Have you ever felt unsafe in your own home? Been concerned about an intruder breaking in or someone unwanted entering your private space? Barricading a door with a chair is an easy, inexpensive way to add an extra layer of security and peace of mind.
In this DIY guide, you’ll learn multiple techniques for barricading doors using items you already have at home. We’ll cover everything on how to barricade a door with a chair. By the end, you’ll be able to fortify any entrance in just a few minutes using common household furniture.
Why Barricade a Door?
Here are some of the top reasons for barricading a door with a chair or other furniture:
- Delay and deter intruders – A barricaded door signals the room is occupied and adds crucial minutes or longer to breach time. This delays unwanted entry and buys time to escape or call for help.
- Enhance the sense of security – The simple act of barricading can provide comfort and minimize anxiety, even if it only holds for a few kicks or rams. Knowing your door won’t swing open easily can help you rest easier.
- Protect against home invasions – Barricading is an important part of home defense plans. It creates a hard point that invaders must get past, alerting you to their presence.
- Prevent accidents or mistakes – A barricaded door prevents kids or pets from accidentally opening it and wandering outside. It also stops mistaken entries by maintenance workers or guests.
- Increase privacy – barricades make it harder for someone to barge in unannounced, like an angry ex-partner. This grants extra privacy and peace of mind.
Now that you know why it’s smart to barricade doors, let’s look at how to do it properly using a chair or similar household items.
Barricading is about using friction and anchor points to make opening a door difficult from the outside. There are a few key principles to understand:
- Create wedging friction – You want diagonal braces that “wedge” the door shut. Friction from their pressure makes turning the knob or handle very hard.
- Pick sturdy anchor points – Look for solid objects like studs or radiators. Anchor your braces here so force is transferred instead of slipping.
- Layer multiple braces – Use redundant braces for each anchor point. More wedges make a more formidable barrier that attackers must remove.
- Check fire safety – Ensure essential safety at least one other exit remains accessible in case of emergency. Never block all paths out.
With the basics covered, let’s look at specific techniques for barricading with chairs and other household items.
Simple Door Wedge Barricade
The fastest and easiest barricade is a simple door wedge brace. All you need is a sturdy chair or a similar large object like a table or shelf.
How to construct:
- Position the chair about 1 foot back from the door at a 45-degree angle.
- Slide the chair forward until the top backrest lip “wedges” firmly under the door handle.
- Use body weight to press the chair tightly against the door and test the wedge.
Ideally, the door should only open 1-2 inches before the wedge braces it shut again. Apply more pressure or use shims if needed to tighten it.
This creates significant friction that prevents the latch bolt from retracting more than a small amount.
- Extremely fast to set up – under 15 seconds
- Simple and requires minimal objects
- Sturdy brace if a chair is heavy and solid
- The chair can potentially be kicked or pushed out of the way by a determined intruder
- Only braces one small section of the door rather than the entire frame
- Depends on the door shape and size lining up with the chair wedge angle
While fast and better than nothing, a solitary wedge has limits. Next, we’ll look at ways to expand on this single brace concept.
Multi-Point Barricade With Chair and Clamp Locks
For greater security, you can combine a wedging chair brace with clamp-style locks installed at multiple anchor points around the frame.
- 1 sturdy chair
- 2-3 clamp-style locks (slide bolts, door security bars, etc)
How to construct:
- Install clamp locks spaced evenly across the door frame – at minimum the top and bottom.
- Position the chair 15-30 degrees off the centerline to wedge tightly under the handle.
- Use body weight to compress the chair into a door and test all friction points.
The clamp locks reinforce the entire door while the angled chair provides a redoubling friction brace.
- Uses a full door frame for strength
- Redundant friction locks require multiple removal steps
- Disrupts lifting the door off hinges or out of frame
- Requires purchasing additional hardware
- Takes more time to install multiple devices
- Clamps may not work on all door/frame combinations
This upgrade is great for at-risk doors. The materials are still common household items easily obtained.
Next, we’ll explore how a more involved barricade using ropes or cables can further enhance security.
Multi-Point Barricade With Chair and Securing Cables
For high-risk situations, cables add impressive strength by binding the entire door frame together against force.
- 1 sturdy chair
- Several lengths of cable, rope, zip ties, or similar
How to construct:
- Anchor cables at the top, bottom, and midpoint of a door frame. Tie to studs or other solid points.
- Run cables diagonally through door handles to interconnect them in an X or Z pattern across the door.
- Wedge chair under handle for additional friction.
- Use body weight to tension cables and compress the chair. Test security.
Proper cable crisscrossing essentially binds the door into the frame as one solid unit. This counters lifting, spreading, and displacement tactics.
- Extremely formidable even against rams, kicks, or prying tools
- Full door length is tied into the frame on all sides
- Cables still allow fire exit by cutting them
- More complicated installation
- Requires adequate mounting points to handle high-tension
- Impedes but does not prevent breach if the attacker has tools
Cables make door removal extremely difficult. Combined with chair friction, this setup can delay skilled attackers for precious extra minutes.
Create an A-Frame Barricade (Advanced)
If you need to block a large area like a hallway or gap, an A-frame barricade is very sturdy.
- 2 sturdy chairs, small tables, or similar
- 1 long brace object like a 2×4 or rod
- Rope, cable ties, or zip ties
How to construct:
- Place chair ends against opposite walls facing inward to make an upside-down “V” shape.
- Place brace horizontally across seats 3-4 feet above ground. Secure with ties.
- Test frame stability and use shims to wedge if needed.
- Pile heavy objects like bags or boxes against the A-frame to reinforce it.
The triangular A-frame shape transfers force through the legs into the floor and walls. Piling weight atop it stabilizes the barrier even more.
- Totally blocks movement through an area, not just a door
- Does not require mounting holes or hardware
- Can pile a large amount of mass atop it
- Bulky and obstructs fire exits
- Still possible to crawl under if not piled high
- Foothold anchors depend on floor and wall strength
In high-risk settings, an A-frame barricade with piled mass creates an imposing blockade ideal for sealing off an entire passage.
Best Practices For Maximum Effectiveness
To get the most security from your door barricade using chairs or other items:
- Place braces at sharp diagonals of the door frame – 30-45 degrees off the centerline to create optimal wedging friction.
- Use anchor points like studs or radiators to transfer force – avoid hollow drywall anchors.
- Create redundancy with multiple braces – single points still allow some give.
- Reinforce with additional obstructions – pile furniture, bags, boxes, etc. behind primary braces.
- Check fire safety – ensure at least one exit path remains accessible.
- Barricade threats proactively – don’t wait until an intruder is at the door.
- Have an escape route planned – know your backup exit if they penetrate the door.
- Combine with other defenses like mace, alarms, phones, panic rooms, or weapons per local laws. Barricades buy you time to use them.
Properly constructed barricades using chairs and common items found in the home can significantly enhance your security. They create an imposing barrier that delays, frustrates, and deters malicious entry.
Barricading doors with chairs, tables, and other household items is an easy and highly effective way to improve home security. A properly wedged and reinforced door brace can significantly slow, frustrate, and deter a potential intruder. This simple DIY technique buys precious extra minutes to enact escape plans or call for assistance.
Start with basic door wedges, then expand to multi-point friction locks and anchoring cables for even better protection. Use redundant braces at sharp diagonal angles. And be sure to maintain emergency exits.
Knowing how to quickly fortify doors and windows with common furniture gives peace of mind and life-saving reassurance. With smart preparation and practice, you can defend against home invasion threats using simple items already in your house.
Stay safe by proactively securing your entrances against unwanted and dangerous entry. A sturdy chair barricade provides an inexpensive yet powerful layer of security for you and your loved ones.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How long will a chair brace hold against forceful entry?
It depends on the chair’s construction and weight, the technique used, and the attacker’s motivation. A basic wedge brace may last a few strong kicks before failing. An A-frame or multi-point cable system could hold out for many minutes against rams, tools, or sustained battering. But any barricade will eventually fail against an extremely determined intruder with the right tools and enough time. The goal is to delay and frustrate entry long enough to get help or flee.
2. Can I barricade my door from the outside?
Yes, it is possible to barricade exterior doors from the outside to delay entry by intruders who don’t have keys. Use wedges and clamp locks designed for outdoor use. You can also barricade inward-swinging doors. But know that this makes emergency exit difficult in case of fire. Only barricade outwards-swinging doors from the inside.
3. What household items work best for barricades?
Sturdy wooden chairs and tables, shelves, sofas, cabinets, and dressers are ideal braces. For cables, use lamp cords, Ethernet cables, phone chargers, extension cords, or rope/zip ties. Avoid fragile objects like chairs with thin legs. Test household items ahead of time to ensure they are up to the task before relying on them in an emergency.
4. Should I barricade every door and window?
Only barricade entry points are vulnerable to intrusion. Doors and ground-floor windows are obvious targets. Barricading upper-floor windows is often unnecessary. And never barricade all exits – maintain at least one emergency escape path. Prioritize doors first, then windows if needed. Have an evacuation plan and backup exit ready in case barricades fail.
5. Is barricading doors with chairs legal?
In most areas barricading yourself into a room for self-defense is legal. But always check local laws on home defense, entry obstruction, and door-locking devices to ensure compliance. Improper or dangerous use of barricades could potentially have legal consequences. Only barricade when you have a genuine, reasonable fear of harm.