Help Stop a Burglary

Statistics show that 65% of home burglars gain access thru the front door or garage entrance door. There a numerous things you can do to stop a burglary from happening, one quick thing you can do is to install a proper deadbolt on all your exterior doors. If you have an existing deadbolt, you should check to see that it is installed with the proper hardware, as many of them, especially older ones, used smaller crews that need to be up graded.

 

 

Check all exterior doors

A secure entry starts with a solid door and a Grade 1 or Grade 2 deadbolt with a solid 1-in. long throw bolt (see “Buying a Deadbolt”). Any exterior door that only has a lock in the doorknob isn’t secure. A sturdy screwdriver or small pry bar can quickly bow the doorjamb enough to release the latch.Check your existing deadbolt. First, make sure the screws are tight. Open the door and extend the throw bolt. If it extends less than 1 in., or if it’s wobbly, a new deadbolt will be more secure.

Next, check the doorjamb and both strike plates. Remove the screws from the deadbolt and lockset strike plates on the door frame. If the screws aren’t 3 in. long, replace them, and also upgrade both plates. (Note:Use shorter screws if sidelight windows are less than 3 in. from the doorjamb.) These longer screws will reinforce the doorjamb, which is a vulnerable spot.

Install a heavy-duty strike plate to strengthen the doorjamb. We didn’t use the strike plate that came with the deadbolt. We opted for a more secure strike box plate that features four screws instead of two. (Two screws are installed inside the strike box to add strength; see Photo 6.) Mark the center of the old deadbolt strike plate (Photo 1), then temporarily install the new faceplate and deeply score around it to mark its position.

Next, remove the plate, then chisel and drill out space for both the new plate and the strike box. If the strike box is larger than the existing hole, use a 1-in. spade bit to bore two holes, spaced apart the width and the depth of the box.

Now remove the wood with a wood chisel to fit both the strike box plate and the faceplate (Photo 4). Be sure to use the wood chisel with the bevel side against the wood to keep from gouging too deep.

Finally, mount the plate and box and attach them with four 3-in. screws (Photo 5). Predrill pilot holes into the wall studs to make the screws easier to drive. Set the screws snug to the plate; overdriving might bow the jamb.

Exterior door

Instructions from Family Handy Man

 

Keeping burglars out is the first step to your safety.