Hot answers tagged

30

Some tips I remember from an interview with a burglar a few years ago (can't find a link now): Make it difficult for someone to conceal themselves while breaking in. If a burglar has to be in full view of the neighbors while he breaks in, it increases the risk of him getting caught. Avoid tall/thick shrubs around your windows and doors. Avoid privacy ...


30

Don't have anything valuable. Or at least, don't appear to. Look like you care about upkeep and security. You don't have to outrun the bear, etc. Secure your air conditioners if they're in-window. That's so easy to do. Avoid doors which have glass near the doorknob. I watched This Old House putting in a beautiful glass door in a crappy part of Boston and ...


24

Almost all of the Home Depots that I do business with have short term rental trucks available right in their parking lots for very reasonable rates. Call in and reserve one for a particular time. Drive to the Home Depot in your car and park it in the lot. Go inside and checkout the truck. Then drive it up and load all of your materials and head home with it ...


19

If your lock is a just a simple pin tumbler then its vulnerable to bumping. There are some pin tumbler locks that say they protect against bumping, but in practice it might be a little more difficult, but still very vulnerable. In fact the only deadbolt lock that I know of that isn't vulnerable to bumping, rakeing or other simple attacks. Is the ...


19

Any lock can be opened. The questions are: How long will it take? How much skill is required? What tools are needed? Depending on the particular deadbolt, it will be somewhere between trivial and moderately difficult. At some point, anyone who wants to get in will just move to the windows or other weak points.


16

You didn't mention how you're using the ratchet straps, but from your concern about slipping, I think it's possible that you could be using them to better advantage. So I apologize if this is what you're already planning to do, but just on the off chance it isn't... For the MDF, you want the straps going over the edge of the MDF and running straight down to ...


15

I ordered a set of bump-keys and tried my doors. It was $15 (with shipping). What's particularly interesting (at least to me) is that the method of 'bumping' open a lock has been around since the 1930s. It just wasn't well known by the general population until it was picked up by some TV shows/News stations in the 2000s. Anyway - read the countermeasures ...


15

In general, a professional is going to be able to open anything you have, because that's what they do all day. The reality though is that with the exception of high security locks like Medeco, it doesn't even take a professional to open them. But you ask about a deadlock, so let me provide some background... A deadbolt is more about resisting kicking open ...


13

Forget securing the door, and install a security system with a motion sensor. Put labels up outside saying there is a security system (some people only put labels up, and don't have a real system). Even if you have a door with a locking mechanism, if someone manages to defeat it (eg, kicks it open) or you forget to lock it, you still have the alarm go off. ...


12

The lock in the knob can be set to be locked when the door is closed. In other words, you do not have to do anything extra to lock the door, just pull it closed. This can be good or bad depending on how you look at it (it can be easy to lock yourself out this way). The dead bolt on the other hand always requires an extra step to lock the door (put the key ...


11

They make locks for the doors that only unlock when the collar worn by the dog is within a few feet. There's this product: http://www.petdoors.com/cat-mate-electronic-cat-doors.html . It's a cat door, but it works on the same principle. Also, most of these you can set to 'allow onyl departures' or 'only arrivals' as well. - might not be applicable to ...


11

There is a product called Window Security Film which is a thin (a couple mm) film that adheres to the window and makes it exceptionally difficult for someone to break. Many lock smiths/security companies can install it. Here's a video of it in action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYdVK3BqPfk This is a duplicate of my answer from this question.


10

Buy a crappy, broken laptop from a flea market for $5. Leave it in the entrance hall. Leave the front door unlocked. Most intruders just want to grab something valuable and get the heck out. The faster you can give them something that they think is (a) portable and (b) valuable, the faster they will leave.


10

What I have yet to find a solid answer on is what is typically run to the keypads. Do I run cat5/6, or use the same security wire (or both)? I recommend running 22/4 and cat5e from the security panel to the keypads. That provides lots of options. Once I run the wires to each window, where do I leave the wire? I recommend leaving a coil of wire ...


9

You could add some inexpensive window break alarms to supplement your current alarm system.


9

Note, I'm not anywhere near an alarm professional, however I have installed a couple systems before and have just recently been researching again as I prepare to move into a new house where I'd like to install an alarm. Keypads You'll want a keypad anywhere you normally enter/exit the house, such as by the garage door or back door. As @bib points out, you ...


9

It's called a spanner slotted (or slotted spanner) head. Useful site here. Hard to find in the UK, why the owner used one I cannot imagine. Screwfix doesn't have them. This site may do, although it is international. You'll need to figure out the correct size before you order. Alternatively get a real cheap flat-head screwdriver the right width and file ...


9

You could just chill out. Putting up bars or plastic on that door is truly ghetto. Doors like this are not inherently unsafe at all. Your door is appropriate for your neighborhood. Your door would be unsafe or inappropriate for a bad neighborhood or an apartment building. Having this glass probably does not effect your chances of burglary by ...


8

Looks like a wireless garage door keypad.


8

I've used something similar on my front door for about 4 years now (4xAA instead of a 9V) and it's great not having to carry keys everywhere. On average, I change the batteries about every 12-18 months. I guess it all depends on how often you use it and how worried you are about getting locked out. Personally I don't bother testing the batteries because ...


8

IR motion sensors can be thought of as a low quality camera with only one color, IR. They are constantly comparing the IR levels across a grid to see when there is a quick change in IR levels. When you look at the housing of a sensor, you can see this grid, and unlike that of a digital camera with mega-pixels, these sensors only have a dozen or so ...


8

You could consider attaching a thick acrylic or other plastic panel that covers the interior of the glass and is firmly screwed to the door. The edges can then be covered with molding. Such plastics are shatter resistant. While they can be broken, they will not yield to the tools of most casual home intruders (unless they carry sledge hammers or blow ...


8

The common practice for future expansion is to install the box and put a blank cover on it. That eliminates the requirement of chopping into the drywall to find the wire. It also eliminates the need to create as-built documents and store them for future reference so you can find the wires later. My recommendation is to install device boxes with ENT ...


7

I agree with Jeff and Mike's answers, but you also have to make sure the lock was installed correctly. When I bought my house and changed the locks, I found out that the strike plates installed (deadbolt and doorknob) on the front door were only screwed into the trim with 1/4" screws. It wouldn't have taken much force at all to rip them right out. (My guess ...


7

As for expanding the hole, I am still confident this post will answer your question. Regarding the Schlage deadbolts, these are not great deadbolts. If you really want high security, you need to look at Mult-T-Lock or Medeco. These are far more secure for a number of reasons. First, they are made of much harder metals - if you feel them compared to ...


7

For this to happen there must be some voltage to the light socket. It may not be noticeable with a standard incandescent bulb because it apparently is not the full voltage and current. If you are comfortable in what you are doing, you could measure the voltage across the two wires and ground to see what you get. Incorrect wiring could be the problem, such as ...


7

I like the buried chain idea. In fact, you don't even need to use cinder blocks. They make 'earth screws' which are large auger-looking thing that you literally screw into the earth. Typically used as playset tie-downs or party-tent tie downs. Alternatively, maybe attach a bar to one of the fence posts. I'm thinking one of the stainless hand-bars you'd ...


7

Presuming you're talking about passive infrared or PIR detectors, you do not want them pointing at your windows. They detect changes in the ambient temperature in the field of view, and pointing at windows causes them several problems: heating registers are often located under windows, so when your heating system turns on and off, the temperature will ...


7

You may want to consider keyless entry systems. The cards can be programed to allow or deny access. Once a conventional key is issued it will work until the lock is changed. A keyless system can disable individual cards in the event of loss or theft. The initial cost may seem high but if you are rekeying locks and making 48 copies a couple times a year it ...



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