Securing your home or business is the first step in preventing a burglary. Please use the following tips for locking and securing various types of windows and doors in your home and business.
Many residential doors are of wood hollow-core construction and need better locks. They are quickly forced or kicked open. You must install solid doors and quality locks if you want better protection. For maximum protection, use metal doors. Do not use doors with glass panels.
Sliding Glass Doors
Many burglars enter homes through poorly protected sliding glass doors. Additional locks and security measures here will prevent the door from being opened or lifted from the track. Screws installed in the track above the sliding door frame will 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 and install a screw into each hole. Adjust the screws so that the head of the screw barely clears the frame when it is moved back and forth. Auxiliary patio door locks may also be purchased and installed easily.
These doors need solid security as they are easily jimmied or forced open. Flush lever bolts installed at the top and bottom of the doors are recommended. Ensure the bolt is long, sturdy, and mounted into a solid door frame.
Doors with Windows
Doors with glass windows or glass ornamentation require double-key deadbolt locks. This prevents the burglar from breaking the glass and reaching inside to unlock the door. Important: While our Police Department does not recommend double-key deadbolt locks, the consumer should realize that these items can become a hazard in a fire. It is therefore recommended that if you do install this type of lock, precautions should be taken. These include: 1) smoke detectors should be positioned in strategic areas of the house, and 2) keys should be kept in the locks whenever the resident is at home.
Standard locks on garage doors are easily pried, allowing a burglar access to your home without detection. Cane bolts and hasps are excellent protection. Ensure each garage door side is secured to prevent prying open a crawl space. The door leading from the garage into the house should be securely locked. The more barriers you provide against the burglar, the better protected you are.
Many homes have doors that open to the outside, exposing the hinge pins. Despite your strong lock, the burglar can remove the pins and lift the door from the frame. To prevent this, remove two opposing screws from each hinge leaf. 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 burglar can now remove the hinge pins, but the door will remain firmly in place. This technique is suitable for any door, no matter how the hinges have been placed.
To only open your door if you know who is there, install a door viewer. This device has a wide-angle lens to let you see someone standing outside your door without opening it.
Some homes come equipped with this lock. It offers very little protection. The bolt can be slipped with a credit card or knife. This lock, with a deadbolt latch, provides more protection but can also be forced open.
A deadbolt lock can provide good protection. When you turn the key, the lock mechanism slides a strong metal bolt from the door into the frame. When you buy a deadbolt lock, make sure:
Single Cylinder Deadbolt
A solid bolt, activated by a key from the outside or a knob on the inside, slides into the door frame. The lock cannot be slipped or easily pried. Deadbolt locks are only as good as the door and frame they are installed in.
Double Cylinder Deadbolt
This lock is the same as the single-cylinder deadbolt, except it requires a key from either side to function. Obtain a lock with a "key-retaining device."
This lock has either horizontal or vertical deadbolts. It cannot be easily slipped, pried, or forced with a wrench. Like all others, this lock requires a solid mounting surface and hardware to be effective.
When selecting padlocks to secure your garage door, storage shed, fence gate, or toolbox, do not economize. Low-priced locks are made from low-quality materials and quickly pried open or cut with bolt cutters. Look for these features when purchasing a padlock:
Sliding glass windows should be given the same security treatment as Arcadia doors. Use the same supplementary locks or screws in the frame. Screws installed in the track above the sliding window frame will prevent the window from being lifted out of the track. Drill a pilot hole in the top track above each window frame corner and install a screw into each hole. Adjust the screws so that the head of the screw barely clears the frame when it is moved back and forth.
Casement - Crank Windows
These windows are easily secured. The latch should close properly with the window tight. With the latch in a closed position, drill a small hole through the latch frame and handle. Insert a metal pin through the hole to lock the window. A small padlock can be used in place of the pin for additional security. Key-operated replacement latches are also available from a locksmith or hardware store. Keep the key handy in case of emergency.
Double Hung Windows
An easy, inexpensive way to secure your windows is to use the "pin" trick. Drill an angled hole through the lower window's top frame partially into the upper window's frame. Then, insert the pin (a nail or an eyebolt, which is slightly smaller in diameter than the hole). The window can only be opened once you remove the pin. Make a second set of holes with windows partially open so you can have ventilation without inviting intruders. You may also purchase special critical locks for windows at a hardware store.
Always be aware of new or unusual vehicles or persons on your street. If you observe anything suspicious, do not hesitate to call the Lago Vista Police Department at 512-267-7141.