According to Consumer Reports, two-thirds of burglaries involve forced entries. And lots of 'em are opportunistic in nature. In other words, the criminal sees no one is home and goes around back looking for unlocked doors and windows, maybe testing their sturdiness with a kick or two.
Are your existing door locks of the cheap "builders brass" variety that could easily be forced? Don't want to spend big bucks on expensive, better-quality replacements? Here's a quick fix that will improve your home's security
– for only around $10! Introducing: the box strike!
Deadlocks are usually installed in conjunction with a strike plate. That's the piece of metal screwed onto the door jamb, opposite the lock itself. When the lock is engaged, the deadlock slides through the strike plate, resting in a cavity cut into the wooden door jamb.
Replacing the simple strike plate with a heavy duty box strike
, available at hardware stores for around ten bucks, amps up your door lock's security factor. Because the box strike surrounds the bolt on all sides, forced entry is made more difficult for the opportunistic criminal. (These guys do not usually carry tools or possess much break-in know-how, after-all.)
While you're at it, says CR, use long three-inch screws to attach that brand new box strike. These screw all the way through the door jamb and into the house's frame itself, adding even more protection.