Most doors are selected by general contractors who have more interest in cost containment than security. If you are a home owner and you have the funds, you can choose to replace your doors. However, you can also enhance the security of most doors with the simple and cheap addition of a cane bolt.
Cane bolts function very similar to door chains. The weakness of door chains is that most of them are mounted on weak material, such as soft wood door jams or even drywall. Very few are mounted with sufficiently long screws into solid 2×4’s or masonry.
Cane bolts solve half that problem. You drill a large deep hole into solid material — usually the floor — and then slide the solid metal rod into that hole. The cane bolt’s weakest point becomes it’s attachment to the door. However, doors tend to be made of sturdier material than walls or door jams. In addition, most doors open inwards, which will make the cane bolt effective as a blocking mechanism even if the mounting screws fall out completely.
The easiest installation location is on the bottom of the door, drilling the bolt hole into the floor. They can also be mounted on the side of the door, if the door is recessed into a wall. I have seen people mount them on the top of doors, although some mechanism must be used to keep the bolt pushed into place. In addition, top mounted cane bolt can create difficulties for the shorter members of a household.
Cane bolts are cheap. A good quality cane bolt can be purchased for under $20. They are also easy to install, requiring only a drill and a screwdriver. A good cane bolt can help you sleep better at night, knowing that there is one more line of defense between your family and the dangers of the world.