Thunderstorms: Double Entry Doors - Securing

Material provided by Federal Alliance for Safe Homes

The exterior walls, doors and windows are the protective shell of your home. If the shell is broken during a hurricane, high winds can enter the home and put pressure on the roof and walls causing serious damage. Many homes are equipped with double entry doors. These doors typically consist of an “active” door (which is used when only one door is needed) and an “inactive” door (which usually remains closed but can be opened when necessary). These doors are convenient, but because they span a wider opening than a single door, they are usually not as strong as a single door and are therefore more susceptible to wind damage. If your doors fail under wind pressure, they will allow wind to enter your property where it can cause more damage and possibly injure you or others. 

You can reinforce double entry doors to make them less susceptible to wind damage by adding a heavy-duty deadbolt or replace the existing deadbolt with a stronger one, add slide bolts at the top and bottom of the inactive door and replace the existing hinge attachment screws in both the doors and the door frame with longer screws that extend further into the doors and frame. 

Benefits of Using This Mitigation Strategy 


Keep these points in mind if you plan to reinforce double entry doors: 

Estimated Costs  

Reinforcing a set of double entry doors with slide bolts, longer hinge mounting screws and a stronger lock will cost approximately $100. This figure covers only the materials you will have to buy and excludes the cost of any tools you use and the value of your time. If you hire a contractor or handyman to do the work, you will have to pay for time as well as materials.