A door chain is a simple and effective way of adding an additional layer of security and safety to your property. Door chain kits are quite affordable, and they offer an easy way for homeowners to protect themselves when they answer the door to unsolicited callers.
To install a door chain, you will need:
- A door chain kit (you can find these in most hardware stores)
Time Required: Fitting a door chain is a simple home improvement job, which should take less than 30 minutes.
Step By Step Instructions
- Begin by deciding where on the door you want the chain to sit. Choose a height that will allow every member of the household who is going to be responsible for answering the door to be able to secure and remove the chain easily. If you have any doubts, err on the side of placing the chain too low.
- Put some masking tape on the door at the height you want the chain to sit. Place the slotted plate against the side of the door, and use the pencil to make marks on the tape over each screw hole.
- Start making some pilot holes in the wood of the door using your awl. Re-check the positioning of the holes periodically to ensure that they line up correctly with the holes in the plate.
- Complete the holes and then carefully remove the masking tape.
- Screw the metal plate into the door securely.
- Close the door and measure the position of the chain section of the kit so that you can secure it into the door frame. If you have a plain door frame you can simply screw the chain into position just as you did the plate on the door. If there is molding around the frame, however, you will need to use your chisel to make an indentation for the plate to sit in. Work slowly and methodically, removing only a small amount of wood each time. Use masking tape when you start the screw holes, so that you end up with a smooth and professional looking finish.
- Once you are satisfied with the position of the second plate, screw it into the door frame and make sure that it is secure.
- Test the chain to ensure that it is easy to slide in and out of the plate, and make sure that the screw holes are sound.
Tips and Hints
- Try to purchase a kit that has a short, robust chain, and make sure that you secure the chain every time you lock the door. It takes just a few seconds to latch the chain in place, and it will help to protect you in the event you get an unwanted caller.
- Door chains are a simple additional layer of security, but they will not stop a determined intruder from entering your home. For optimal security, combine a door chain with a peephole viewer, deadbolt lock, and burglar alarm. Always lock the door when you leave the house, and do not open the door without checking the peephole viewer to see who is calling. Remember that the chain is only useful if you use it every time you open the door.