How can I secure my van's doors against someone breaking a window to reach in and opening the door?

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scaredycat72

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I suggest that anti-break in window film because locks don't make any sense to me.

If someone breaks your window for a smash and grab, they have to see something on your seats or in your console to grab. A smash and grab is reaching into the vehicle through the window and grabbing whatever they see of value. I don't see how stopping the doors from opening will stop that?

If someone wants to break into your vehicle to look around and they have the time and commitment to smash the windows to do it, they would just climb through the window. Why would not being able to open the door stop them?

If you're in the vehicle and you want more time to respond after someone smashs a window, then yeah, maybe stopping the doors from opening makes sense but just yelling that you're inside should stop the person from breaking in if they just want to steal stuff.

Plus if you ever need help, how will rescue personnel get to you if you're locked up like a bank? It's going to be hard to save you if they have to crawl through a window or wait for equipment to get the door open.
 

tradesman

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There is a new thread started about security film here:

However typical automobile locks are very easy to defeat, so window film would be just one of several measures to take. Another is reinforcing the door handle lock areas and/or adding secondary locks.
 
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scaredycat72

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There is a new thread started about security film here:

However typical automobile locks are very easy to defeat, so window film would be just one of several measures to take. Another is reinforcing the door handle lock areas and/or adding secondary locks.
Sweet. I want security film on my windows but no one in my area installs it. Hopefully I'll run across a shop that does on the road.

Automobile locks and smash proof windows will keep out most people and thieves but reinforced handle areas and secondary locks are smart if you have the type of vehicle that gets targeted a lot, like construction vans, or if you leave your vehicle for really long periods of time, like 12 hour hikes.
 

tradesman

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You can purchase security film online and do it yourself, but its all in the preparation. Cleaning the glass, then scraping the glass with a razor blade and cleaning again. Then making sure you're in a dust free zone when applying it.
 

CosmickGold

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Here's the final version of what I'm doing to secure my van:
1. Security film on the windows. This page has the size and length I need (out of their 14 choices), which is 24 inches by X 24 feet. Also, I read you need the 8mil to be strong enough to keep thieves out, even though 4mil and 2mil are of course cheaper to buy. Here's a video showing how well the film works. (There are also plenty of YouTube videos showing how to install security film.)



Here is important information about security-film I got in a reply from tradesman answering the questions I had asked:
1. It must be installed on the interior of the window.
2. It must be installed on the interior of the window.
3. It must be installed directly on the glass and not on top of any "added on" tinted lamination.
4. Adhesive strength will be similar in all security films and on the interior the criminal will not be able to remove it.

FYI: The thicker the film the more protection it provides, however for curved glass (especially two directional curve) you cannot use the thicker versions as they do not conform to curves like thin window tint which is only 1 or 2 mil.
Also for roll down windows you would need to remove the window in order to apply it out to the edges of the glass to provide a better level of protection. On fixed windows it would need to have a structural adhesive caulk applied around the perimeter. If you do not do this, the glass can simply be smashed in as a whole piece.

Windshields are made of two layers of glass with a plastic layer in the middle. This is called laminated safety glass.

2. Securing my doors from the inside. I am installing these gate latches as "dead bolts", using threaded bolts to secure one onto the inside of each metal door near the bottom. The "dead bolt" part goes straight down through a hole I drilled through the metal floor. If you put padlocks on these, be sure to keep a key right there near each lock in case you need to make a quick escape!

Image 7.jpg


3. Securing one door from the outside. Even though I understand an external lock will make thieves wonder what valuable item is being secured inside, I'm putting this one across my side twin doors anyway. Be sure to use this black one by Proven Locks, and not the similar silver one by Master. There are videos showing how the Master lock can be picked in only a few seconds, while this black lock could not be picked even after two hours of the same person trying; for unlike the silver lock, the pins of the black lock must each be tipped by the inserted key at just the right angle as well as pressed down the correct distance.

Image 6.jpg

4) The windshield. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think windshields are secure enough already, for they consist of a strong plastic layer between two sheets of extra thick/strong glass, meant to withstand objects flying into them at high speed on the road.
 
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