How To Protect Your Door from a Kick-In

Thursday, October 24th, 2013
Pop A Lock | New Orleans LA

Is your door vulnerable to burglars?

Most burglars don’t bother with picking or bumping your lock. Why should they, when they can just kick your door in? Even with a decent lock, if your door, frame, jamb, and hinges can’t withstand a kick, they might consider your house a sitting duck. As a local locksmith, Pop-A-Lock New Orleans often repairs doors and locks after a robbery, but it’s better to take the precautions now than pay for repairs later. Being robbed is expensive, scary, and often preventable.

Here’s how a kick-in works. Your door is locked, the bolt firmly in the jamb. A burglar kicks your door hard, and the strike plate (the part where the tongue of the bolt goes into) tears out and the door jamb splinters. Unless you’ve taken precautions, your door is likely to open right up.

The good news is that it’s not hard to make your door less easy to kick in. Some of these fixes you can easily do yourself; others will require a good local locksmith or handyman in New Orleans. We’ve arranged these suggestions from easier to harder for your convenience.

  • Replace the screws holding your strike plate to the door jamb. The standard screws are less than an inch long, so they tear out easily when the door is kicked. Longer (3”) screws are an easy, cheap upgrade.
  • Reinforce your door jamb. Most door frames, including the jamb, are made out of wood, which can weaken with age and weather. Even if the wood is in good condition, it may be relatively easy to splinter. You can install a metal reinforcement plate that will protect your door jamb from splintering.
  • Upgrade your locks. High security locks feature heavier hardware that provides some resistance to kick-ins. At the very minimum, you need a deadbolt along with a key-in-knob type lock on your entry doors. Plus, they provide protection against the more determined burglars who will try to pick your lock.
  • Check the hinges. First, if you can see the hinges when standing outside the closed door, the door was not properly installed. Hinges need to be on the inside so the pins can’t be pulled out. Some door jamb reinforcers protect both sides of your door frame.
  • Replace your door. Solid core or solid wood doors provide some resistance to kick-in attempts, but a hollow core door is just asking for trouble. We’ve seen cases in which burglars actually kicked through the door, then reached in to open the lock.

Avoiding a burglary is about making yourself an unattractive target. If a thief fails to kick in your door after a few attempts, odds are good he’ll move on rather than attempt to pick or bump your lock. But remember, any external door can be a target. If you reinforce your front door, don’t forget about the back, side, or sliding doors!

If you’d like to get more home security tips or schedule a home security check-up, give Pop-A-Lock New Orleans a call today at 504-588-2192. We’ve been a local locksmith in the New Orleans area since 1993 and can offer you expert locksmith tips and services to keep you and your family safe.

Photo Credit:  Flickr

5 Commonly Overlooked Home Security Threats

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012
Pop A Lock | Locksmith | New Orleans LA

Did you remember to check the dog door?

So you’ve upgraded your locks, activated your motion sensors, and are feeling pretty good about the state of your home security. Hold it right there – it’s easy to overlook some major security threats that compromise the safety of your home and family. We should know — we’re professional home locksmiths here in New Orleans. Here are five you may have missed, plus how to fix them.

1.       Sliding doors. The basic lock that came with your sliding doors won’t keep out anyone determined to get in. If you haven’t taken special precautions, burglars can simply lift most sliding doors out of their tracks. Fortunately, there are many specialized locks and products that make sliding doors more secure, including keyed locks and bars.

2.       The dog door. Do you have a larger dog? Even if they can’t fit through your dog door, burglars have been known to reach through the dog door to unlock the door. One solution is to install a double cylinder deadbolt that requires a key on both sides to lock or unlock. If you haven’t yet installed a dog door, position it in the middle of the door (you don’t want it to be too close to either hinges or lock) and choose one with a magnetic or electric option for more security.

3.       The tree outside your upstairs window or porch. Homeowners often pay less attention to upstairs security, figuring that anything above ground level is inaccessible. But if there’s a tall tree close by, a burglar can scale it to break in through the upstairs. Keep trees close by your house trimmed, don’t leave ladders around in your yard, and install window pins on upstairs windows. Keeping your shrubs and trees trimmed also improves visibility, which burglars hate.

4.       Your door hardware. A high security lock won’t keep your door safe from being kicked in if you have hollow doors, flimsy door frames, or strike plates attached with short screws. Investing in a better lock only makes sense when combined with stronger hardware to support it.

5.       The back door. Even if your front door is completely up to snuff with a good deadbolt and heavy duty strike plate, every external door is a potential entryway for a burglar. How weak is your weakest link? Check to make sure side, back, and garage doors are as well protected as the front door.

Pop-A-Lock is a residential locksmith in New Orleans that provides full home security audits to evaluate the security of your home and address weaknesses. Call us today at 504-588-2192 for a free quote!

Photo by Northern Green Pixie

Pop-A-Lock Locksmith of New Orleans New Website is Live!

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

Pop-A-Lock | New Orleans LAHi there!  Have you seen our new website for Pop-A-Lock Locksmith of New Orleans, Louisiana — the leading New Orleans Locksmith? We’ve added lots of info, photos, and links where you can find information about our services, the areas we serve, and how it all works. We love being and working in New Orleans and here to help whenever you need us. Our mobile services come out to you wherever you are in the greater New Orleans area.

As always, we offer our FREE car lockout service to all residents if a child is locked inside a vehicle. It’s a scary thing to happen to any parent, but when you call us, you can be certain we’ll be there as fast as we can — often in minutes, because we know you’re counting on us to rescue your child.

Please let us know what you think of the new site. If you liked our services, we’d appreciate it if you would leave us a review.  We can’t wait to get started offering coupons and security tips through this blog and hope you’ll join us for the ride!