LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Look around your house right now. Is it as secure as it should be? Check the locks because it's not just if you're using them but what kind of locks that are on your door that matter.
A simple, inexpensive fix to your deadbolt could mean the difference between a criminal choosing your home for a break-in and moving on to someone else, but you might not even know that you need to make it.
"The less-expensive brands you buy or some of the import brands, only have the short, two-and-a-quarter inch strike with only 3/4 inch screws," says Steve Long, a technician with WillisKlein Showrooms, a Louisville locksmith.
"It wouldn't take much to dislodge those screws from the jamb side if somebody was putting some effort into it," key shop manager at WillisKlein Mark Thompson said.
Long and Thompson say the deadbolt that's most likely on your door is not the most secure.
"Most of the dead locks were put in the 70s, 80s, early 90s and that's what they come with," Long said of the shorter-screw type deadbolt.
Long said even with new construction, you might find the old-style deadbolt. The problem is that the screws only reach into the doorjamb. Compare it to a longer strike plate and the three inch screws that come with it.
"What you want to do is go in and get behind just the jam, which is just a quarter inch, half inch piece of wood and get into the stud behind the jam," Thompson said.
The upgrade, said Thompson, is less than $10. If someone was trying to kick in your door, however, it could make a world of difference in the amount of effort they have to put in.
"So you can get in but it makes a lot of noise and when they've got to kick really, really hard then that makes noise," said Major Mark Fox, commander of the Louisville Metro Police Department's 5th Division.
Fox said overall crime is down in the Metro this year, but drugs have changed the game for good and people desperate for money are only too happy to search your home for things they can sell for quick cash. That means we have to make it harder for criminals to choose our house for their crimes.
"If you can make that person who's coming into your house make as much noise as possible, then dogs are going to start barking, people are going to start looking, phones are going to start ringing and cops are going to start rolling," Fox said.
One Louisville homeowner wishes she'd thought of that advice earlier
"I have been robbed," she said. "I came home from a trip and my house was broken into. It was things that meant a lot to me in life is what he took."
There are several other products that can reinforce your doors and make them less susceptible to kick-ins. Thompson said his store sells bars that jam between your floor and doorknob to make the door harder to kick open, door handles that have alarm systems built into them and reinforced metal doorjambs.
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725 S. Floyd Street
Louisville, KY 40203