If you are really concerned about the security of your door, then a bulletproof door is definitely a great way to protect your home from break-ins, armed robbery, and even bomb blasts.
If the threat levels in your area are pretty high, then investing in security cameras and alarms is probably not enough to adequately protect your home. Instead, a strong enough door is very important to protect yourself, your family, and your valuables from certain types of crimes.
Do You Actually Need A Bulletproof Door?
Do you actually need a bullet-resistant door, or will a standard security door be sufficient for your needs?
To answer this, you’ll first need to determine the threat level of your property, ideally by performing a comprehensive risk assessment by:
- Evaluating various potential threats, both natural threats, and manmade threats
- List various incident scenarios and all potential threats
- Measure the potential impact of each threat
- List current security measures in the property (if any)
Based on your risk assessment, decide whether you’ll need a bulletproof door and at which level of bullet resistance (we’ll discuss this below). Obviously, the higher the level of bullet resistance, the more expensive the door will be, so it’s crucial to choose the right type of bulletproof door according to the most likely threat scenario.
Here are some examples of potential threats to consider:
- Regular burglary with break-ins
- Armed robbery
- Active shooters in the area
- Potential terrorist attacks
- Natural disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes
- Potential riot and looting
- Potential bomb blasts
Different Levels Of Bullet Resistance
It’s crucial to understand that no high-security door is 100% bulletproof, so although we use the term bulletproof with these ballistic doors, the more proper term is “bullet-resistant”.
Bulletproof doors have different bullet resistance levels, which refer to the door’s ability to resist not only bullets but all different kinds of projectiles (from thrown stones to blasts during explosions). These bullet resistance ratings were defined by the UL organization with the UL 752 standards, although sometimes the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Standard 0801.01 is also used.
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UL 752 Bullet Resistance Ratings
|Bullet Resistance Level||Ammunition Resisted||NO. OF SHOTS|
|Level 1||9mm Full Metal Copper Jacket with 3. Lead Core||3|
|Level 2||357 Magnum Jacketed LeadSoft Point 3.||3|
|Level 3||44 Magnum Lead Semi-Wadcutter 3. Gas Checked||3|
|Level 4||30 Caliber Rifle Lead Core Soft Point(.30-06 caliber)||1|
|Level 5||7.62mm Rifle Lead Core Full Metal Copper 1 Jacket, Military Ball (.308 caliber)||1|
|Level 6||9mm Full Metal Copper Jacket with 5 Lead Core||5|
|Level 7||5.56mm Rifle Full Metal Copper Jacket with 5 Lead Core (223 calibers)||5|
|Level 8||7.62mm Rifle Lead Core Full Metal Copper||5|
NIJ Standard 0801.01
|Bullet Resistance Type||Test Ammunition||Required Hits on The Test|
|I||Long Rifle High-Velocity Lead 38, Special RN Lead||5|
|II-A||357 Magnum, Jacketed Soft Point 9mm Full Metal Jacket||5|
|II||357 Magnum Jacketed Soft Point (higher velocity round), 9mm Full Metal Jacket (higher velocity round)||5|
|III-A||44 Magnum Lead Semi-Wadcutter Gas Checked, 9mm Full Metal Jacket||5|
|III||7.62mm, 308Winchester Full Metal Jacket||5|
|IV||30-06 Armor Piercing||1|
Thus, when choosing between different bulletproof doors, it’s crucial to figure out the bullet resistance rating/type. Front high-security bulletproof doors from Fortified Estate, for example, meet UL standards for level 3 handgun and level 8 assault rifle projectiles, while can also provide adequate protection from forced-entry tools such as battering rams.
Bulletproof Doors: Materials And Constructions
Contrary to popular belief that bulletproof doors should be made of solid metal, most bulletproof doors are multi-layered, and technically even doors made thick enough solid wood (2-3 inches thick) can effectively withstand handgun rounds to some extent.
Common materials for bulletproof doors are:
This one is pretty obvious. Steel is a very strong material, making it the most popular material in bulletproof doors. The biggest benefit of steel is that you can keep the door pretty thin with steel, as it takes only ½” of thickness to effectively stop a handgun bullet.
It’s very rare to use solid wood on its own to manufacture a bulletproof door since as discussed, the door will need to be very thick (2-3 inches) to effectively stop a bullet. However, wood is often combined with metal exterior, since wood materials are especially good in dissipating impact energy to reduce vibrations.
Lighter than steel, but is not as strong. So, it is commonly used as an exterior material in combination with other materials to reduce the weight of the bulletproof door (which can be very heavy).
Another popular material since fiberglass can be made pretty strong while being lightweight and affordable. It is also very versatile since we can manufacture it in different thicknesses quite easily to meet different bullet resistance ratings. Also, since they typically come in panels, easy to install and combine with other materials.
A synthetic fiber material, similar to fiberglass. It is also lightweight, heat-resistant, and relatively affordable. Has a really good strength-to-weight ratio, so it’s a popular material to keep the door’s weight lighter.
Bulletproof Doors: Considering Weak Points
Depending on the design, some bulletproof doors can have natural weak points. For example, if the door features windows, the windows could be weaker than the door itself, if not of an adequate security level. We should also consider the strength of the frames, so the bulletproof doors can’t be pried open during a break-in.
Make sure that the door also has an adequately strong locking system. Consider a multi-point locking system that will effectively secure the door on the front side, top and bottom, and hinge side with multiple security bolts.
While bulletproof doors require a very substantial investment, they are available now more than ever to residential and corporate clients, alike.
When choosing between different bulletproof doors, it’s crucial to make your choice while first considering the threat levels in your area that are relevant to your property.