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“It was not an alarm or surveillance camera that saved our family”

Updated: Jan 30, 2023

James and Lorraine Flood
James and Lorraine Flood

“We had experienced two devastating break-ins thru our French doors at night when we were all asleep in our beds, and then a neighbour recommended the Burglarybuster which we installed immediately. Four weeks later the criminals came back again at 3am, but this time even tho’ the main lock was sabotaged again the Burglarybuster held firm and the noise made in attempting to overcome this woke us all and we chased them away. That was over two years ago and we have never had an issue since. It was not an alarm or surveillance camera that saved our family – it was the Burglarybuster security device because it prevented the criminals from entering the house thru the French doors. Our main aim has always been to keep the family safe while present in the home and we know now that our trust in alarms and cameras was misplaced. We would not wish for anybody to have to go thru the same horrific experiences as we ourselves have and therefore advise everybody

doors to install one of these amazing devices.” James and Lorraine Flood at their home (pictured above).

History of French Doors

The origins of French doors can be traced back to the French Renaissance in the seventeenth century when it became fashionable to have open spaces in rooms and architecture began to attach greater importance to symmetry, proportions, geom

French Doors at the Palace of Versailles
French Doors at the Palace of Versailles

The origins of French doors can be traced back to the French Renaissance in the seventeenth century when it became fashionable to have open spaces in rooms and architecture began to attach greater importance to symmetry, proportions, geometry and regularity. Consequential demands for increased natural light circulation and improved aesthetics in large new buildings meant that traditional double casement windows were often omitted and instead large French windows and doors were preferred. Over the following three centuries this fashion spread throughout the world and eventually these influences reached many countries including Great Britain, Canada, and Ireland. Later, United States based architects and designers followed suit and today French doors (also called double doors or patio doors) are incredibly popular throughout the length and breadth of the United States. While this French initiative realized an improvement in ambience there was a major security downside in that while French doors can be beautiful they are also weak and contain design flaws that can pose security risks for residents. Moreover these risks have increased in recent years as more and more would-be attackers want to identify a rapid escape route to quickly exit the building before entering. Also due to the advances of knowledge and increased aggression by attackers, doors that were considered adequate in the past tend to be insecure today – so now external doors rather than windows have become the prime target:

French doors are generally weak & most will not stop an aggressive attack

French doors lack strength where the two door leafs meet in the middle (see below). This is because the door, while having two door leafs, contains only a single door frame which is evident on all four sides of the door.

French doors
Where the two doors meet in the middle is the weakest point

Consequently, when the French door is locked, the edge of the passive door leaf acts as support for the active door leaf and consists of a structure which does not provide anything like the same level of strength gained from a standard door frame. Furthermore, French door locks are generally considered to be weak and it is commonly known that the screw fixings used to secure the hinges and the strike plate to the door frame are less than adequate in length and provide little resistance. Criminals also know that the two glass panels

contained in French doors do not have sufficient strength to defeat an aggressive attack.

Burglarybuster 1
The Burglarybuster 1 for securing Opening-Outwards French doors

Opening-inwards French doors are the most vulnerable of all doors

French doors are probably the most vulnerable of all doors. This is known to criminals and explains why they target French doors in occupied and unoccupied homes. Of additional concern to US residents is the fact that while most French doors in Ireland, the UK and Canada open-outwards, over ninety-per-cent of all French doors in the United States open-inwards - making them easier to penetrate and more vulnerable to being kicked-in. Many medical professionals are very aware that these often random and unexpected attacks have the highest potential for the greatest danger for residents - and can lead to serious illness (The Body Remembers, Babette Rothschild, Oct 2000, W.W. Norton & Co).

Burglarybuster 3
The Burglarybuster 3 for securing Opening-Inwards French doors

The best solution for transforming French doors into secure doors

Replacement of these doors can prove expensive and may ruin the aesthetic appeal. It is worth considering an alternative that is widely acclaimed in Ireland and the UK and is now creating positive waves throughout the United States. This method focuses on transforming existing French doors into secure doors at a fraction of the cost of replacement. To date many thousands of families have opted for this solution to secure their homes. For details see our link Finally, and to summarize, intruder alarms and camera surveillance systems may act as deterrents but they do not stop criminals from penetrating the home. The best advice we can give is to harden the security of the vulnerable areas of the home, starting with the French door – the most vulnerable door in the home.

Ciarán O’Connell and Brian Reilly
Ciarán O’Connell and Brian Reilly

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