Out-swinging doors might seem pretty secure, but they have some major flaws that can serve as easy entrance points for break ins. One benefit of an outward door is that it can’t be force kicked to open because of the door frame. But the exterior door hinges can create security problems. They can be manipulated by using a screwdriver to pop the pin out, and then the door can be easily removed. A weak door lock can be another security concern just like in case with any other door.
You can secure an outward opening door by using a security bar or a broom stick, or by tying a rope, power cord or a belt on the door handle and a heavy piece of furniture. By doing so, anyone trying to pull the door open will have to pull on the furniture or the security bar. Breaking either one is highly unlikely.
But the main problem is securing an outward opening door when you’re going outside if it’s the only door you can use. So we need to look at some long-term structural solutions as well. Having said that, here are the best outswing door security methods and devices you can use:
1. Outswing Door Security Bar
This is the best way to secure an outswing door from the inside. Place a security bar perpendicular to the door and under the handle or door knob. When someone tries to open it by pulling outward, the door won’t open because it’s blocked by the bar.
You can use a broom stick or a metal bar that’s longer than the door’s width. You could secure them by taping them on the wall or door frame on both sides. But the problem with using a completely DIY setup is that the tape could get loose and fall off after some time. Also having to tape them all the time would probably get annoying fairly quickly.
So really the best way is to either: a) build some construction to keep the DIY bar securely in place, or b) get a professional security bar that comes with correct screws or brackets that will definitely keep it in place.
The best option on the market is the Exit Security’s Outswing Door Bar. This is a manual bar you put on and take off when necessary.
You’ll need to do some drilling to install a permanent square tube on the door where the hooks and main bar fit into. Holes are found on the tips of the hooks in case a padlock is desired.
Don’t worry though, the installation is pretty simple and the full instruction manual comes with the package. Here’s what one user had to say about it:
“I searched for months for some way to secure an outward swinging door. I was unable to find anything that actually worked except this item. Very, very easy to install. Basically, you just have to drill the two 5/16 holes in the door and the rest is just screwing it together. Once installed, you realize that they will need two truck to rip out your door. They are definitely not getting in from the outside.”
Considering also the fact that almost every verified customer has given this set a 5 star rating, I feel confident in recommending it as the main option to my readers. You can check out the current price and more information on this security bar on Amazon.
2. Tie the door knob to some heavy furniture
This is a pretty effective and basically free method. All you need is some rope a power cord or a belt. Use one of them to tie the door knob to any piece of furniture that is heavy and wider than your outswing door. Some furniture that might work well is a closet, a heavy table, work desk etc.
However, the door still could be opened if the intruder is able to pull the furniture all the way to the door and the rope is too long. So you need to ensure that the furniture is either quite close to the door or that it’s too heavy to move. You could potentially block it with some other furniture or a different obstacle to make the task even more difficult.
Another problem I have with this method is that it could destroy the piece of furniture you use if it gets moved across the floor and slams on the floor. It could also damage the walls or other furniture as the room turns into chaos.
So if you plan on using this method, make sure to address those issues. Once you’ve done that, try to open the door and see if you can do it. That’s the only way you can know for sure if the furniture is right and the rope or whatever you’re using to tie it to the door knob is adequate.
3. Install a Latch Guard
Latch guards are plate covers that extend from the door’s opening side in order to prevent forced entry. They can come in different sizes, but they’re usually pretty small either way and won’t ruin the door aesthetics, especially if you choose the right color. Latch guards are also available for inswinging doors but here I want to focus solely on outswing doors.
So how to install a latch guard? Even though it’s being installed on an inward opening door, this video will give you a good idea on how it’s done. Or you can just follow the instruction manual that comes with the product. The video:
This Prime Line latch guard from Amazon is the most popular one for outswing doors because it’s very tough (made from heavy duty stainless steel) and it can be used on most residential, commercial and even industrial outswing doors.
The fasteners that are required for installation are provided in the package, so you can install it in a couple of minutes and be done with it. There are two dimensions available: 3″ x 7″ and 3″ x 11″ with a 1/4″ offset in either case.
However, keep in mind that this latch guard is for a door with a single handle, not one with a combination knob and deadbolt. Unfortunately, Prime-Line does not make one for that combination.
4. Use a door lock hinge protector
This is a hinge protector that prevents thieves from lifting out a steel door after removing the hinge pins. It doesn’t require hinge replacement or any other adjustments, and will work great with most commercial steel doors.
Here are the installation instructions from the manufacturer:
“To install it, accurately align holes in the two hinge sections, on in the door edge and the other in the frame. You can use a blind hole spotter punch to do this more accurately. Or measure and scribe center lines to align holes in the hinge halves.
Once you’ve installed it and the door is closed, the protruding stainless steel pin that is mounted in the hinge half of the door enters the corresponding hole drilled into the hinge half mounted in the frame, interlocking the hinge side of the door to the frame.”
So even if the intruder cuts the exposed portion of the hinges completely off, he cannot pry out the door.
5. Install Security Hinges with a Non-Removable Pin
You can also install security door hinges from which the hinge pin can’t be removed. These stainless steel ball bearing door hinges can be installed on doors that are 1 5/8 inches to 1 3/4 inches thick.
For about $40 you get three of these hinges with matching wood screws. I haven’t personally used these, but I have similar ones installed on a door in my office building. These security hinges have really solid costumer reviews and I don’t think you can go wrong by installing them because it’s a really simple product.
As long as the door is of adequate thickness and not overly heavy they should work great and won’t allow the removal of the door to happen.
Final Word: Outswing Door Security
There aren’t too many options when it comes to outswing door security. That’s because these doors are by design more secure thanks to the way they open. But they can still fall victim to a clever thief who knows how to manipulate the lock or make the hinges obsolete.
These 4 methods and devices that I’ve showed above address these two problems completely. So I hope you use them to your advantage and put all doubts to rest about your outswing door security.
But there are other ways to secure your door and other entry points such as ground-floor windows and sliding glass doors. You can use security video doorbell, home security camera or a door alarm that will go off if it senses any vibrations on the door when it’s turned on.
If you want to learn about other security options at your disposal, check out my top 43 DIY home security tips to learn how to perfectly secure your home and prevent all break-in scenarios from happening.