By Glenn Haege
(All rights reserved)
Foil burglers with one of these lock sets on your door
Just in time for your summer vacation I wanted to tell you that burglaries are up slightly over last year.
According to the just released preliminary 2006 national statistics, burglaries increased 0.2 percent overall and 3.3 pecent in cities between 500,000 and 999,999 population.
Most homes are vacant during the daylight hours, which is when most robberies occur. Usually bored kids and druggies just kick in the door if they want to break into the house.
There are now good "how-to" videos on the Web that show kids how they can get into your home using a procedure called "bumping." All that is required is a bump key and something to tap the key with.
My staff has been told that bumping kits with blanks to fit all major locks are available for about $20.
Almost every exterior lock that uses a keyed entry is subject to entry by bumping. Unlike kicking in the door, which can hurt the knees and leaves a mess, bumping lets the perpetrator open the door without leaving a trace. A homeowner may not even know the house has been broken into until they notice what's missing.
The cheapest way to bump-proof a door when you are at home would be to install an old-fashioned sliding bolt or door chain. There are also deadbolts that are keyed from the inside only.
A new method of making the door bump proof from the inside is the Lock Jaw by Lock Jaw Security, www.lockjaw security.com. This is a little brass box with a prong that slides down and immobilizes the deadbolt thumb turn. No screws are necessary. It can be attached with two-sided tape. If you go on a trip, you can take it with you and add extra security to your hotel door. The Lock Jaw is available on the company Web site for $25.
The best alternatives for making a lock bump proof when the house is empty are keyless push button locks like the new M2210 by Lockey Systems, (989) 773-2363, www.lockeysystems.com, and the ultra sophisticated Black & Decker Kwikset SmartScan Fingerprint Deadbolt Lock, (800) 327-LOCK, www.kwikset.com.
The Kwikset SmartScan stores fingerprints inside its memory and unlocks for family-members or other designated people. It has a timed lockout feature, which allows continuous access for family members, temporary access for house sitters or contractors and time restricted access for a babysitter or housekeeper.
Despite the sophisticated technology, the SmartScan is powered by four AA batteries and is simple enough for do-it-yourself installation.
The SmartScan has a manufacturer's list price of $199, but the cheapest I could find it on the Web was $229 at www.go keyless.com.