Security Doors – A burglars Nightmare

So far, we’ve been talking about standard doors, the kind that are most commonly found for the front of your home. There are, however, special doors that you can purchase, and we’ll refer to these as security doors. They are often made of metal and may resemble what some refer to as a flyscreen door.

Security dr vs flyscreen doorHere is what a security door looks like:
 These do look a bit alike, and security doors are much more expensive than flyscreen doors. So, if they look so much alike, why wouldn’t you get a flyscreen door? Because they’re not safe. They’re easy to penetrate. One quick tap on the screen and the difference can be felt and heard.

Hole in FlyscreenHere is an enlarged picture of the fly screen door. See the hole? Trust me, you cannot make a hole in the security door. It is made of metal that is too strong to make a hole in.

A security door, on the other hand – whether a standard door or a sliding door – is a great way of protecting your premises with an extra level of security. There are many different styles of security doors on the market. They can be made from aluminium or steel. However, if someone tries to sell you a security door made out of wood, walk away. This is a flyscreen door. Security doors are not made of wood.

Not only can a security door be highly designed; it can also be locked. A security door that also has a lock will deter any would-be thief.

Security door 3 point hingesHere’s an example of a security door with a three-way lock. This one would take a while to break into. Security doors are made with a variety of meshes. Some are one-way meshes, meaning that nobody can see in, but you can see out. Not only can you view anyone who is at your door, but you can install one, for instance, in your kitchen and have a great view of the terrace. These cost a bit extra, but provide incredible peace of mind. If you really want to get that great outdoors feeling – and these are more appropriate for the backyard – you can even look into sliding doors. These are usually made of glass, and you will want to explore the type of glass, but there are safety doors that are sliding doors as well.

These can be deadlocked if needed, can be coated to protect the interior from UV rays and are now virtually shatter- proof. You will want to look for types that have a sturdy frame and that can take a proper, bolted lock. Stainless steel mesh is an option for a sliding door, as well.

Door Guards and Frames
Door GuardBelieve it or not, doorframes and doors can move. Weather conditions – such as heat or cold, dryness or humidity – are the determining factors. In general, they move up and swell when they get wet and move down and shrink when they get dry.

It is important that your doorframes are fitted properly to accommodate these changes. However, even if you have good doors and good locks, environmental factors can conspire to allow just enough room for a screwdriver to be slipped between a door and its lock, especially in severe climates.

Even without human interference, in an extreme case, you may be unable to securely close a door if the latch does not fit properly into the strike. You may think it’s closed, but a burst of wind may be enough to force it open. That would indeed be the good fortune for a burglar who just happened to be passing through while you were away from home. 

The First step in Home Security – Secure your Doors

We’ll talk about doors first because, well, obviously if a burglar can’t get into your home they are doomed from the start.

Doors or windows, it’s much the same, but when most people think of “how do I get in?” they think of a door first. The story I am about to tell you is a littleheartbreaking. Yes, I work with people who have been robbed. Something about this one, though, just got to me.

A nice young couple had just bought their first home, and it was a fairly new house. They hadn’t been there long when disaster struck. There had been a break in. When I saw what had happened, I almost couldn’t believe my eyes. Someone had literally kicked their front door in half.

The “kids” – as I referred to these young homeowners – were devastated, as you can imagine. What they saw when they came home from their hard day of work was half of a front door.

The doorframe was made out of solid wood; the lock and strike were fitted correctly – which was great. The lock and the doorframe hadn’t budged. But, the door itself was quite another story. Upon inspection, it was found to have been made for internal use only, not external. There is quite a difference!

First, let’s talk about that difference. External doors must be solid, not hollow. If you really think wood is so attractive that you just have to have a wood door, then go for it, but aluminium is a better, stronger choice. Whichever you choose, make sure it is solid. Forget about a glass front door. If you want glass for your patio or pool area, well, maybe. We’ll talk about those later. But for your front door, no. Yes, I repeated that. Glass is just too fragile for that major entrance to your home.

Once again, solid, not hollow. Why?
Because hollow doors are lightweight, and though less expensive than solid doors, they are very easy to break.

Here are pictures of solid and hollow doors, hollow first.Inner and outer doors

Imagine punching through one of these with your full weight behind it. Crack the front layer of this hollow door and you get right through it. Notice the honeycomb type pattern at its centre. This is a structural weakness.

It’s much tougher to break a solid one, which looks like this:

Likewise, the frame that holds your front door must be solid. Do not spare expense here. Saving a few dollars now could cost you more later. As a matter of law, some apartments and businesses must be fitted with solid fire doors. In some cases, there is also a requirement of a metal doorframe. Here, you’re killing two birds with one stone.

Solid door, solid frame.

The Dangers of Being a Locksmith

It can actually be quite dangerous to be a Locksmith. Locksmiths don’t just deal with people who have been locked out of their houses, they often work for real estate agents or the police dealing with evictions. When someone is evicted, they will usually be in an agitated state and have been known to react violently to anyone who is just trying to do their job such as the locksmith, real estate agent or the police. 

There have been cases in America where Locksmiths have been shot, even killed during these evictions. Luckily for us in Australia, there are far fewer guns so our work is a little less risky, but there’s always a chance it could happen to an Australian Locksmith one day.

Here is an article about a sheriff and a locksmith who were shot during an eviction in Modesto, California.

Here is a more recent article a property manager was shot in the leg whilst a Locksmith was drilling a door in San Ramon, also in California. 


Justin on Channel 7’s Sunrise Program

Justin Fankhauser from TopLock Locksmiths was interviewed live on Channel 7’s popular morning program Sunrise on Monday October 7th to promote his new book Confessions of a Locksmith. Below Larry Emdur and Samantha Armytage have Justin live from Northcote Melbourne talking about locksmiths and home security. 

 sunrise 2

This was a really exciting interview for Justin, definitely worth getting up super early in the morning for!

sunrise 3

Here is Justin pointing out some home security weak spots on a house in Eltham. He goes around the house giving tips on what could be improved to make the house harder to break into.

Confessions of a Locksmith on Sunrise

Above is a nice presentation of the book. 

You can watch the whole video here on the Sunrise website or on our YouTube page

TopLock Locksmiths in the Herald Sun / Northcote Leader


Northcote Locksmith puts out book

Here’s a link to an article about Justin and his new book Confession of a Locksmith – An Insider’s Guide to Securing Your Home and Business that was published on the Herald Sun website which hosts articles from the Northcote Leader newspaper. The article is by Julia Irwin and was published on October 2nd 2013.

Justin Fankhauser is a resident of Northcote, and operates his Locksmith business TopLock Locksmiths from there but has 4 vans on the road servicing all around Melbourne. 


TopLock Locksmiths on

Melbourne Locksmith Justin Fankhauser from TopLock Locksmiths has been popping up all through the media lately, booked in for dozens of appearances in newspapers, radio shows, online and even on TV. He is booked all through October and November talking about security tips and promoting his new book Confessions of a Locksmith – An Insider’s Guide to Securing Your Home and Business. The first big place he seems to have popped up on was where he made the home page! Check out the article Confessions of a Locksmith author Justin Fankhauser dishes the dirt on his job and enjoy this screenshot of the home page of the site! Obviously that article isn’t here now, but luckily we managed to get a screenshot!

Confessions of a Locksmith book available now!

Confessions of a locksmith

TopLock Locksmiths are proud to present our new book Confessions of a Locksmith – An Insider’s Guide to Securing Your Home and Business is now available for order. The prices are $4.95 AUD for a digital copy of the book and $12.95 AUD with free post within Australia and $5 extra for postage overseas. 

The book is by Northcote Locksmith Justin Fankhauser who has been a locksmith around Melbourne for over 10 years and gives his personal insight into the industry and tips for securing your own house or property. He has a few media interviews booked in, will post links to all those once they are ready! 

You can order it from here


$28,000 stolen from major sporting establishments around Melbourne

An Adelaide man has been jailed over using stolen master keys and swipe cards to steal more than $28,000 in cash and equipment from such venues as AAMI Park, Rod Laver Arena, AFL House in Docklands, Collingwood Football Club, Park Medicine Centre, Victorian Council Office, as well as an apartment and an office building.

Nathan Miller had been flying to Melbourne frequently over 15 months between 2011 and 2012 and will be serving nine months in jail with a partially suspended 18 month sentence. His co-accused will be heard separately.

This is a reminder to all businesses that use master keys and swipe cards to keep very careful track of them. Make sure your staff report any missing master keys or swipe cards so that the missing card can be blocked on the system and replaced. If a master key is lost, the cost to replace the entire system may be expensive, but whatever the cost (could be a several thousand dollars for a huge building, such as a hotel) it will be worth it for the security of your belongings, data or other assets. 


Mobility scooter stolen in Northcote

Northcote grandmother Vicki Tzirozidis recently had her mobility scooter stolen from the front of her house on Christmas Street in Northcote. This is just one of many terrible things to happen to this 84-year-old widow, who also lost her husband three months ago and is still battling an insurance company after a fire gutted her home last year.

Vicki needs that scooter to get around as she has trouble walking and needs it to get to the shops and doctor’s appointments. There were also some important things in the basket on the scooter such as bills and other papers plus tools for gardening. The scooter is a red Shoprider with a brown basket.

If anyone knows anything about this theft or if someone took it mistaking it as hard rubbish please call Northcote Police on 9402 0200

Most burgled towns in Victoria

Below is a table of the most robbed houses in Victoria, these statistics come from the RACV website. The statistics are based on data from 2011 and 2012 and represent how many houses get broken into per year. These statistics are quite concerning and sound too frequent to be true. At TopLock Locksmiths we specialise in minimising your likelihood of being robbed by installing sufficient locks on your doors and windows. We also install alarm systems as we find that most houses who do get burgled don’t have these.  

 No. Suburb  Burglary Rate
1 Williams Landing 1 in 15
2 Ardeer 1 in 16
3 Mernda/Doreen 1 in 19
4 Wyndham Vale / Mambourin / Mount Cottrell 1 in 23
5 Parkville 1 in 23
6 Braybrook 1 in 29
7 Hoppers Crossing / Truganina / Tarneit 1 in 30
8 Broadmeadows / Dallas 1 in 31
9 Melton South / Exford 1 in 32
10 Sunshine / Albion 1 in 32
11 Heidelberg West / Heidelberg Heights 1 in 32
12 Deer Park/Caroline Springs / Cairnlea 1 in 32
13 St Albans / Kealba / Kings Park 1 in 33
14 Clayton / Clayton North 1 in 34
15 Lalor 1 in 34
16 Carlton North / Princes Hill 1 in 35
17 Melton, Kurunjang / Toolern Vale 1 in 36
18 Corio / Norlane / North Shore 1 in 37
19 Reservoir 1 in 37
20 Werribee / Point Cook 1 in 37
21 Lyndhurst / Lynbrook 1 in 38
22 Mildura 1 in 38
23 Robinvale 1 in 39
24 Delahey / Hillside / Taylors Hill / Sydenham 1 in 41
25 Narre Warren North / Narre Warren East 1 in 41
26 Thomastown 1 in 41
27 Shepparton / Branditt 1 in 42
28 Epping 1 in 42
29 Morwell / Driffield 1 in 42
30 Abbotsford 1 in 42
31 North Melbourne 1 in 43
32 Wendouree 1 in 43
33 Sale / Wurruk 1 in 43
34 Footscray West / Maidstone 1 in 43
35 Fitzroy 1 in 44
36 Glenroy / Oak Park / Hadfield 1 in 44
37 Montgomery / Darriman 1 in 46
38 South Morang 1 in 46
39 Footscray 1 in 47
40 Delacombe 1 in 47