A house burglar wants to get into your home easily and quietly. A thief will try your doors first because a window entry can draw the attention of the neighbors. If it takes too much effort or makes too much noise, they will likely move on to the next home. Here are some of the typical ways a burglar can break into your home and how you can stop them.
Breaking a Deadbolt
A deadbolt made by the casting process can be shattered by a blow from a hammer or pry bar. If a burglar suspects that you have a cheap lock in the door, they may try to break the lock quickly to get into the house. A locksmith can show you deadbolts that are rated ANSI Grade 1 and made of solid steel with a hardened steel bolt. These locks resist being shattered and will deter a thief.
Sawing Through the Bolt
Two conditions must be present for a burglar to try to saw through the bolt on a deadbolt:
- The thief must be able to pry the door away from the frame enough to expose the bolt so they can get a saw blade on it.
- The bolt must be inferior quality to allow someone to cut through it.
Buying the best rated lock addresses the second point. Hardened steel bolts cannot be sawed through without a lot of time and making noise. You have a few options to deal with someone prying the door away from the frame:
- Have a carpenter reset the door and hinges so the edge is closer to the frame. This makes it harder to get a pry bar into the space to push the door aside.
- Install metal strips to the edge of the door and along the frame. These prevent the wood from cracking and creating an opening when someone tries to pry the door.
- Install an external mounted deadbolt. This attaches to the interior surface of the door and wall making it difficult to get to the bolt.
- Install a vertical deadbolt. This mounts on the surface of the door and wall like the previous lock, but the steel bolt moves up into a steel housing. The bolt is not exposed and cannot be accessed no matter how much the door is pried away from the frame.
Slipping the Bolt Past the Frame
If the bolt is too short, a thief could pry the door way from the frame enough to slip the bolt past the frame. It's recommended that the bolt slip into the door frame at least one inch for the best protection. Install locks with longer bolts if this is a problem.
Forcing the Bolt Through the Door Frame
If the door frame is weak or cracked, a thief may be able to push the bolt through the wood to open the door. You can prevent this by installing reinforced strike plates. The strike plate is the rectangular metal piece with a hole in the middle. The plate is attached to the door frame and the bolt slips through this. Reinforced strike plates have a steel box where the hole is. The bolt slips into this steel box making it unlike a thief could push the bolt and the strike plate through the frame. Contact a business, such as Gene's Lock & Key, for more information.