you need to know. Only then can you choose their right size and type and fit them properly.
The Security Hinges Purpose
The security door hinge is mechanical hardware that contains two movable parts rotating around a fixed central piece. You need to screw one side to the door frame and the other on the door to work correctly. Some models available on the market have a limited angle of opening, while others can rotate at 360 degrees.
Typically, you should place the security pins on the door that swings toward the outside. In the past, most homes had these models since they saved the interior space and provided a faster exit in case of an emergency.
Unfortunately, this model has pins exposed. The burglar can tap them out and quickly access your home. Therefore, you need safety security hinges to prevent removing the pins and increase your home’s safety. Even if you have the door that opens on the inside, you can install these pieces to strengthen it.
Security Hinge System
If you go to the local store with security hinges in mind, you can get confused with all the variations the salesman offers you. However, there are three basic systems for the security door hardware you can choose:
- Set screw system – On this design, a set screw holds the pin in place, and no one can reach it once you close the door. However, you can quickly access the set screw when you open the door and retract it to remove the pin when needed.
- Fast-riveted type – The pins on this system are longer than the hinge. Once you insert the pins, they will create a rivet on the pin’s top and bottom. As a result, that will prevent the pin’s removal. It is the most secure system available, but you need to remove the screws entirely if you need to take off your door.
- Safety studs – Another alternative is the safety studs, which will hold the door hinges even if somebody removes the pins. Nowadays, you can buy the door hardware with safety studs already in place. Alternatively, you can drill a hole in the door and install the safety stud instead of one of the screws.
Security Hinge Types
The choice of door joints depends on a few things. The primary factors are the level of security you need and the type of door you have installed. There are several models between you need to decide:
1. Butt (mortise) hinge
It is the most common type available on the market, and you can use it for all kinds of doors, cupboards, or casement windows. Keep in mind that you need to mortise this hinge in the wooden frame before use.
Typically, this model has a shaft in the center, which connects two sides of the pivot. One is on the door, and the second you need to attach on the frame. You can also place ball bearings to ensure more security.
2. Security butt hinges
This type prevents the thief from unscrewing the hinge, so they are perfect for installing on the exterior door. Once you close it, the two sides of the hinge will interlock. Therefore, no one can take the door of the frame even if they remove the pin.
3. Rising butt hinges
With this alternative, the sides rotate along with the central pin. The door experts recommend this system for the doors that you need to push and pull when using them.
4. Continuous (Piano) hinge
It is a long model used for securing the top of the piano. Typically, it is one meter long, but you can select a smaller size for your door, as well.
If you have a lightweight door, go with this model. Its length provides additional support to the door, but it can’t withstand heavy impact.
5. Barrel hinge
This type is an ideal solution for heavy doors because it offers the strongest support. Its center part has two hollow pivots in the shape of a cylinder, which have an extension you need to screw in the wood frame.
6. Flag hinges
This reliable model is not very common in houses because it is designed for doors that rotate 360 degrees. You can see it on the doors of shops or shopping malls.
7. Tee hinges
Nowadays, you can rarely see this kind of hinges except in the old cottages and timber sheds. It has the triangular part for the door and the long, thin part you need to fix in the frame. The reason tee hinge is no longer sought-after is that it doesn’t improve security, and it is easy to break.
8. Double action
It is one of the sturdiest types of the hinge, and many experts recommend this model for the security doors. The name comes from the possibility to open it in any direction.
Security Hinge by Door Size
Depending on the size of the doors, there are three groups of hinges:
- Antifriction bearing – It is excellent hardware for a heavy security door. It has flexible engineering plastic, which provides a self-lubricant and solid bearing finish. Therefore, it offers smooth operation of the door in addition to security.
- Ball-bearing hinge – It throws the weight against hard steel raceways that ride on the bearing areas. The one-piece cup shields these bearings from moisture and dust. This type includes two ball bearings for standard door weight. On the other hand, they contain four ball bearings for the heavy door, which provides additional smoothness.
- Plain bearing – This hinge is a standard type without any bearing structure. It is a common choice for lightweight doors in residential homes.
Number of Hinges
The number of hinges your door needs will depend on its height. As a general rule, the contractors recommend placing one every 30 inches (76 cm). Therefore, you need three of them for 60 to 90 inches (152 to 229 cm) door.
Still, pay attention if your door is wider than the standard size. In such a case, you need to place one more hinge to support the extra weight. If your front door is wider than 37 inches (94 cm) but no more than 48 inches (122 cm), it will be enough to install only one more hinge.
If you purchase the right hardware, it can last for decades. Keep in mind that hinges need to withstand the stress of consistent opening and closing and different weather conditions.
That is the reason steel is one of the primary materials you should pick out. You can install the ordinal steel for internal doors. However, it is better to go for stainless steel for the external door because it is rust-resistant.
In addition to stainless steel, you can find the brass hinges and those with a bronze finish. You can also look for the ornamental brass hinges as decorative elements, but be aware that the brass is expensive.
Even though brass is rust-resistant like stainless steel, it has a low melting temperature. That is why some states don’t allow brass links on fire rated or labeled door openings.
How to Fit Security Door Hinges?
Installation of the security door hinges is a DIY project even a beginner can complete quickly. The first thing you need to do is place the hinges on the proper height and mark their outline.
You will probably need one to four pieces, depending on the dimensions of a particular door. Keep in mind that the heavy doors require more hinges. Always make sure to mark the same height both on the door and on the door frame.
Then, use a box-cutter or a similar tool to make holes in both the frame and the door. The gaps need to be deep as much as the hinge’s plates are thick. Place them in the recess and use the pencil to mark the exact places for screws. Drill the holes and fix the hinge plates to the frame and door.
In the end, you should align the door to the frame. You will probably need help to level it perfectly. Then, connect the two sides of the hinge before sliding in the pin. Don’t forget to test the door to check if it opens and closes smoothly.
The security door hinges provide additional security for your home. When installing them, a potential burglar can’t pull out the pins and remove the door from the frame. Plus, they provide support to the frame that bears the weight of the door.
Since there are many similar models on the market, you should choose the right one depending on the size and type of your door and used material.