Get an Astragal, Lever Guard, or Latch Protector

Your locks protect your property, but sometimes your locks need protection too. If your lock is in a dark alleyway or there are a lot of needles and broken bottles outside your door, you may want to consider some lock accessories.

Here's a before and after of an astragal installation after the building suffered some package theft.
Here’s a before and after of an astragal installation after the building suffered some package theft.

Astragals cover the gap between your door and your door frame. They make it much harder to pry the door away from the door frame, allowing entry on doors with only a 1/2″ throw including most commercial levers and deadlatches. They also make it difficult for criminals to directly manipulate the deadlatch with a screwdriver or butter knife or sawz-all.  I charge $850 for parts and labor to install an astragal.

 

 

 

Here is a steel security astragal. I charge $850 to install one of these.

This is another security astragal I installed across the street. The owner liked it and wanted one just like it.

 

 

This is something I rigged up to prevent people from fooling with a deadlatch. 1″ angle iron through-bolted to the door on the top and side of the door prevents somebody from prying the door from the door stop. There is a gap of 1/16″ between the angle iron and the door frame.

 

This is a latch guard or latch protector. Once it's installed people can't manipulate the deadlatch with a screwdriver.
This is a before/after of a latch guard or latch protector installation. Once it’s installed people can’t manipulate the deadlatch with a screwdriver.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Latch protectors, otherwise known as latch guards, serve to cover the gap between the door and the door frame so that people can’t stick a screwdriver or credit card in and try to manipulate the door open. They are pretty inexpensive, around $20 and typically bolt onto the door. They come in many different styles. Some of them come with a welded anti-spread pin to prevent somebody from prying the door away from the door frame. They don’t do this as well as astragals do. If somebody has a crowbar they can pry a latch protector back and then pry the door open. These latch protectors with anti-spread pins will probably keep regular addicts armed with only a screwdriver at bay though.
latchprot
Here is a latch protector with an anti spread pin. Notice that somebody has attempted to pry the door open above and below the latch protector and left gouges in this beautiful wood door. They weren’t able to access the deadlatch and didn’t gain access.
latchprotector2
A different kind of latch protector
A smaller latch protector to cover an electric strike.
A smaller latch protector to cover an electric strike.
  • Knob guards and lever guards serve to protect your lock from hammers, boots, and prybars.
    Knob guards and lever guards serve to protect your lock from hammers, boots, and prybars.

    Knob or lever guards are used for locks that face the street in places that may lack visibility or is a high crime area. A knob or lever guard makes it difficult to try to rip a lock off the door or to damage the lock with a hammer or other object. The only part of the lock that is accessible is the keyway. These should not be installed in low visibility areas near parking. Somebody could put a chain around their trailer hitch and pull the doorframe off!

This is a lock with a knob guard that stopped criminals in their tracks.

Here is a lock that I installed a knob guard over a few weeks ago. Notice that they worked on it a long time, laboriously prying the face of the knob back, but were unable to gain entry or take the cylinder out. This means the knob guard did its job. A lock not protected by a shroud would be much easier to abuse with a hammer or something.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Here is the process to add a lever guard. The lever is cut off and a shroud is placed over it. The shroud, or lever guard as it is known in the trade, is bolted on through the door.
This lever has been abused numerous times. It's time to beef up the security on this door.
This lever has been abused numerous times. It’s time to beef up the security on this door.
This lever is ready to have a lever guard placed over it
This lever is ready to have a lever guard placed over it
This leverguard makes it impossible to try to force the lock with pipes or wrenches etc.
This leverguard makes it impossible to try to force the lock with pipes or wrenches etc.

 

 

  • In situations where you don’t want anybody chaining your lock to their truck, consider a pull handle and a rim cylinder.