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Security Deadbolts Are Often Installed Incorrectly, Authorities Say


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Deadbolt InstallationOne of the most effective ways for homeowners to protect their home and family without spending hundreds of dollars on a is to have deadbolts installed on all of the entry doors of their homes. When they are installed correctly, deadbolts make it very difficult for any individual to break in, and certain brands are nearly impervious to damage. However, some authorities have noticed that even though homeowners are investing in these deadbolts, many of them are installed incorrectly, leading to more burglaries and loss of property. In order to ensure that these locking mechanisms work correctly, homeowners need to take the proper steps when having them installed.

Susan Barnett, a reporter for the station in Philadelphia, PA, reports:

The FBI says two million burglaries happen every year. The criminals are often getting in by busting through a door [. . .] you make sure your doors are locked before you go to bed every night, but if your deadbolt is not installed correctly on your door, burglars can get in, often with just one kick.”

Entry can be gained easily, especially by experienced thieves who know where the deadbolt’s weakest point is. One of the biggest errors homeowners make when they install deadbolts themselves is that they use screws that are much too short. Shorter screws make for a weaker hold, and in some cases, they only penetrate the door’s moulding or wooden frame, which makes it easy for individuals to kick them open. Homeowners should ensure that they are using screws long enough to sink deeply into the home’s frame; if they want to do the job themselves, they can consult a home hardware expert about what kind of deadbolt hardware they need in order to make the device secure.

Another mistake that homeowners make when they install a deadbolt is that they fail to ensure that the fitting for the deadbolt is at enough of a depth for the lock to click tightly shut. When the hole isn’t deep enough, it is easy to pry the locking mechanism open with a metal tool or to jimmy it open when the lock isn’t securely shut. Homeowners who are putting these locks in themselves need to make sure that the hole is deeper than one inch minimum and that the device locks securely with no gaps. Bolts that are securely thrown cannot be rocked back or manipulated easily.

Because most burglaries are committed by those who are acting without any forethought or are targeting houses that look like easy marks, a properly installed deadbolt will discourage them from trying to gain entry. Homeowners who are unsure about which deadbolt to buy or who want the hardware installed by a professional can contact their local locksmith or , which usually will put deadbolts in for a reasonable fee. Improperly installing these locking mechanisms or cutting corners on the hardware can put any house and family at risk, so homeowners should be aware of their proper installation and usage before they put any deadbolt up.

Emily Stevenson

Author – Emily is a 10 year veteran of the home security industry working in sales. She was a top sales person at leadinghome security companies, but has shifted her focus to working on helping consumers make the right decisions.

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