The home burglar wants to do their work as quickly and efficiently as possible. That's why the front door is the first thing they will try. Some homeowners use cheap locks, others have cheap doors. Here are some of the methods burglars use to enter your home and ways that you can prevent them.
1. Sawing Through the Bolt
A pry bar is used to move the frame away from the door enough to get a saw blade against the deadbolt. Once the thief has sawed through the bolt, they can open the door and walk right in.
Have a locksmith service install an ANSI Grade 1 deadbolt with hardened steel bolts. These bolts are impossible to cut through without power equipment, which are too noisy for a burglar to use.
An alternative to the standard deadbolt is the vertical deadbolt. With this lock, the bolt travels up through a series of hardened steel rings and doesn't go into the frame. A burglar can't get to the bolt no matter how much they pry the frame away.
2. Prying the Frame Away
If the burglar can pry the frame far enough away from the door, shorter deadbolts might come out of the frame, allowing the door to open.
Install deadbolts that are long enough to pass into the frame and not be slipped out by prying away the frame.
3. Forcing the Bolt Through the Frame
A blow to the door at the place where the deadbolt is installed could break the frame and force the bolt through it to open the door.
One problem that contributes to this is having a deadbolt installed without a strike plate mounted on the frame. The strike place is a rectangular piece of metal with a hole in the middle through which the bolt slides into the frame. Every deadbolt requires a strike plate to be effective.
For better security, use extra long wood screws to secure the strike plate to the frame so the plate can't easily be pried off. Ask a locksmith to show you strike plates with a built in metal box into which the bolt slides. This prevents someone from forcing the bolt through a weak door frame or inadequate strike plate.
4. Breaking the Door
Hollow-core doors or doors made from soft wood are subject to being broken by a sledge hammer or other heavy tool.
One option to prevent this is to buy a door reinforcement kit. These include steel plates to attach to the surface of the door and metal strips to attach to the door edges. These make your door more resistant to kicking or hitting.
The more secure option is to replace the door with a hardwood version. A solid oak or maple door will take repeated blows without breaking and will resist being pried open.
For more information on how to secure your home, contact a locksmith like those at Irvine Lock & Key.