Chain locks are a popular choice among homeowners when they want to add extra security measures to their houses. They are pretty much easy to install when you have wooden doors and frames. But what about metal doors? That's what we asked door experts and here's what they taught us.
To install a door chain lock on a metal door:
- Use the templates to mark where the screws for the lock plate and chain mount will go.
- Pre-drill the holes for the screws using the appropriate tools.
- Drill the holes and screw the lock plate and chain mount in place.
- Test if it works properly.
Keep reading so we can tell you more about how and where you should install a chain lock on a metal door. We'll also share with you how to unlock door chains from the inside and outside and if they are effective to use. We'll also discuss if you could install a chain lock in your apartment. Let's begin!
Installing a chain lock on a metal door
Here are just two alarming facts about residential burglaries. There are about three burglaries happening every 60 seconds and more than half of the time, the victims know the burglars. Even if this type of crime isn't rampant in your area, it is still a wise move to improve your security system.
Adding a chain lock on your door can give you another layer of protection. Its main purpose is to prevent other people from gaining easy entry into your home when you open it. This gives you time to screen your guests or communicate with the other person while you're inside the safety of your home.
One of the reasons why chain locks are very popular is because they are easy to install. There are locks that work well on wood and metal doors, too. It may sound intimidating to install a lock on a door that's made of metal but it can easily be done with the right set of tools.
Here's how to do it.
Tools and Materials:
- 12V electric drill
- titanium or cobalt high-speed steel drill bit (these can easily cut through metal)
- door chain lock
- extra long screws
- masking tape
Step-by-step Chain Lock Installation
- Get the template that comes with the door chain lock. Use a pencil to mark the holes that you need to drill.
- Pre-drill the holes for the screws for the lock plate.
- Drill the holes.
- Screw the lock plate in place.
- Position the template of the chain mount on the adjacent wall. Make sure it is properly aligned with the lock plate.
- Use the pencil to mark the holes for the screws.
- Pre-drill the holes for the chain mount.
- Drill the holes.
- Screw the chain mount in place.
- Test if it works. The gap shouldn't be more than 1 inch when you open the door.
That's how you install a door chain lock on a metal door. As long as you have the right tools, it should be easy-peasy. Make sure you replace the default screws with longer ones to make your lock more secure.
Where should a door chain be placed?
A door chain should be placed on the interior side of your entry door. You can put it above your deadbolt or door handle. An interval of 3 to 6 inches should be fine.
Choose a height that you'll be comfortable with. If you have kids with you, you can place it a little lower so that they can reach it, too. Just make sure it doesn't get in the way of your other door locks.
How do you unlock a door chain?
You can open a door chain lock both from the inside and outside. Here's how to do it.
From the inside
- Slide the chain lock away from the latch side of the door.
- Lift it out of its metal sleeves.
From the outside
- Open the other locks of your entry door.
- Open the door slightly. If your door chain lock has a key, insert the key into the lock cylinder to unlock it.
- If you don't have a key, you can use a rubber band, yarn, or string to pull the chain lock.
- Wrap one end of the string around the chain lock.
- Connect the other end of the string to the door handle. Make sure it is tight.
- Close the door. This should loosen the chain lock so you can open it.
That's how you open the door from both sides when you have a door chain lock. Knowing that your lock can be opened from the outside should make you realize that this security measure is not an assurance to keep your homes safe from intruders.
Are door chain locks effective?
We've been reiterating the importance of enhancing your home's security system. One way of doing that is the addition of a chain lock on your door. Take note that the operative word here is addition. A door chain lock isn't meant to be your main form of security for your entry doors.
In terms of effectiveness and assuming that they have been installed properly and made of good quality, door chain locks do offer a bit of added protection to homeowners. They can prevent intruders from gaining easy access to your home.
However, a bit of protection isn't enough for the cautious homeowner. It can even lull the unsuspecting individual into a false sense of security. Remember, chain locks can be bypassed and if they were able to disable your primary lock, this lock won't be any good for keeping intruders at bay, either.
The mere fact that you opened your door, even if there's a chain lock in there, lowers your defenses against those with criminal minds. Who knows what they can do even through a narrow opening? Not to make you paranoid or anything but they can pretty much do whatever they want from there.
That's why home security experts would rather recommend the use of a peephole camera or one-sided deadbolt if you want to protect your home from burglars.
A peephole camera lets you see who's outside without having to come near the door while a one-sided deadbolt won't be seen from the outside and is much harder to open even with the use of brute force.
Can I install a door chain lock in my apartment?
Installing a chain lock on your door may seem like a simple thing for you. Sure you just need to drill a couple of small holes for the screws. And it is understandable since you're doing this to improve your safety.
However, when you're renting an apartment, there's this contract or lease that you signed and there are stipulations there regarding what you can and cannot do about the property.
That's why it's best to check your lease agreement first if you're planning to install a door chain lock. If there's nothing in there, you should still ask for your landlord's approval and it's best that you have it in writing for your own protection as well.
Otherwise, it may qualify as an offense under the destruction of property and cause you to be evicted or charged.
This is usually okay for landlords since door chain locks require very little alteration on the property and the small holes are easy to fix or patch up when you leave. Once you get the approval, clarify also if you can do it yourself or if they prefer that their trusted contractor will do the job.
Should your landlord not allow the installation of chain locks on your door, there are other ways for you to secure your apartment without requiring you to make alterations to the door or its lock system.
You can consider putting a door stop alarm, portable door barricade, or use a security bar. You can also set up a security camera to help you keep an eye on things.
Installing a door chain lock on a metal door is simple as long as you have the right tools for the job. You can use this lock to add another layer of security to your home.
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