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I am replacing my existing home window and door security grills with thicker gauge RHS (rectangular hollow section - steel tubing) and I was wondering if rebar inside of RHS would add any meaningful reinforcement from cutting with a hacksaw?

My thinking is that, while rebar is pretty easy to cut with a hacksaw, hanging loosely inside RHS, it would just spin around and not be easy to cut.

Context

Home invasions are a common issue where I live, with 3-4 armed burglars forcing their way into homes without occupants being aware. They predominantly use basic hand tools (hacksaw & crowbars) to cut an opening where they can gain access. I am doing a general security update, so I'll be implementing other strategies as well as putting in heavier duty security grills.

FYI. Walls are all concrete, so the weight of the structure isn't so big of a deal.

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    What is RHS? Additionally why not have motion activated lights? Burglars do not like to be "brought into the light" and go off to find an easier target.
    – RMDman
    Apr 5 at 11:47
  • Note that rebar isn't exactly round, and may or may not be 100% true, so it may or may not spin.
    – Huesmann
    Apr 5 at 12:22
  • I bet we're talking about box tubing. Uncommon abbreviations should be written out before use.
    – isherwood
    Apr 5 at 12:55
  • My apologies. RHS is rectangular hollow section, and is the same as structural hollow steel tubing. My apologies.
    – laroygreen
    Apr 5 at 16:28

2 Answers 2

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Yes, it is a common strategy used in the manufacturing of security windows. Nothing will stop a determined burglar, but everything you do to slow them will be helpful. Keep in mind that hacksaws are a thing of the past. Today it's more likely they'll use a battery angle grinder, unless noise is a concern.

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  • Thank you. They seem to prefer hand tools to minimize noise. They want to catch the occupants off guard. Angle grinders are usually used when they are breaking into unoccupied commercial properties. Being a burglar is a lot of work, couldn't they use this energy for something productive?
    – laroygreen
    Apr 5 at 13:51
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    Most folks who are intelligent enough to do other work don't go into burglary.
    – keshlam
    Apr 5 at 15:14
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One technique to make cutting a hollow (steel? RHS means right hand side to me...) structure more difficult is to fill it with a mixture of very hard things (broken cutting tools, hardened concrete nails, etc. Things as hard as or harder than hacksaw teeth - even dull hacksaw blades - or possibly rocks) and something that gums up the saw teeth (such as hot tar for roofing applications - heat it to liquefy and pour in, then it hardens to stay put, but if a saw (or grinder blade) gets in there the teeth fill up with tar and don't cut well.)

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  • Thank you. Sounds like great suggestions!
    – laroygreen
    Apr 5 at 13:48
  • Carborundum grit mixed into tar could be interesting. That should even slow grinders by a combination of clogging and wearing the disc
    – Chris H
    Apr 6 at 18:45

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