If you’ve been following the blog for a while, then you probably know by now that choosing the right picture hangers is key to hanging frames successfully.
But it doesn’t hurt to go the extra mile to avoid the nightmare of falling frames. After all, picture frames have sentimental value, and artwork is pretty expensive.
In this article, we’ll be talking about security kits, a type of security hardware that locks your frames in place, which help prevent falling and possible theft.
What is a Security Kit?
Security kits are picture hanging packages composed of the necessary hanging hardware with the primary purpose of hanging artwork with additional security. They are designed to stay hidden while doing their job, thus giving a subtle and classy overall look with the added feature of extra security to ensure the frames don’t fall or get stolen.
Another good thing about these kits is that regardless of whether you're hanging an item in your own home or looking to hang multiple pictures in a restaurant, a hotel, a hospital, or even an art gallery, they offer the same high level of security.
The kit includes everything needed to hang your desired item — screws, anchors, a t-head screw, and a wrench. However, we sell the components individually, too, which we will talk about more in a bit.
What Are They Best Used For?
The thought of keeping our expensive picture frames, artwork, or mirrors safe and secure can be worrisome. Most people are not aware that there is such thing as "security hardware" and it can truly offer some real peace of mind.
Here’s where security kits come in and put you at ease. Their security feature helps with the following:
- Protecting frames against heft
- Preventing frames from falling
- Keeping frames in place during an earthquake or in high traffic areas
Thanks to its frame locking feature, they truly bring out the “secure” in security kits.
Aside from home and personal use, security kits also come in handy when hanging something in public, commercial places like:
- Art Galleries
- Retail Establishments
- Any other public place!
There are a lot of places and situations where these kits can be utilized. So, if you’re thinking of getting yourself a security kit, it’s best to familiarize yourself with each piece of hardware first. In the next section, get to know each component that makes up the kit.
What’s Inside a Security Kit?
As mentioned earlier, this is a complete picture hanging package composed of wall brackets, screws, mounting plates, and plastic wall anchors. Check out how they look and what they do below.
Security Wall Bracket
Security Wall Brackets are wall hardware that you use to hang frames on. They have a slotted screw hole that measures 3/ 8” high and 3/ 16” wide for the screws to go through.
Wall brackets are installed on the wall and should be aligned to the mounting plates attached to the back of the frame.
***If cleats are being used to hang the item on the wall, these brackets are not needed.
T-Head Security Screw
(Also known as T-Lock)
If you’re wondering what makes a Security Kit secure, this is it. The T-Head Security Screw is a T-shaped screw that locks frames into the bracket(s) on the frame, keeping the item in place and disabling any attempt of stealing the item or having the item fall.
They measure 1 5 /8” long, is made of zinc-plated steel, and has a #14 thread. It works by rotating the screw 90 degrees once it’s inside the Security Mounting Plate.
The T-Head Screw is, of course, included in all security kits. But should you need extras, you can buy them individually. Now you might be wondering, “why would I need an extra?”
The Extra T-Head Screw is for when you have to hang a frame that’s more than 24” wide. Instead of installing only one in the middle of the frame's bottom rail, install one T-Head screw at each corner. It’s optional but adding anadditional mounting pointwill make larger frames more stable and more secure.
There are three variants of the Extra T-Head Screw:
- Extra T-Lock for Wood Frames
- ExtraT-Lock for Metal Frames
- ExtraT-Lock with Lead Anchor for Brick and Concrete Wall
Note: All three already include the hardware needed for installation.
Security Mounting Plate for T-Head Screw
The other most important piece that allows this system to work is the Mounting Plate. Mounting Plates are frame hardware that the T-Head Screw will lock into. They are installed on the back of wood frames, aligned with the T-Head Screw on the wall. Once they’re lined up, the screw should fit right into the mounting plate when you hang a frame.
If you look closely, the mounting plates are slightly asymmetrical, giving leeway when installed on narrow wood frames. Aside from that, they have no up or down edges, which means they can be oriented either way to accept wall hardware.
***If hanging a metal frame, these would not be used.
This wrench is a thin and long-handled wrench with a unique opening that fits the T-Head Screw. The security wrench locks and unlocks frames from the wall, and helps make installation quicker, and prevents wall surfaces from getting scuffed.
The Security Wrench may or may not be included in a Security Kit depending on what item you order, but they are an essential tool that gets the job done. There’s a regular-sized Security Wrench and a Long Security Wrench, which you can buy separately.
We believe that having the right tools make a huge difference, so we recommend getting at least one Security Wrench to facilitate the installation of thesecurity hangers. They’re inexpensive, practical, and durable enough to last a long time.
Screws and Anchors
Last but not least, the kit wouldn’t be complete without the screws and plastic wall anchors for installation. You don’t have to think about which anchor is compatible with what because everything is already curated for your convenience.
How To Choose the Right Security Kits
With a Security Kit at the ready, all that’s left to do is add to the cart and check out. But before you do that, you have to choose the right type of security kit first.
There are three kinds of security kits, all with a T-Head screw included. Pack inclusions of each kit will depend on what you’re using the kit for.
As you can see above, the kits for wood frames have more hardware than the kit for metal frames. This is because metal frames have channels at the back, which allow you to hang them on the wall directly without mounting plates.
The last kit mentioned includes French cleats as frame hardware. Not all sizes are available in those packed with security kits, but we made sure to have the commonly used sizes for wood and metal frames.
At this point, you may already have a specific security kit in mind. So, the next question is, how do you install them?
How To Install a Security Kit
Security kits can be a little tricky to install but don’t worry, we broke it down into two parts and created a detailed step-by-step guide to make it easier for you.
Part 1: Installing the security wall brackets
- Attach the mounting plates to the back of the frame.
- For wood frames, two plates should be on top and one plate at the bottom.
- Position the top plates at least ½” from the edges so they will stay unseen.
- Make sure that the bottom plate is centered.
- For metal frames, you’ll only need one mounting plate at the bottom for the T-head screw.
- Align the mounting plates to where the brackets should be on the wall and mark the position.
- Drill holes first and then insert the plastic anchors.
- Tighten the screws using a screwdriver.
Part 2: Installing the T-screw
Mark the spot on the wall for the T-Head Screw
- Align the mark with the bottom mounting plate.
- PRO TIP: Use the T-Head screw as a marker by holding it in the plate and touching the wall.
- The flat neck of the security screw should stick out about 3/ 8” from the wall in horizontal (unlocked) position.
- The T-Head screw should pass through the bottom mounting plate.
- The frame should evenly stand off the wall about 3/8”.
- ⚒️ PRO TIP: You can also place the wrench on the screw neck before you tilt the frame onto the screw to easily locate it.
- To check if the screw is engaged, gently tug the frame to make sure it’s locked in place.
This can be a bit tricky to line everything up the first time, so give yourself a big pat on the back when you finish!
Now that you know everything about security kits, you can add this to your list of go-to security hangers when hanging something valuable. They’re convenient, practical, and of course, secure. When safety is a priority, you can never go wrong with security kits.