Crime Prevention Information
Home Burglary Prevention Tips Part (4)
· Strike Plates
The strike plate is attached to the door frame. The metal bolt of the door lock slides into the strike plate to secure the door to the door frame. Heavy duty strike plates, installed with long screws (ideally, at least 3"), offer good resistance against force. Strike plates and boxes should be installed with screws long enough to reach the stud behind the jamb.
Replace weak strike plate with High Security Strike Plate. Fasten with long screws. This will also strengthen the frame system.
Replace weak strike plate on wood frames with High Security Strike Box.
If an entry door swings outward, the knuckles of the hinges must be exposed and it may be possible to remove the hinge pins to gain entry. One solution to this problem is to replace hinges that have removable pins with hinges having non-removable pins (available at hardware stores).
Another solution is to remove the two opposing screws (door and frame side) from the top and bottom hinges. Then insert a large finishing nail in the screw hole on the frame side, but do not hammer the nail in all the way; instead leave the head of the nail exposed ¼” to ½” above the surface of the hinge. Close the door slowly and insure the exposed nail meets and extends into the screw hold on the opposite hinge.
· Sliding Glass Doors
Sliding glass doors (sometimes referred to as acacia doors) are easy for a burglar to enter if no remedial action is taken. Often, the door panels can simply be lifted out of the tracks. To deal with this problem, open the active door and install a number of wood screws in the track, allowing the screw to project down 3/8" to 1/2" or so. Slide the door closed, making sure the extended screws pass freely over the top rail of the door. Now try to lift the door from the track; upward movement should be stopped by the screws before the door can clear the bottom track.
Once the door has been secured from lifting, an auxiliary lock is needed because more than likely, the standard lock supplied with the door is nothing more than a small hook bolt that can easily be forced open. Locking bars (commonly called the “Charlie Bar”) are ideal for this purpose; but a length of dowel —— an old broom or mop handle, for example —— can also be placed in the bottom track to keep the door from being pushed open. The dowel should be cut to a length so it fits snugly in the track between the wall and the door frame. If ventilation is needed, another dowel could be cut a few inches shorter to permit the sliding door to be opened no greater that six (6) inches. There are also a number of commercially produced locking devices for sliding glass doors. Those operated by keys are recommended for better security.