Retired cop invents super strength door lock
A Calif. cop stuck at home due to injury created a product that would give him peace of mind
April 3rd, 2015
When former L.A. County Sheriff’s Office police officer Robert Dieguez was stuck at home to due to an injury, he came up with the Strike Plate Lock, a new door lock that could provide better protection from intruders.
In March 2014, Dieguez was confined to the bottom floor of his home for a back injury and depended on a walker to move about. He challenged himself to get to the front door each day for exercise, and started thinking about how vulnerable he was to intruders given his debilitating injury.
The mental planning for a super strength lock for his front door was set in motion.
“I bought some flip locks and a strike plate at the store and basically glued them together to see if the concept I had in mind worked,” Dieguez said. “Then I took my idea to a 3D plastic molder and had a plan drawn up.”
Dieguez searched the U.S. for a company to do metal prototyping for his idea, and found the answer right in his own backyard: A company in Valencia, Calif., agreed to create his first prototypes.
The model started as a strike plate and hook, then the hook evolved into a steal ring.
The current lock is made of 60 gauge cold steal and is installed by replacing a door’s existing strike plate with the Strike Plate Lock.
“A regular flip lock attaches to your door frame by screwing two holes into the frame, then the door chain needs four screws in the door itself to hold the slider, and two more go into your wall or door frame – that’s eight holes you’ve created altogether,” “My strike plate takes place of an existing strike plate so there’s no need to create any new holes,” Dieguez said.
Installing the Strike Plate lock requires only two, 2 ½-inch screws, which are included with the order of the lock, and a Phillips screwdriver. Dieguez said installation take60 seconds.
To test the strength of his new invention, Dieguez built a door and frame on the back porch of his home, attached the Strike Plate Lock and swung a 90-pound punching bag repeatedly at the door. The video below shows Dieguez’s relentless testing.
To spread the word about his product and raise funds to start mass-producing the lock, Dieguez established a Kickstarter profile with a goal of $20,000 and even tried out to be on the entrepreneur competition show Shark Tank.
Monday, September 8, 2014
In a very cool piece of happenstance, I came across a Kickstarter project that was a direct upgrade to another item that I covered not too long ago. The Zazz QuickLock portable door lock which lets you convert a regular latch to a physically blocked lock, but was a pretty flimsy piece of security.
This hefty piece is somewhat less portable, but offers a significant security upgrade to any strike-plate equipped regular door with a knob, and attaches in minutes. This is the Strike Plate Lock.
The principle of the lock is to replace the existing strike plate with a hinged plate, attached to a heavy-duty chain and a ring, which loops over the door-knob, providing a frame-mounted, door-knob fixed physical restraint to your door.
The metal is 16 gauge 300 series stainless steel and 0.050" thick the ring is 2.5" inside round and 1/4" thick. It affixes to the frame using the existing strike plate screw-holes, and two long screws came along with it.
I used my multitool, undid the old screws and removed the old plate, and attached the new one in less than two minutes, and immediately bolstered the effectiveness of my front door.
I wondered how much the latch and facing would be exposed and whilst you can see both strike-plate, latch plate and the chain are visible, the door is only open a crack, and there is no easy bolt-cutter access to the chain, just a nice balistraria for me to fend off invading triffids and zombies.
4 Signs That Homeowners Need To Upgrade Their Door Locks
All locks are not created equally. And not all security has to deal with the same threats. Whether your locks were lacking from the very beginning or stopped being effective somewhere along its lifespan, you can make the necessary changes to improve them. But before you change your locks, you need to know the signs that tell you it is time for a home security upgrade.
1. Current Locks Are Not High-Security
High-security locks are products that use both higher metal content in the lock hardware, as well as security pins. If your locks do not have these features, then it is time to upgrade. Without a high metal content, there is very little metal resting in a precut hole. The less metal in your lock, the easier it is to compromise the lock hardware with brute force. Security pins take care of protecting against more covert types of entry, such as lock picking and lock bumping. Bump keys are becoming extremely popular with criminals due to their wide availability and how little skill they take to use.
2. Only Using Knob and Deadbolt Set
The exclusive use of two locks and no other security is a clear indicator of the need for a security upgrade. Even if your lock set is high security, you should still be using other products to increase the lock's effectiveness. As great of an invention as locks are, they have weaknesses that most standard lock sets do not address. When you place a deadbolt and keyed knob on a door straight from the package, it will likely leave the door vulnerable in three places.
Firstly, the hinged side of the door is vulnerable to brute force. Then there is the issue of the material on the door that had to be removed in order to fit the lock. Finally, there is the strike plate on the doorjamb. Both the strike plate and hinges can be greatly improved with longer screws (usually 3 inches so that the screw can bite into the stud). For the lock hardware and even the strike plate, stronger metal can be installed to improve the security of the areas where the material was removed.
3. Relying on a Standard Chain Lock
There is a popular misconception that chain locks provide a significant level of home security. In reality, they really only act to prevent whoever is in the house from fully opening their front door. Most of these chains can be critically compromised with a single kick or shoulder slam. If you want to be safe while opening your door, you need to upgrade to a more secure locking device. When you are already used to this type of protection, a product like the Strike Plate Lock is the perfect upgrade. Similar to a standard chain lock, you can use this to secure a closed or partially open door. But a Strike Plate Lock will hold up to far more brute force, leaving more than enough time to contact the authorities.
Where a standard chain lock can be opened with minimal effort in several ways, a Strike Plate Lock requires too much advanced knowledge to easily exploit. From the outside of the home, there is no way to tell that a Strike Plate Lock is being used instead of a normal chain. This catches an opportunistic criminal by surprise and gives the homeowner enough time to respond and protect themselves. And the overall strength of the Strike Plate Lock is likely to keep the criminal from ever getting inside.
4. Surreptitious Burglary
If your home seems to have been robbed without any visible signs of forced entry, then there is a distinct possibility that someone is surreptitiously entering the property. This could be done by using lock picks, bump keys, or even a copy of the existing key. When there is no sign of forced entry, it can be exceedingly difficult to find the type of entry method being used. A forensic locksmith could be hired, but it would be more beneficial to just spend the money of having a similar professional install a new lock. Make sure that it is a new brand of door lock. That way the same bump key would not work. You can buy locks with patented keyways, to control who has access. These locks also limit the chances of a burglar having experience picking it or having access to a bump key with the proper profile.
When your locks aren’t providing your home with high enough security, it is time to upgrade. Don’t put your trust in low-quality locks that do not use security pins and strong metal. Make sure that you are using more than just the locks that come out of the package. And be certain that the additional security you install is actually protecting the home. If at any time you cannot find evidence of how a burglary took place, never hesitate to upgrade in that moment. Be sure that you are taking the proper steps to secure your home, and upgrade your locks today.