Home security has become more complex with the introduction of electromechanical locks and the additional benefits they provide. However, unlike commercial and institutional facilities, residential security does not appear to be embracing the benefits of electronic security as rapidly. As a result of the research I have done for this residential security article, it seems the greater the number of choices available to a customer, the more divided and uncertain they seem to become.
I spoke with locksmiths and urban and suburban homeowners and renters, trying to find out what their thoughts and concerns are regarding home security.
Their answers ranged all over the place. Some felt they could not get enough, while others felt that a length of chain wrapped around the gate frame and slipped over a hook on the fence post was a “high security lock” for their entire property. Some said it was important to have good mechanical locks on their door and windows.
According to Uniform Crime Report for 2009, there were an estimated 9,300,000 property crime offenses in the United States. Burglary accounted for 23.6 percent or approximately 2,200,000 incidents, of which approximately two-thirds are residential. The average loss per residential burglary is under $2,000 with the burglar spending less than 20 minutes on the property. Most residential burglaries occur between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. The typical residential burglar is a neighborhood male teenager.
Take the average three bedroom, two bathroom home, having a front and rear door and access into and out of a garage. Security for the exterior doors should include a keyed lock or handle set on the front door, and keyed cylindrical locks on the remaining swinging doors. A deadbolt is recommended for all exterior doors for two purposes - the visual value and the value of an auxiliary lock mechanism securing the door. The visual value according to government and private research is if there are two homes, one with a deadbolt lock on the front door and one without, there is a greater likelihood that the home without the deadbolt lock will be burglarized before the home with the deadbolt lock.
The more locks on a door or window, the harder it is for the burglar to gain access.
A front or rear door adjacent to a window has little security using a single sided deadbolt lock as the inside mechanism. It can be easily accessed if the window is broken or opened. A double-sided deadbolt can help prevent unauthorized access.
Note: Before installing a double-sided deadbolt, contact the local authority having jurisdiction to determine if a doubled sided deadbolt can be installed. Double-sided deadbolt locks are not permitted in a number of towns, cities, counties, etc. Double-sided deadbolts with a retained key can sometimes be considered acceptable. Some of the local authorities having jurisdiction realize the purpose of a double-sided deadbolt is to protect property.
Auxiliary Door Locks
Homes can have several different styles of exterior doors, including sliding, swinging single or double doors. A variation of the standard single swing door is used on most residences’ front doors. There are double doors, sliding patio doors and French doors.
The following auxiliary door locks are designed to provide an extra level of security. Some of these door locks can be also be used to provide relatively secure minimal ventilation. Note: Any of the following auxiliary door locks are not designed to take the place of the installed door lock.
Most sliding glass aluminum doors are not very secure. To provide additional security, the CAL Double-Bolt Lock secures the door to the frame at two points, preventing movement of the door that can eliminate the possibility of lifting the door out of the track.
Bolt style sliding door locks can be installed onto the lower or upper portion of the door. A hole slightly larger in diameter than the bolt itself is drilled along the track, permitting the bolt to enter and secure the door. Some of these locks are available with a keyed lock mechanism. This type of lock allows the door to be either shut or open and locked.