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What are Security Screws?

By Lori Kilchermann
Updated May 17, 2024
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Security screws are those that require a special tool to remove them. A specific drive design is incorporated into the head of the screws, requiring a specially designed bit for removal. A regular screwdriver is unable to loosen a security screw. This type of fastener is often used in public restrooms as well as schools where the threat of vandalism is higher.

Tamper-proof fasteners, or security screws as they are commonly called, utilize a head design that requires a specific type of driver to install or remove. These fasteners are used in any application where the removal of fasteners is tempting, but unwanted. Security screws are used to assemble restroom components in high-traffic areas such as highway rest areas, schools, and even jails and correctional facilities. The security screws offer another level of protection against robbery and vandalism.

These screws can even be used to lock down items in a motel room that may be targets for theft, such as radios and television sets. By using security screws to mount the items to a wall or desk, it becomes much more difficult to remove them. Placing screens and protective grates over windows is a good way of hindering a thief's efforts to remove property, but without the addition of security screws, a few minutes with a common screwdriver is all it takes to gain entrance to a locked facility.

By machining special drives into the heads of security screws, the removal becomes next to impossible without a corresponding drive tool. Much like a locking lug nut for a custom set of automobile wheels, the special drive tool fits into the head of the safety nut and allows the owner to turn it. Without the tool, the wheel becomes impossible to remove.

Used to install high-end stereo systems in automobiles as well as to attach components to machines such as automatic teller machines (ATMs), the security screws are used in any application where the threat of unauthorized personnel gaining access is guarded against. Municipalities use security screws to prevent tampering with utility meters. Security screw construction is also used as a safety barrier in dangerous devices such as electrical meters and transformers.

Manufactured from quality materials, these fasteners are often chisel proof as well as hardened to withstand the use of bolt cutters. For an added security barrier, many of the bolts come complete with security nuts installed as well. This type of application requires the use two specialty tools to remove the fastener.

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