- Exterior Doors - Many residential doors are made with hollow-core construction and poor locks. For the best protection you need solid doors and quality locks.
- Arcadia Doors - These doors are easily lifted out of their track. You can install a simple screw above the sliding door frame to prevent the door from being lifted out of the track. Drill a pilot hole in the top track above and slightly in from each corner of the sliding door frame section. Install a screw into each hole. Adjust the screw so that the head of the crew barely clears the frame, when the door is moved back and forth.
- Double Doors - These doors are easily jimmied or forced open. Flush lever bolts installed at the top and bottom of the doors are recommended.
- Doors with Windows - Doors with glass windows require double key deadbolt locks so that the burglar cannot break the glass and reach in to manually unlock the door. The key to a double deadbolt should be left in the lock at all times, when someone is home to ensure easy exit in the event of fire or emergency. An alternate method of ensuring the key is accessible if you do not wish to keep it in the lock is to hang it on a string on the wall near the door, but out of reach and sight ,should a burglar break the glass.
- Garage Doors - Standard locks are easily pried and allows the burglar access to your home undetected. Cane bolts and hasps are excellent protection. Make sure that both sides of the garage door are secure so that someone cannot lift one end enough to crawl under. Any door from the garage into the house should be securely locked. The more barriers you provide, the better protected you are.
Locks & Hinges
- Hinges - Many exterior doors expose the hinge pins on the outside. A burglar can remove the pins and lift the door from the frame. The best lock cannot guard against this technique. To prevent this, remove two opposing screws from each leaf of the hinge. Screw a long lag bolt into the frame side of the hinge leaf and saw off the head, leaving about 1/2 inch protruding. Drill out the opposite hole to allow the bolt to enter, when the door is closed. Do this to the top and bottom hinge plates. The hinge pins can still be removed by the burglar but the door will remain firmly in place.
- Spring Latch - This latch offers little or no protection, since it can be forced open with a credit card or knife. A deadbolt in addition to the spring latch will offer more protection, however, it too can be forced open.
- Deadbolt Locks - There are three basic types of deabolts:
- Single Cylinder Deadbolt: A solid bolt, activated by a key from the outside or a knob on the inside, which slides into the door frame. The lock cannot be slipped or easily pried. Deadbolts are only as good as the door and frame they are installed in.
- Double Cylinder Deadbolt: Basically the same as the single cylinder deadbolt except that it requires a key to be used from either side to function.
- Rim Lock: This lock has either horizontal or vertical deadbolts. It cannot be easily slipped, pried, or forced with a wrench. This lock, like all others, requires a strong mounting surface and hardware to be effective.
- Padlocks - When buying a padlock do not economize. Low priced locks tend to be made from poor quality materials and are easily pried open or cut. Look for these features, when selecting a padlock:
- Double locking shackle at the toe and heel
- Hardened steel shackle, the larger the better
- Five pin number
- Key retaining feature (prevents removal of key when unlocked)
- A strong steel hasp used with the padlock
- Sliding Windows - Sliding glass windows should be given the same security as arcadia doors. Use the same supplementary locks or screws in the frame.
- Crank Windows - These windows are easily secured. With the latch in a closed position, drill a small hole through the latch frame and handle. Insert a small metal pin through the hole to lock the window.
- Double Hung Windows - An easy, inexpensive way to secure your window is to use the "pin" trick. Drill an angled hole through the top frame of the lower window partially into the frame of the upper window. Then insert the pin (a nail or eyebolt that is slightly smaller in diameter than the hole.) The window can't be opened until you remove the pin. Make a second set of holes with the windows partially open so you can have ventilation without inviting intruders.
An empty house is a tempting target for a burglar. use this checklist of tips to help safeguard your home while you're away. An empty house is a tempting target for a burglar. Use this checklist of tips to help safeguard your home while you're away.
- Have good locks on all doors and USE THEM!
- Ask a neighbor to watch the house while you are away.
- Leave your vacation phone number and address with a neighbor so you can be reached in an emergency.
- Never leave your house key hidden outside your home.