Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Burglar Proof Your Home #5: Patio Doors

This back patio door poses a unique curve. Number one is that it's got glass in it. So there's a vulnerable space for us. The other thing you'll notice are the hinges for the door are outside.
There are two ways for me to enter the house, I can either break the glass and go in, or with a hammer and a small screw driver I can actually knock the hinge pins out and have this door fall out.
We talked earlier about the hinges that had the pin and the receptacle on the other side. These hinges would be a great candidate for upgrading to the pin hinges. 

Interestingly enough, there is a deadbolt here which is great. This is what we call a single cylinder deadbolt. On the inside, what you're going to find is what we normally find, and that's a way to activate it with just a throw. It opens with by simply twisting with our fingers.

However, we would want to take a different approach with this door. We’d recommend using a double cylinder deadbolt instead. What that means is that the deadbolt on the outside would be mimicked on the inside. It would be a keyed dead bolt that would actually physically require a key to lock and unlock it. So if this glass was broken out, the intruder would still need a key to get this door out of the frame or to get it opened.

Safety laws in the United States mandate that these locks be designed so that if you lock it from the inside, it will not let you remove the key. Therefore, if you get into a situation where the house is on fire while you're in the home, you've got a way to get out of the door.

So we’d definitely recommend putting a double cylinder deadbolt on this door just to make it a more difficult target.

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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Burglar Proof Your Home #4: Windows

Manufacturers do a really good job of producing pretty good windows nowadays. However, there's always more that we can do.

These particular windows are aluminum framed windows. The manufacturer has gone as far as putting two locking mechanisms on them. 

Remember, though, that this window and these mechanisms are only as good as the person who uses them. You leave them open, they leave an entryway for a burglar, so you want to make sure that you do lock your windows.

You can also get what we call a secondary locking device. It's a very simple device. Basically it will fit in the track itself, right here. It will tighten down and basically what happens is if I'm able to defeat these two, it provides another place for this window to bump up to without getting it over.

Another thing that we can do that is real simple, is we can cut a wooden dowel that fits between here. The sliding part of the window and the top of the frame. And by wedging that in over on the side, it again will keep this window from opening. 

Watch all the home safety videos by TEEX Law Enforcement's Kyle McNew:

Monday, June 19, 2017

Burglar Proof Your Home #3: Doors

One thing that we can always do, and I highly recommend it, is investing in good quality locks and doors. There are certain things we need to check around the doorway itself.

First of all, we want to make sure that any door we have on the outside is a solid-core door versus a hollow door. Most reputable builders are going to put a solid core door on the house itself. Unfortunately, we don't always invest in the best locks and hardware.

There are some specific things that we want to think about when placing outside doors. First is where the door closes. This door has both a normal door catch and it also has a single cylinder deadbolt. So when the door's closed, we're actually making contact with the door frame in two places.

This is the normal part, the regular doorknob, and this would be where the deadbolt is. There are a couple of important things to think about. Generally the screws that hold these strip plates into the door frame come with the plate itself. They're only about an inch long. If you use these screws, then it's very easy for an intruder to kick in the door with enough force to break out part of the frame.

These screws actually need to be four inches or greater so that they go not just through the 1x4 frame of the door itself, but all the way into the 2x4 structure. Now you've attached it to much stronger place to secure the door.

Another thing to look at are the screws in the main hinges that hold the door. Let's go back to the idea of using screws that are 4 to 6 to 8 inches in length. In this case, there are four hinges in this door frame, so we would want to put at least half of those screws at that 4 to 6 to 8 inch length versus that short 1 1/2, 2 inch screw. We want to get past the door frame itself and into the heavy construction framework of the doorway itself.

Another thing you can look for on your door frame is your door hinge itself. When looking at the hinge, reach in the side and see if the plate is flat. If that plate in the center of the hinge is flat, it doesn't offer as much protection as some other hinges that will actually have a small pin and a hole on the opposite side so that when the door is closed that pin actually goes into the hole. It makes that hinge itself more stable and it also makes it harder to get the door out of the framework itself.

Another thing that we want to talk about is your deadbolt. We want to make sure that the home builder has put a deep enough hole in the side of the door frame to accommodate the throw of the deadbolt. We also want to make sure that the deadbolt will go all the way into the door frame without hitting the bottom or bottoming out in the door frame hole.

So a good way to do it is extend the deadbolt, find something, measure it. So, this is how far that deadbolt is going to go, I should be able to get all the way into the stripe plate with no problem without hitting the back. If you actually notice, the depth of the striped plate hole is actually greater than than the throw of the deadbolt by at least about an 1/8th or 1/4 inch. So this is really a well set up deadbolt.

Watch all the home safety videos by TEEX Law Enforcement's Kyle McNew: 

1.) Burglar Proof Your Home #1 
2.) Burglar Proof Your Home #2: Landscaping 
3.) Burglar Proof Your Home #3: Doors

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Burglar Proof Your Home #2: Landscaping

There's no way for me to totally exclude a burglar from hitting my home or from trying to break into my house. If I can harden the target and make it much more difficult to get in, then thieves are more likely to look for an easier target.

Everybody likes to landscape around their house; I appreciate a nicely landscaped house as well as anyone else. However, we have to be aware of what's going on with our landscaping. Around our windows and doors, we want to have landscaping that doesn’t cover them up and create a potential hiding place for burglars.

You notice that there is shrubbery out by the windows but yet it doesn't totally cover the windows and that in fact it doesn't offer me as a potential burglar a hiding place.
You might think about those types of landscaping plants that offer some sort of thorny type protection for yourself.

Basically what we are doing is not offering a comfortable place for the criminal element to work from. So if I've got to climb up in a thorny rose bush, I'm probably going to look for somewhere else to go.

Take a look at what your landscaping looks like, trim your hedges back as necessary so that you do allow that clean view of those windows themselves.

That way when you do have law enforcement officials riding through doing checks at night they can very simply, with a spot light, see the windows and see those things and we don't offer those hiding places.

Watch all the home safety videos by TEEX Law Enforcement's Kyle McNew: