Are you worried about home break-ins around your neighborhood? I just listened to an article from NPR, that states crime trends are showing spikes in localized areas related to the poor economy.
Although national statistics show lower crime rates overall, there are localized pockets where crime has risen dramatically. What’s more, the onus for preventing burglaries and home invasions is falling more and more on the individual and neighborhoods.
It happened to a client just the other day: One evening, I got a call at home. She had purchased one of our steel ProVia exterior door entry systems not even a year before, and had just been burgled. She didn’t sound panicked, but I knew we needed to help because the door could not even be closed.
I was relieved to find one of our technicians at home, and when Rob got there, the police were still dusting for fingerprints.
Amazingly, this is what they found. Seems the burglars had tried repeatedly, with several tools, and for a while to break the door in. In fact, they didn’t actually break the door; the entire 20-gauge steel door was pounded so much that it caved in, bending enough for the bolt to come out of door frame. And the art glass window? It wasn’t even broken. No splintered and broken wood on the door jamb where the strike plate is, either. Here’s why I think this is amazing…
Rob was able to get the door back in place, secure and locking until the customer could get a new steel or fiberglass back door installed. She was able to stay in her own home, and sleep comfortably in her own bed without hesitation. Now, it wasn’t pretty, mind you; the door was smashed in and really looking rough. But it locked.
Had my client been at home, she would have heard all kinds of commotion, and been able to call the police. Since she wasn’t at home, some might suspect the determination these guys had signaled that they may have known exactly what they were after.
This true story points out the fact that a determined burglar can get through any exterior door you may choose to place at your property. However, a good door can help to prevent burglaries by making the intruder take extra time to get in. Many times, even the slightest impediment will make a burglar move on to the next attractive target rather than taking the time to overcome the obstacle you have placed in his way with high quality exterior steel or fiberglass door.
- Get a solid core, fiberglass or metal door for all entry points–front, back and sides
Hollow doors are way too easy to kick in. Use solid wood or steel frames,
and make sure the door fits properly. Gaps make it easier to
remove the door from its frame.
- You will not go wrong with a quality, heavy-duty lock set on the door
Look for a deadbolt with a 1″ throw, instead of the common 3/4″ bolt.
That extra 1/4 inch of rod extending into the door jamb makes it much harder
for a burglar to dislodge the lock from the door frame.
- Get added security protection on both the door and the frame
Instead of the average wood panel, look for a lock with a 20-gauge steel
reinforced strike plate, and use with 3″ long screws that make it almost
impenetrable. It takes a lot more than a swift kick to splinter a
door jamb that has been reinforced.
- Choose secure glass panels
The most secure option is not to have glass panels.
Burglars can smash decorative door windows and art glass panels to
gain access to your home. If you have sidelites and art glass panels
on your entry doors, make sure they are made with triple-pane,
impact resistant and tempered glass. They will still look beautiful,
and they are much more secure.
In just a few minutes, my client lost a few possessions, but she wasn’t robbed of her peace of mind. She’s replacing the old door with the same, secure steel door. I owe it to myself and my family to provide the best protection possible. So don’t lay awake at night wondering if you’ll be the next target on your block to experience a home break-in or home invasion.
Until next time, here’s to your safety, neighbor.