Improving Home Security

  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...

Major Manufacturing’s Octopod is designed to provide a secondary surface-mounted deadbolt that provides ventilation by locking the door in an open position. The Octopod can be installed on narrow stile doors and frames with a frame width of only 1 5/8".  The lock housing will accept any keyway standard 1-1/8" mortise lock cylinder. The Octopod can be installed at the top and/or the bottom of the door using one or two rods ranging from 9” to 48” long.

In addition, spring loaded foot style bolts are operated by pressing down to lock, and pressing down again to release.


Electronic Residential Locks

Electronic residential locks are available as entry and deadbolt locks from Schlage, Kwikset, Arrow, Samsung, Sunnect and EMTEK. These locks are divided by functionality. At this point in time, only the Schlage locks are designed to operate with Z-Wave enabled products. Z-Wave according to Wikipedia, “is a proprietary wireless communications protocol designed for home automation. The technology uses a low-power RF radio embedded or retrofitted into home electronics devices and systems, such as lighting, home access control, entertainment systems and household appliances.” Kwikset Home Connect enabled locks are designed to operate with Zigbee.

Customers interested in electromechanical locks and willing to pay for them were younger and more electronically “comfortable.” They especially liked the idea of the functionality that electronic locks can offer. This includes the ability to be in control of the homes’ appliances from anywhere, view parts of the home on their “smart” cell phones, have lights come on before they arrive and confirm whether the lock is locked. What seemed to be especially important was the ability to know the time when someone uses a specific access code. 

With the development of “Smart Phones” and intelligent electronic locks, customers can literally control access, view CCTV cameras and turn on and lights as well as control the temperature of the residence using their cell phones.

Parents felt the uses of these locks would be of value as a method of providing their children access without the concern of a lost key.


Strike Plates & Door Viewers

An inexpensive way to improve the level of security is to install the larger strike plates using longer screws. Normally a three-inch screw is long enough to enter into the door stud framing, providing a solid attachment. These oversized strike plates can be used to repair and/or strengthen the jamb. They are available in a variety of finishes and lengths up to 18” having one or two holes for dead bolt locks, cylindrical locks and mortise locks with or without deadbolts. Some examples are Don-Jo, Major Manufacturing and Entry Armor by Pro-Lok.

Another excellent security upgrade is a door viewer. This way the homeowner can look out through the safety of the door and determine if he or she wants to provide access to the caller.


Window Locks

There are as many different locks are there are different styles of windows. One of the most common is the sliding window. Many are manufactured of wood, plastic or aluminum. For the aluminum variety, aluminum sliding window locks have a thumbscrew. I normally drill and tap into the side of the window lock that contacts the moving window. I install a screw that is approximately two inches long. I remove the head from the screw and drill a hole into the window frame, nowhere near the glass. The lock slides against the window, preventing it from being lifted out of the channel. For ventilation, a second lock can be installed on the other open side in the corner. This permits the second lock to remain attached even if someone attempts to unscrew it.

Vinyl tilt windows can have retractable latch lock mechanisms. Double hung windows can use sash crescent locks at the top of the lower window and the bottom of the upper window or window bolts that are a shortened version of the barrel bolt. A couple of companies sell keyed sash window locks (Prime-Line #U9927).

In addition, a vent guard for double hung windows allows for ventilation by securely holding double hung windows in partially open position. The window can open fully when the guard is released (Stanley Hardware # 61-0430).

Suggestion: Installing motion sensor lighting on the exterior and timers on the interior can give the impression someone is home.


Garage Locks

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