Check your locks at the door: How to protect home and family

Taking care of the locks for your home and office is a good idea for safety and well-being.

Photo Spin

Most door and window locks might keep out someone who just rattles the knob, but they won’t stop a determined burglar. Nationally, thieves enter homes through an unlocked entry in more than 40% of all residential burglaries.

Every exterior door should have a dead-bolt lock with a one-inch throw. If you have a key-in-the-knob lock, install an auxiliary lock like a bolt or a cylinder dead-bolt. When you move into a new house or apartment, re-key the locks because you never know who had keys.

Do not hide keys in mailboxes, planters or under doormats. Police suggest that you trade keys with a trusted neighbor instead.

Some additional security tips to consider:

Secure sliding glass doors with commercial locks, a wooden dowel in the track or insert a nail or pin through a hole drilled in the sliding frame that projects into the fixed frame. Lock double-hung windows with the proper sash lock or by sliding-bolt.

Consider grilles for street-level windows if you live in a high-crime area.

Locks are less effective when installed in flimsy or weak doors. Make sure outside doors are solid, at least 1-3/4 inch metal or solid wood.

Be sure doors fit tightly in the frames and hinges should be on the inside. Swing-out doors should have hinges with non-removable pins. Frames should be shimmed securely at the hinges and the strike-plate area. Also, be sure to secure the door between your house and garage since that is a common entry spot for thieves.

Install a peephole in all entry doors so you can see who is outside without opening the door. A short chain lock is not a good substitute because it can be broken easily.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.