How to Secure Windows and Doors
The metal plate on the door frame that the latch rests in is called the "strike." The strike should be securely installed into the framing timbers with 2½" or 3" screws. If long screws cannot be used, extra long (8" - 12") strike plates should be used.
Always know who is at the door before you open it. A wide-angle door viewer will allow you to see who is outside without opening the door.
All deadbolts should have a bolt which extends at least 1" when in the locked position, a cylinder guard ring of case-hardened steel which rotates freely, a hardened steel insert or bolt-bearing (to prevent sawing the bolt off), and mounting bolts of at least 1/4" in diameter and as long as possible given the door and frame dimensions.
Certain deadbolts require a key for both sides of the door — these are called "double cylinder" deadbolts. These locks are especially effective for doors with glass within 40" of the lock. An intruder cannot break the glass and unlock the door by reaching through. Some authorities recommend leaving the key in the lock when you're at home for ready exit in an emergency. It is also recommended that one door, preferably the primary exit, not have a double key lock on it.
Some jurisdictions do not allow these locks — check with your local law enforcement or building code authorities before installing a double key lock.
Another solution for doors with glass in or near them is to install shatterproof glass or polycarbonate. This is more expensive than regular glass and should be installed by professionals, but it works!
A "police lock" works well on rear and basement doors and in apartments. It is a metal bar bracketed against the inside of the door at an angle, which slides into a small hole in the floor. It prevents an intruder from jimmying or kicking in the door.
Padlocks are typically used for garages, sheds, storage areas and workshops. Look for a sturdy padlock that doesn't release the key until the padlock is locked. It should have a rugged laminated case with a 3/8 inch shackle so it can resist being smashed. A double locking design can prevent the shackle from being pried away from its case. Remember that a padlock is only as good as its hasp. The hasp should be secured with bolts and mounted on a metal plate. Be sure bolts are concealed when the padlock is locked.
Sliding Glass Doors and Windows
Grilles or grates are recommended for louvered windows or any especially vulnerable window (like those concealed from casual observation or at street level). Make sure grilles are equipped with a quick release feature for emergency exits.
Double Hung Windows
You can buy special locks for windows. Keep the keys away from the windows, but make sure everyone in the house knows where to find them in case of emergency.
An easy, inexpensive way to secure your windows is to use the 'pin' trick. Drill an angled hole through the top frame of the lower window partially into the frame of the upper window. Then insert a nail or an eyebolt. The window can't be opened until you remove the nail. Make a second set of holes with the windows partly opened so you can have ventilation without inviting intruders. Eyebolts can provide strong resistance against jimmying.
Always use your locks. Even a 5-minute trip to the store is long enough for a burglar to enter your home.
Crime prevention tips from:The National Crime Prevention Council1700 K Street, NW, 2nd FloorWashington, DC 20006202-466-6272