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Latch Guards Basics

Door with no Latch Guard Installed Door With Latch Guard Installed
Before Latch Guard Installed After Latch Guard Installed

The gap between the door and the frame is one of the weakest points, especially if the gap is wide enough to make the bolt visible from the exterior. Latch guards are metal plates that cover exposed latches and keep them from being tampered with. In order to gain forced access, a latch may be cut or pryed; but a latch guard can keep this from happening.

Latch Guard Plates are typically made out of heavy gauge steel or stainless steel, so you can be sure they aren't easy to bend or cut.

Latch Guards are also known as Latch Sheilds or Latch Protectors.

Outswing Doors:

This is the most common type of latch protector. Latch shields for outswinging doors are made up of a single piece, which is installed to the exterior face of the door to cover a visble latch or bolt.

Some outswing door security guard plates are equipped with a security pin. The security pin is embeded into the door frame and acts as an anchor to prevent an attacker from using a crowbar to spread the door from the frame in order to release the latch. This is especially useful in adding security to condos or apartments where builder grade materials were used.

The protuberance that can be seen on many outswing latch guards accommodates the lip of the strike.

Don-Jo PLP-111-630

Don-Jo LP-2878 For security latch guard plates that install using a machine screw, the mounting studs are welded to the back of the plate, so there is no visible point of attack. With carriage bolts and sex bolts, the bolt ends are smooth so there is no place for a screwdriver to be used.
Don-Jo LP-ALP-210

  • Surface Mount: The other variety is surfaced mounted to the door's edge. This type of Angle Plate Security Latch Guard are typically not quite as secure as its thru-bolt counter-part but have a cleaner look once installed since the installation hardware is not visible on the interior of the door. Another advantage to a surface mounted latch guard angle plate is that it is easy to install and does not require holes to be drilled all the way through the door. Most do not require special tools for installation.

Inswing Doors:

Don-Jo ILP-212

Latch guards for inswinging doors are made up of two pieces known as the U-Channel and the Protector Plate or Offset Bar. The U-channel is installed on the door's face and the offset bar is installed on the door frame. When the door is closed, the two pieces come together to form a barrier to protect the latch. Since the screws are visible from the exterior, many come packaged with one-way screws for added security.

When installing an Inswing Door Security Latch Guard, it is important that the offset bar covers the screws that attach the U-channel to the door.

Don-Jo ILP-212

Storefront Latch Protectors:

Storefront doors almost always have a large gap between the door and the jamb, leaving the latch or bolt exposed. This is especially true if a door has a mortise deadlatch. For this type of application, a storefront door security latch guard has a cutout to accommodate the cylinder for a Mortise Deadlatch, Mortise Deadbolt, or Mortise Hookbolt.

Offset Latch Guards account for when the jamb side of the door frame has a larger projection than the storefront door.

One of the best ways to make sure that your commercial building is secure, is to install a security plate that covers the gap between the full height of the space between the door and jamb. A full door latch protector effectively prevents prying and manipulation of the door. It is great for side and rear exit doors that are often hidden from main street traffic and the target of many break-ins. Another way to protect these vulnerable entrances is to install a security door bar that prevents the door from being removed, even if the door latch is compromised, the hinge pins removed, or the lock cylinder drilled.

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