While we don’t expect anyone to read this whole page, this will give you an understanding of how we got started and why our product philosophy is so important to us. We began as a family-owned Real Estate investment company, focusing on properties in “transitional” areas. After experiencing multiple kick-in burglaries on properties under renovation, and searching in vain to find a solution to our problems, we developed our own solution. With limited resources, we have developed a business with proven products and multiple distribution partners. Our products are currently distributed nationally through Lowe’s, Ace, Do-It-Best, Grainger, Wilmar and Orgill and are sold locally through locksmiths and hardware stores. We never intended to be in this situation. Please read the story below about how our bad fortune led to what we have today.
We were trying to renovate properties were located in “transitional” areas. We would work on restoring the properties during the day and lockup at night. Many mornings we would return to door that had been kicked in and anything of value, including copper pipes, stolen. We would repair or replace the damaged door. However, the cycle continued: the door kicked in, undesirable characters hold up inside and of course everything of value missing.
We tried many of the solutions available on the market today. Longer dead bolts, upgraded locks, door shield guards, stronger strike plates, longer strike plates, wedge systems etc. Still the results were the same. The break-in’s continued. Each time the point of entry was a door and the method of entry was to kick in the door, breaking the door jamb while leaving the lock in tact. We soon discovered that indeed the weakest point on the door is the door jamb. Having exhausted our available options, we began to consider new alternatives to solve the problem. After some trial and error, one of the Company’s founders, who is a mechanical engineer by trade, took a step back and concluded that the answer to our problem lay in simple physics. He concluded that in order to truly protect the doorjamb, we needed to not only add support, we need to increase the overall structural integrity of the jamb. The problem however was figuring out how to increase the integrity of a weak piece of wood so that it could withstand the forces created by persistent and repeated kicking.
The solution to the problem came in two parts. First, by wrapping the jamb with a piece of medium gauge steel on three sides (instead of with one heavy gauge piece on a single side) we would essentially give the doorjamb a casing that would prevent the wood from splitting if the door were kicked. Also, by having steel on both sides of the doorjamb, we could use a lighter gauge of steel because the deadbolt would go through both sides. This meant that we would not need to alter the doorjamb to install the piece. Finally, by making the piece longer, we could spread the force of a kick across the length of the stud, instead of allowing the force to concentrate in one area. With these principles in mind, we had our prototypes manufactured, installed them on one of our properties and waited to see if it would work.
Fortunately, there were people in the neighborhood that were more than happy to test our product that night. We returned the next day to find our door kicked in again. While we were somewhat devastated at first, upon closer examination we discovered that the Jamb Shield had actually functioned properly. It became apparent that after kicking the door repeatedly, on the lock side, the invader went to the other side of the door. They split the hinge side of the doorjamb and were able to maneuver the door open. The results of this “real life test” led to the development of the Hinge Shield. The Hinge Shield was designed to wrap around the doorjamb in the same fashion as the Jamb Shield. The Door Jamb Armor set comes with two Hinge Shield components that attach around the upper and lower door hinges. The Hinge Shield has a 4 ½” space cut into the center of the short leg to allow it to fit easily over a standard size hinge without removing the door. This component is only applied to two hinges because testing has shown that this sufficiently stabilizes the door for this application. With the Jamb Shield and Hinge Shields in place, the doorjamb basically becomes an extension of your homes framing and has the same basic structural characteristics of a steel doorframe.
With the creation of the Hinge Shields, we had both sides of the door covered and were confident that we had the problem solved. Once again, our testers proved us wrong. We quickly found that several kicks would cause the door to split near the lock area. We went out and tried some of the brass “door protectors” from our local store but they were not strong enough. We created some steel Door Shields and never had another kick-in. Once we secured our doors, we did not have problems with broken windows or other creative entry methods that we had anticipated. We were able to complete our renovations and sell our properties.
Had we not had to solve a problem that was costing us REAL money, we probably would have stopped at jamb reinforcement as all of our competitors have. We continued to test Door Jamb Armor for about a year before finalizing a version that we brought to market in 2006. We can say with confidence that competitive products do not compare because we tried everything that they are doing 5 years ago and know that it does not work.
Over time we have developed different variations of our original Door Jamb Armor product. These variations have all been in response to customers wanting something easier to install, less expensive or in a different color. While we try to give customers what they want we always make it a point to let them know exactly what they are getting. Thank you to everyone that has given us feedback over the years. We believe that listening to this feedback that has made us a unique company and will continue to drive us going forward.