Your Deadbolt Is Useless

Among the most expensive things you will buy when contemplating home security is a good deadbolt. Prices on these gizmos start at around $50, and climb to well over $150 for ones that claim to be “pick proof”, “hardened”, or “heavy duty”. As consumers, we tend to put a lot of stock in deadbolts – the mere twisting of that little knob a quarter turn gives us a reassuring click, and sends a signal to our brains stating that we’re safe now.

Are we really safe? I submit to you that a steel bite pro deadbolt is nothing more than a false sense of security, and here’s why:

– Deadbolts average on 1″-1.5″ long, meaning that they only bite into whatever is securing them to that depth. Mostly, a deadbolt will bite into a door sill, other times, it will bite into the dead side of a double door; both are extremely frail.

– The “meat” of where the deadbolt mechanism sits within the door is in fact the thinnest part of the door – if you don’t believe me, then check your door. You’ll be surprised to see that big, burly beefy hunk of security you call a deadbolt sitting in 3/8″ -1/2″ of material on either side. Pathetic!

– People who really want in totally ignore deadbolts.

What? Wait – what was that last thing again? Are you in shock? Well if you thought that anyone who wanted to get into your house in a hurry was going to sit there and pick your lock with a wallet full of finely crafted picks like some James Bond movie, you are sorely mistaken. Here’s the deal – after doing building entries as a military policeman for the last decade, here’s how it works:

-The target of all my entry “love” is always the little space between the deadbolt and where it bites into. This little 1″ space is very, very vulnerable.

– What you usually try and do is score a first round hit on the door by bumping it – hard. In the military, this is accomplished by a number of means, including the Halperin tool, a battering ram, or your good old fashioned boot.

– Any deformity of the door in the place where the deadbolt protrudes into the door frame or dead side of the door will cause the deadbolt to not engage, and your door becomes a swinging gate.

It also works the same with explosives. The uninitiated think we’re trying to blow the door off it’s hinges – wrong! Only trying to deform it enough to where that meager deadbolt has nothing to bite into.

So what’s a homeowner to do?

Simple. Keep the deadbolt, and back the front door up with either:

– Steel barrel bolts that hang vertically, and slide into pre-drilled holes in the concrete below and the door header above.

– A rudimentary barricade that uses metal brackets to hold a removable beam that slides in place behind the door.

Either of these solutions will give the would be home invader a huge bust when he goes to bump your door. While these measures may still not stop a determined attacker, they will definitely slow him down, at least enough for you to lock load. At the end of the day, when you’re at home on your couch watching Real Housewives in your underwear, you don’t want a first round bump to bust your door clear open. You want that bump to warn you, to give you time to arm up and call the police while your intruder wonders why he didn’t get in.

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