Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 27th 2015 Contents A26
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Periodically one reads about thieves
who forced their way into a home
through one of the doors. Indeed,
at one time in Guyana such thieves were
described as "Kick down the door ban-
External doors are one of the first
entryways considered by thieves and
should be a priority security area for
While many homeowners consider
security when selecting an external door,
a lack of understanding sometimes leads
to poor selection or sometimes good
selection but poor installation.
Here, we will address both the physi-
cal door and the security of the door-
Exterior doors should either be made
of solid wood or metal. This construc-
tion is difficult to break through. How-
ever, there is difficulty in obtaining solid
wood doors as most commercially-man-
ufactured doors in the Caribbean are
actually wood panel doors. On these
doors, the sections that hold the panels
in place are very thin and short and
glued in place.
These can easily be kicked apart. Sim-
ilarly, many wood flush doors are ply-
wood sides with a hollow interior and
can be easily kicked apart. They should
only be used as interior doors.
Doors called steel doors come in sev-
eral designs---hollow steel doors, wooden
steel-backed doors and ribbed steel
The minimum acceptable security
specification for a hollow steel door
would be two sheets of 18-gauge steel
(1/20 of an inch each).
However, this minimum specification
can be penetrated by a determined
intruder who pre-planned his attack. A
thicker steel (eg, 1/10 of an inch) is bet-
ter.A wooden steel-fronted door can also
be used as a security door with the
wood thickness being three-quarter inch
and then the 12-gauge steel (1/10 of an
inch) placed in front of the wood.
The steel should be bolted to the door
with the nut end of the bolt on the
inside of the door and not accessible to
When cladding steel to a wooden
door, it must wrap around the top, bot-
tom and sides so that the steel cannot
be pried away from the wood.
A ribbed steel door would be one
where the steel on the door would be
1/8 of an inch and then reinforced with
steel ribs on the inside.
Another option in the Caribbean now
is to purchase doors that have a decora-
tive facing but with a steel sheet insert-
ed inside it. Many come with three, four
or six deadbolts built into the door so
that when the door is locked all the
bolts engage simultaneously.
Exterior doors should be made to
swing outward. When an intruder
attempts to force his way into a building
he will apply force to the door to push
The intruder will be applying force in
the opposite direction to which the door
is made to swing. It becomes harder to
force the door.
Exterior doors should be constructed
in a metal frame of steel, aluminum
alloy or solid hardwood core. The door
frame can sometimes be the weak point
in the security of a door and can allow
an intruder to enter notwithstanding
how good the door and locks are.
Hinges are generally screwed into the
door frame and if the frame can be jim-
mied away from the wall, the frame can
In moving the door frame, the entire
hinge assembly and the door will be
moved out and access gained. If the
door frame is moved on the lock side
then access is gained to the lock bolt
and depending upon the type of lock
used the bolt can be manipulated to
open the door.
Frames should therefore be made of
solid construction to prevent being
The tolerance between the door and
the jamb should never be more than 1/8
of an inch. A wider tolerance means
that the door can be forced open or that
the bolt for the lock is exposed allowing
an intruder to saw through it.
If incorrectly installed, hinges may
contribute to a door s weakness.
If hinges are surface mounted so the
mounting screws or hinge pins are
exposed on the exterior of the door,
intruders can quickly remove the screws
or pins and gain entrance by opening
the door from the hinged side.
Ideally, hinges should be mounted on
the interior of the door. If the hinge is
mounted on the exterior and cannot be
relocated to the interior then the hinge
pins can be welded or flanged to pre-
vent removal. An additional protective
measure would be the use of hinge pro-
Another alternative regarding hinges is
to install ball bearing type butt hinges.
This has a cap-like standard hinges but
does not have a pin. If you remove the
top of the hinge there is no pin to come
out, instead there are ball bearings
inside which cannot be removed. It is
therefore suitable for external use.
External doors are an important com-
ponent of the security of a home. Care
must be taken in selecting the door type
and must extend beyond just the door.
It includes all components of the door-
Contact the Caribbean Institute for
Security and Public Safety for its
range of courses on security, law
enforcement, corrections, supervision
and management, OSH/HSE, etc. Tel:
223-6999, 223-6968, info@caribbeanse-
In response to an article written by Ryan
Hadeed on November 25, I am most happy
that he was cognisant of the fact that there are
two sides to the violence that takes place in the
Middle East and he tried to shed light on the
fact that the US has its own foreign policy
within the region that has failed miserably and
innocent civilians within the Middle East were
left to suffer because of it.
However, foreign policy I believe, is soft lan-
guage for what really is blatant crimes against
The US, Britain and France have directly and
covertly displaced democratically elected gov-
ernments within Muslim countries as well as
These actions have caused thousands of lives
to be lost from riots and uprisings from dissatis-
fied citizens within the affected countries.
I must make mention of one of the greatest
atrocities: the invasion of Iraq.
To date, over 500,000 Iraqis have lost their
lives due to the invasion; hundreds of thousands
are seriously maimed and injured, millions more
are displaced from their homes, and don't forget,
the sanctions imposed by the United Nations
Security Council on Iraq resulted in 500,000 chil-
dren losing their lives according to a UNICEF re-
port. The infrastructure of that country is now
completely destroyed. All thanks to Uncle Sam.
Iraq, a country that possesses the fifth largest
oil reserves in the world is now reduced to rub-
ble. A well-to-do, potential superpower within
the region is now destroyed.
This is not failed foreign policy, Mr Hadeed,
this is genocide and modern-day economic slav-
ery.Now all the oil Iraq produces will go towards
rebuilding infrastructure that was already there.
How can the cycle of violence end when these
crimes go unaccounted?
The US, France and Britain should to be
brought before a court and be tried for crimes
against humanity. This is only fair and just for
the people of the middle east. But as we both
know, it will never happen.
These so-called terrorist groups that we per-
ceive them to be will continue the cycle of vio-
lence for they are a creation of the West.
"IS is the fully grown-up manic, adolescent
creature belonging to the US, Britain and
France," says John Pilger in an interview with RT
DOORS FOR SECURITY OF YOUR HOME 'Foreign policy' is really
crimes against humanity
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