Most burglars get in through doors, but most homeowners are making it too easy for them.
There are several things you can do to burglar proof your doors. Some cost a little money, but the latest FBI burglary statistics say the average dollar loss per burglary is over $2,100.
To avoid burglaries, start by making a check around your entire home, checking all doors, fences, shrubs, gates, garage, etc.
Don’t block the view of your front door (or other doors) with shrubbery. This allows an intruder privacy as he breaks into your house.
For exterior doors use solid wood doors instead of hollow-core doors. Metal clad and Fiberglass doors are the most secure.
Use a Wide Angle Door Viewer in your front door. This is recommended over using a chain lock and opening your door to see who is there.
The Peephole Viewer shown above allows you to see a large image in an LCD panel which is easy to see for people of any height. It also has Regular and Zoom views.
I do recommend security cameras , but studies have also shown that a security sign alone can be a deterrent to crime. Just seeing a sign that mentions “Security Cameras” or an “Alarm System“, will cause many burglars to pick another home or property.
LOCKS AND BOLTS:
Especially if you have older locks or an older home, check to make sure you have Deadlatch Locks. These are inexpensive locks which keep a burglar from slipping a credit card or similar item between your lock and door frame, and opening the door.
For inactive doors that you want to keep secure while you are away, Cane Bolts are an extra minimum security measure. They are usually about 1/2 inch in diameter and about a foot high and are installed at the top or bottom of a door.
Flush Bolts are another good minimum security measure for inactive doors, because an intruder can’t get to them or tamper with them while the door is locked. Like Cane Bolts, they are usually installed at the top and/or bottom of the door.
Deadbolt Locks offer better protection than a single knob lock, but Vertical Deadbolt Locks are the best because they can’t be forced open with a pry bar like regular horizontal deadbolts can.
The Jimmy-Proof Deadlock shown in the photo above, is an example of a top quality Vertical Deadbolt Lock, made by Yale.
If you have a tendency to be lazy, in a hurry, or forgetful, and don’t want to take the extra time to get your key out and lock your deadbolt when leaving the house or apartment, there is a deadbolt lock available called a Turner Deadbolt.
This lock allows you to lock it by turning a rotating metal collar on the outside. This eliminates having to get your key and insert it when leaving, but to get back inside you still have to use your key.
If your door security concerns include lock picking, you should consider a Bump Key Proof Lock.
Even dead bolt locks can be picked. Bump Keys are regular keys that have modifications.
It is said that these keys can be purchased inexpensively on the internet. The Bump Key is placed into a lock and lightly tapped and twisted to gain entry. You have to have the right type (brand) of key for the lock, and then this blank key is modified by a locksmith, adding some special files to it. Although many locksmiths wouldn’t admit it, this is probably the method they use when someone is “locked out” of their house.
The Bump Key Proof Lock pictured above is made by Master Lock, and gets great reviews at Amazon.
Here is an inexpensive way to avoid being a burglary statistic. This Anti Lock Bumping Device will work with nearly every deadbolt to prevent lock bumping and lock picking.
It’s great for a situation where you can’t or don’t want to change out your deadbolt lock – such as living in an apartment, living with roommates, etc.
It works by sliding over your existing door knob and deadbolt, and prevents the lock from being picked or bumped.
It stores away easily and can be used when traveling. It gets great ratings and has been tested in different situations.
Medeco locks are also a great choice if you are concerned about lock picking. Medeco is a lock manufacturer, actually a tool and die company that was started in the 1950’s. They evolved into a company that makes many advanced locks. They say that their locks are “virtually bump proof” or “virtually pick proof”, admitting that a highly trained person with the right tools could open most locks. However, Medeco is considered an excellent choice if you are concerned about lock picking or lock bumping.
Biometric Locks are an even better choice. These are “fingerprint locks“.
Your door will only open if your fingerprint is registered in the lock. Also, several fingerprints can be entered in the system to allow family members (or trusted employees in the case of a business) to enter. Some Biometric Locks come with a Numeric Keypad and some even allow access through a computer network. Entry and exit information can be managed online, and you can also set or change the times and the people who are allowed access.
You should replace any short screws on door hinges with screws at least 2 inches long going into the door, and at least 3 inches long going into the frame.
Get a high security model strike plate (plate on the door frame that the lock bolt goes into) and install it with 3 inch wood screws.
If you have some simple carpentry skills or want to higher a carpenter, you could also install a 4 inch piece of galvanized pipe into your door frame, for the dead bolt to extend into. This will make it much harder to bash the door in.
You can also use a security screw or security stud for hinges. If the hinges are installed from the outside, this will prevent the door from being lifted from the hinges by pulling out the hinge pin.
To install security studs (these can be purchased at hardware stores, or you can also use a concrete nail) you have to remove two screws aligned back to back when the door is closed.
Replace one of these screws with the security stud protruding out 1/2 inch. The hole where you removed the screw on the other side is a receiving hole for the security stud.
You drill this hole out so the security stud will fit in when the door closes, which locks the hinge leaves in place, and prevents the removal of the hinge pin.
An easier method for hinges, is to install a Commercial Grade Ball Bearing Hinge, with a Non-Removable Pin, like the one pictured at the left. These are fairly inexpensive.
Tip to Make Your Garage Door Almost Impossible to Break Into:
Many crooks are using the garage door as their favorite way to break in. They are simply breaking the locking mechanism and forcing their way in.
At your local hardware store you can buy what’s called a Detent Pin or a Ring Detent Pin (the Detent Pin is actually attached to a Key ring). This is just a straight metal pin with a Detent Ball in the end. You may have seen these used in certain types of tools or appliances.
Then drill a hole just above the roller wheels of your garage door track. You have to be careful that the hole is the same size as the pin – just large enough to insert the pin and no larger. When you push the pin in, the Detent Ball will keep it in place.
This makes your door inoperable, so you won’t be able to use the remote control, but if you’re going to be away for a time, especially on a trip or vacation, this will prevent your door from being forced open.