Author Topic: Deadbolt recommendations?  (Read 2801 times)

fallstoclimb

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Deadbolt recommendations?
« on: October 06, 2015, 08:14:37 AM »
Our next door neighbor's house was broken into over the weekend, which made me realize that the original lock on our 1950s home is....next to useless. 

There's not a whole lot of valuable possessions I care about protecting, really just the laptop and the many bikes (unless thieves would take things like a cast iron skillet or my favorite dress!).  I suppose they could take the TV but I don't really care.  My biggest concerns are (1) someone might break in while I'm teleworking, since we are soon to be car lite and without a car in the driveway they might assume no one is home, or (2) someone might break in while we are out, but the dog is home.  He would never hurt a person but they wouldn't know that and might hurt him.  :(

(Also, for those suggesting a dog is a good enough deterrent - I highly doubt it, unless they ring the doorbell first.  He's great at barking at the doorbell but when we come in we usually have our coats hung up before he bothers waking up and coming upstairs to say hello.  He's a lazy guy.)

So it seems worth it to get some sort of deadbolt.  I did a brief search and found some sources saying that many today are next to useless, but the recommended ones are pretty pricey.  Is it worth it?  A home break in is not something I really ever worried about, but when it happens just next door you do tend to think twice. 


Spork

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Re: Deadbolt recommendations?
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2015, 08:26:47 AM »

I don't think they are useless... but I do also know this:  If someone really wants in, they're coming in. 

* sister in law's house was broken into in a suburban neighborhood in broad daylight.  The deadbolt held.  She had a metal front door and they bent the lower jamb-side corner 90 degrees.  It looked like a dog eared page in a book.

* wife's best friend had a brand new house with high end locks.  They threw a log from their wood pile through a back window.  They used tools from the garage to start working on opening a large gun safe.   We are guessing they got surprised by home owners returning, as they stopped in the middle of cracking the safe and fled.  Not much stolen, but quite a lot of damage to safe, windows, floors, etc.

If you don't have dead bolts, get a reasonable name brand from Home Depot/Lowes.  More than that... they're coming in a window or kicking in a door.

I'm not a paranoid that thinks everyone is out to get you.  They aren't.  There are a small number of true shitheads in the world.  Make a reasonable effort... and stop there.  Otherwise you're going to have to build a windowless concrete bunker with gun turrets on the roof.

Slam

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Re: Deadbolt recommendations?
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2015, 08:39:16 AM »
I'm not sure how one deadbolt would be any better then any other deadbolt.  You can certainly reinforce the door frame to help prevent the brute force type of entry.

I recently bought one of those Schlage electronic deadbolts.  My last house sitter locked himself out.  I paid the $100 that the lock smith charged him.  When I got home I installed the new deadbolt so he can just type in the code.

For your comments about the dog...Every Halloween I make sure that my great dane comes to the door with me to hand out candy, just in case anyone happens to be scoping out the house.  She's friendly, but her size makes people really nervous.  Not sure if that would work with your dog or not.

Edit: This is literally the only reason I hand out candy on Halloween.

Spork

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Re: Deadbolt recommendations?
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2015, 08:49:57 AM »
I am guessing the expensive, recommended ones are the "smart" locks.

As a computer/security geek... this would be my one recommendation: avoid those.  Keyed locks themselves are vulnerable and those vulnerabilities are well known.  But they require you to be physically present to exploit them.  Adding remote access is going to make you more vulnerable... and gives the ability for people to attack the lock remotely (most likely "just for the fun of it.")

There is something about being physically not present that seems to make people think what they're doing is not so bad.  That, and the fact you can scan/exploit the entire internet for a particular vulnerability when one is found would make me avoid them.

fallstoclimb

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Re: Deadbolt recommendations?
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2015, 08:57:11 AM »
Of course now I can't find the article I was reading but I believe they recommended against smart locks because they are too easy to reprogram, among the vulnerabilities mentioned by Spork. 

Issues listed for typical deadlocks you'd pick up at a big box store were duplicity of keys (Is this really a problem??) and pickability.  They recommended ordering some specialized deadbolts off ebay....but now I forget which ones they were.

The houses on my street are close enough together that you'd have to be pretty darn ballsy to get into a house any way that would create a lot of noise/notice. 

Spork

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Re: Deadbolt recommendations?
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2015, 09:07:49 AM »
Of course now I can't find the article I was reading but I believe they recommended against smart locks because they are too easy to reprogram, among the vulnerabilities mentioned by Spork. 

Issues listed for typical deadlocks you'd pick up at a big box store were duplicity of keys (Is this really a problem??) and pickability.  They recommended ordering some specialized deadbolts off ebay....but now I forget which ones they were.

The houses on my street are close enough together that you'd have to be pretty darn ballsy to get into a house any way that would create a lot of noise/notice.

My sis-in-law lived in such a neighborhood.  The cops said if you can kick in the door in a rhythmic fashion, people's brains will just hear "hey someone is using a hammer."   

As for pickability... assume you buy some superexpensive non-pickable lock.  Do you have windows?  Do you have traditional wooden door jambs?  You're going to have to make a fortress if you really want to keep out that 0.00000001% that desperately wants in.  I say go with best effort.  You keep dumb meddling kids out.  You keep out folks that walk up and rattle the lock and walk off.  The rest: you can't keep out.

fallstoclimb

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Re: Deadbolt recommendations?
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2015, 09:24:01 AM »
As for pickability... assume you buy some superexpensive non-pickable lock.  Do you have windows?  Do you have traditional wooden door jambs?  You're going to have to make a fortress if you really want to keep out that 0.00000001% that desperately wants in.  I say go with best effort.  You keep dumb meddling kids out.  You keep out folks that walk up and rattle the lock and walk off.  The rest: you can't keep out.

I hear what you are saying, but then at that point, maybe I'm OK with my dinky 1950s original lock. Perhaps its not worth the deadbolt at all?

norabird

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Re: Deadbolt recommendations?
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2015, 09:35:18 AM »
This is a tough question! I have a deadbolt at my place, but there were a few times when I had trouble opening the deadbolt with my key and even had to wake up a sleeping roommate to get in (sigh), after which I just stopped using it. I am sure this makes my place more vulnerable than others that do use their deadbolts, but being safer and having it be less easy for me to get in wasn't worth it. Not that this would apply to you!

You could always get those security system stickers for the windows?

BlueMR2

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Re: Deadbolt recommendations?
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2015, 10:08:17 AM »
I don't think they are useless... but I do also know this:  If someone really wants in, they're coming in. 

This.  Locks are mostly there to keep the honest and low-effort (knob turners) people out.  If they get to the point where the type of lock matters much, well, it's still not going to matter because there are easier ways to get into houses than fight a lock.

I have no problem with any of the typical name brands.  I used to do lock keying/repairs.  Back then I did mostly Kwikset and Schlage.  The Schlage hardware seemed a little nicer, but I was able to pick a couple of them for customers with lost keys.  The Kwikset felt a little "light", but never could pick the one that had lost keys.

From what I read, the biggest thing is to reinforce the doorjamb as that buys you time.  Basically to call the cops if you're home.  If you're not home, well, they're still coming in, just a little slower (and possibly through a window after damaging your door first, so you have MORE broken stuff to fix).

Kroaler

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Re: Deadbolt recommendations?
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2015, 08:13:14 AM »
Honestly locks are for honest people. NO LOCK THAT USES A KEY IS SAFE.   My brother works at an apartment complex and has a "professional bump key" for when all key sets get lost. It opens any door type lock that takes a key (Yes even deadbolts)  and only cost like 30$. You just insert the tool into the key hole, pull the trigger and twist. Bam! Doors open and no damage is done.     I never knew they made professional models until I saw his.... 

And even so,     if your door is strong the window is still a weak point.   Best to not have anything in your house you will miss lol.

https://www.lockpickshop.com/mm5/graphics/00000001/LOCK-BUMP-GUN-XL.jpg

Heres a link to really scare you, this tool will open your door and any smart thief can buy one.  I don't know why burglars are still breaking shit, with this you just walk up to the door like you own the place and unlock it.  Bonus scary points, it doesn't make any noise, all you will hear is the door opening......
 
« Last Edit: October 07, 2015, 08:28:26 AM by Kroaler »

MissStache

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Re: Deadbolt recommendations?
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2015, 09:16:18 AM »
Honestly locks are for honest people. NO LOCK THAT USES A KEY IS SAFE.   My brother works at an apartment complex and has a "professional bump key" for when all key sets get lost. It opens any door type lock that takes a key (Yes even deadbolts)  and only cost like 30$. You just insert the tool into the key hole, pull the trigger and twist. Bam! Doors open and no damage is done.     I never knew they made professional models until I saw his.... 

And even so,     if your door is strong the window is still a weak point.   Best to not have anything in your house you will miss lol.

https://www.lockpickshop.com/mm5/graphics/00000001/LOCK-BUMP-GUN-XL.jpg

Heres a link to really scare you, this tool will open your door and any smart thief can buy one.  I don't know why burglars are still breaking shit, with this you just walk up to the door like you own the place and unlock it.  Bonus scary points, it doesn't make any noise, all you will hear is the door opening......

HEY MAN THANKS FOR THE NIGHTMARES!

Cromacster

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Re: Deadbolt recommendations?
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2015, 09:28:41 AM »
I've had good experience with Schlage deadbolts.  Though to my knowledge no one has tried to kick in my door.

Even with a good deadbolt the door is only as good as the frame.  As stated above even if the deadbolt holds there are still ways to get through a door.  With that said I will always recommend The Door Devil.  It is a kit that is for reinforcing your door to essentially make it kick in proof.  I have it installed on all of my exterior doors.  Relatively cheap and easy to install if you have some basic skills and tools.

http://doordevil.com/

As always, if they are determined they will always find a way in.  First and cheapest steps are to keep your home undesirable to break into.  No visible valuables.  Make sure tv aren't easily visible.  Keep your yard and house maintained.  Motion sensor lights around exterior.  If you want to go even further you can look into landscaping ideas that help to deter break ins.

Ducky

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Re: Deadbolt recommendations?
« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2015, 09:39:21 AM »
We had someone come in our home recently while I was home. My dogs are useless btw. We replaced our  Schlage lock with a Kwikset deadbolt that locks its self it 30 seconds.  We are also installing Simpisafe alarm system. A customized set was $538 after the 10% online coupon code I found. Monthly monitoring is $14.99. I hate to spend it but I more hate the thought of interrupting a stranger rooting around my house again. I do do have a discount code for Simplisafe if you are interested.

Kroaler

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Re: Deadbolt recommendations?
« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2015, 10:43:20 AM »
Man ducky, your experience frightens me. Id move into a fortress, complete with mote and alligators, if that happened to me.    Even if you end up shooting someone in your home, its still a huge inconvenience....    Ive pondered all the outcomes and likelihoods and my personal conclusion has been this.       Just have a place that doesn't look tempting to break into.   Someone would be mighty sad breaking into my mustachian stocked house...   

fallstoclimb

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Re: Deadbolt recommendations?
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2015, 11:09:47 AM »
I do wonder if a chain alone would be enough to deter someone coming in while you were home, at least if they use the front door.  Of course they are breakable, but it would announce that someone was (most likely) home, and most theives would move on, I'd think....

This wouldn't help protect my dog, but I think I just have to accept the odds are very low that someone would 1) break in AND 2) hurt the dog.  Honestly he'd probably walk up to them with his tail wagging, so they could just pet him and carry on.  (Gosh would he though?  He does bark at the doorbell and very very occasionally growl at the mailman.  Maybe he's more of a guard dog than I give him credit for?)

Ducky, tell us the full story - what happened? 

Ducky

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Re: Deadbolt recommendations?
« Reply #15 on: October 07, 2015, 12:02:05 PM »
Man ducky, your experience frightens me. Id move into a fortress, complete with mote and alligators, if that happened to me.    Even if you end up shooting someone in your home, its still a huge inconvenience....    Ive pondered all the outcomes and likelihoods and my personal conclusion has been this.       Just have a place that doesn't look tempting to break into.   Someone would be mighty sad breaking into my mustachian stocked house...   

Yeah it scared the crud out of me! Hence first the self locking bolts so no one can forget again! I don't think not looking tempting matters a bit. I was looking at the crime map for our city. The area with the lowest housing values has the most robberies. That kind of surprised me. I guess if i was a thief I'd be wanting to hit the high end areas. There has been one other in our 1 mile area.