By Tank Hoover
When man hung the first animal hide across the entrance to his cave, it served the purpose of keeping heat in, the cold out, while providing privacy and to an extent, some security. Neanderthal Nog was the first to grunt, “Damnit, Oog, close the wooly mammoth skin, you’re letting out the heat.”
Doors eventually evolved into wood, then metal. Specific hardware is added. Peepholes, so we can see who is knocking, hinges and knobs for easy opening and closing, locks and in some cases, portholes for security.
Look at the common six-panel door in your home. This is pretty amazing and I assure you, once I tell you this secret, it will always jump out at you. The raised area separating the top four panels forms a cross. The lower two sections look like an opened book, the good book! Hmmm? What do you think a cross and bible represent? Yep! Your door is blessed, providing you with safety and comfort, both spiritually and physically. I take solace in this thought every time I look at a six-paneled door. I’m sure this observation has unhinged and upset utopia seeking unicorn chasers. Uh, sorry — I can see them ripping their six panel doors from their hinges now.
People and doors have much in common. We can both provide security, faith, comfort, and a sense of well being for others. We can be open minded, having an “open door” mentality. Or, we can be closed minded, with our minds shut tight. Most of us are constantly opening and closing doors all day long, depending on subject matter. The key is to use your door properly by letting in what you want and keeping out what you don’t.
Add the right accessories and we can really improve the safety aspect of a door and ourselves. Connor’s plastic doorstop (Guncrank Diaries, Sept-Oct 2016, Handgunner) is an easy way to reinforce the strength of a locked door, by blocking it with a simple wedge. For a measly 88 cents you can get a two-pack from Home Depot. For the innovative types, a common kitchen fork can be can be used the same way, while away at a hotel.
Editor Roy’s article (Harden the Target, Jan-Feb, 2016) on making soft targets tougher while you’re away has several great tips in it. Simply placing a table or chair against your hotel door will alert you should a creeper be trying your door while you sleep. Should he be successful, the ensuing ruckus and rumble of the door banging into the table or chair will wake you in time to grab your hardware. And I thought I was the only “loony-tune” who practiced such simple defenses. I don’t care what others think! By golly, I know I’ll be safe! Safety knows no boundaries and scoffs at ridicule. So should you!
Add some hardware to your door, and you can really kick it up a notch against door kicking criminals. Deadbolt locks, using 4″ screws on both striker plates for your doorknobs and deadbolts reinforces them and the amount of force needed to thwart your door.
Hardware is good for us too. Yep, whether blued, stainless or hybrid polymer/steel, tactical hardware makes us safer. Add some good faith, training, practice, and belief to the mix, and you become a well-oiled door, welcoming good and shutting out bad. There’s no need to creak or squeal like a squeaky door. Your concealed hardware will keep the bad out and away from you and your family, should the need arise.
Lastly, simple lighting is the cheapest deterrent for your doors. Keep your outside lights on at night. A simple flip of the switch will illuminate your entranceways keeping the creeps at bay. Bad guys hate light. For the high-tech homeowner, security cameras are good. There are even Apps out there for your Smartphone allowing you to see who is at your door when you’re away. And get this — you can even answer them through an intercom system. Pretty nifty and a far cry from Neanderthal Ned’s animal hide.
So there’s my open and shut case about doors, securing them, whether home or away, and how we’re similar. We can secure our doors, or simply leave them alone, tempting fate that no one we want will enter. Good common sense, some hardware and basic tactics will allow you to decide if you want to keep your door closed, or open it when you freely choose to, in a safe manner. The choice is yours.
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