Saturday, October 29, 2011

On Locking the Door

I thought about something that I've been doing for years well at least an aspect of it. Before we get to that, conventional wisdom has it that if you lock the dead bolt on your exterior door which can only be locked from the outside then you definitely won't forget your keys providing you had the wherewithal of keeping the house keys in your hand on the way out. That way you'll never lock yourself out. And when I take the elevator downstairs to check my mail in the lobby and plan to be right back, I just lock the door knob and leave the deadbolt unlocked.

However, when you're leaving for the day, is it necessary to also lock the door knob too along with the dead bolt? If people can break through the dead bolt, the less stronger door knob's lock won't keep them out either. What I'm getting at is that when you return home, you have to unlock both locks instead of only the dead bolt. Two locks instead of one. Yeah the same key operates the tumblers on both my door knob's lock and the dead bolt but still it seems like an unnecessary step. The door knob's lock doesn't really provide a second level of security.

17 comments:

blournalist said...

Some kids tried to break into my house a couple years ago. I had a bucket of tools near the door and they used what they could to attempt to pry the door open. It was a lever-style handle, and you could see where they tried to pound on it to break it loose. They also gave the door a good swift kick with a dirty boot. The kick knocked a plate off the wall inside. It was metal door (metal shell, wood core). The metal was a little bent and the wood had split on the inside, but the lock held. I installed that door and lockset myself! Only door I ever installed.

I had forgotten to lock the deadbolt when I left. I still kind of kick myself for that, because I think it may have prevented the wood from spitting. But, there you go. A decent lockset really works.

But the main thing is that you just have to remember to lock your goddamn door. Everybody forgets at SOME point. Last week, a group of people were going house to house in my neighborhood at 2:30AM looking for unlocked doors. Just brazenly walking up to homes and trying the handle, assuming people would be asleep (and assuming the bedrooms would be on the second floor?) We sleep on the first floor in my house so, had I not locked my doors that night before bed, who KNOWS how that would've ended. Probably not well.

Unknown said...

blournalist: You should let us know where you live, so we never move there. Sounds like a really dangerous neighborhood, not that NYC is all that much safer.

Ron, I see what you're getting at, but I still think that have two locks locked would provide twice as much strength to the door as it repels kicks or at the least might slow someone down enough for them to get caught, depending on how exposed the door is to the public view.

RONW said...

blournalist- some of the locks on the knob have the same internals as dead bolts, that is, you can't jimmy the latch. But my knob is plain type a credit card can push back the latch. I like it that way because if I forget my key, at least I can get in after prying off the door stop strip. We've had a few home invasions in broad daylight this year. Never use to be that way. Of course if you shoot the intruders they charge you with assault with a deadly weapon. That marauding band of jackasses spells trouble. I know what you mean by the metal frame/wooden door, but I wasn't aware that it was that strong.

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RONW said...

Brad- when my sister lived in NYC she had to pay the some city agency $500 I forget how much to move into a safer borough. All our doors on the floor face an enclosed hallway, so it's a potentially bad situation if the neighbors happen to be out at the same time.

Unknown said...

I can see how that would be a problem. Here in NYC, if someone heard a lot of banging in the hallway, they're just as likely to ignore it and feel lucky it's not their apartment as try to intervene, even to call the police.

Some parts of NYC are like that. You can't go out after dark.

blournalist said...

I used to live in one of the lowest-per-capita crime rate areas in the US.  I still live in the same place, but can no longer make that claim about it.  The truth is, out here in the (sort of) 'burbs, it's mostly teenagers who, for whatever reason, think this neighborhood is an easy mark.  It probably seems juuuuust far enough out of the way.

Unknown said...

I've lived in some pretty crappy areas too, both here in the US and abroad. Stay safe, blournalist!

blournalist said...

Breaking News! A concerned neighbor contacted the police to see if they found anything on the evening in question. Turns out, it was the paperboy (okay, paper "guy").

Now 2:30AM is awful early to be delivering papers, but we've had a pretty good run of delivery folks lately, so I believe it.

The neighbor who spotted "a couple of guys" going door to door, and then woke up her husband and then called the cops... well, it's been too many years denying that she needs a hearing aid. Maybe we can add eyeglasses to that list.

Unknown said...

I want to laugh, but a certain amount of paranoia is healthy, and these days, who can really blame her for assuming the worst?

RONW said...

Brad- we sorta stick to 'minding our own business' around here (city style you know) with things related to disturbing the peace. Especially moreso with domestics .... you never know the actual situation with spouses or live-togethers.

RONW said...

blournalist- glad the situation was resolved because break-in's could have led to other serious things in the process especially at night when people are home. When these juveniles get together the pack mentality takes over and that's been a fact forever. If there was an equivalent 'Grand Theft'they might direct their energy more harmlessly not the best alternative but perhaps somewhere they'll realize better. Fool's gold or goals.

Cloudia said...

i think about this stuff too. . .



Aloha from up da road

Comfort Spiral

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RONW said...

Cloudia- Living in a high rise after 20+ years at the yacht harbor has a few caveats to adjust to. I'd be sure to tie down that scooter of yours too. The basement garage is a prime target.

Ann da Sista said...

I became rigorous about locking the door after the random home break-in/murders in Wallingford, CT, which is about 30 minutes from where we live. (This is the one that made national news forever and a day.) The Petit family left their back door closed, but unlocked, and the dad fell asleep on the couch watching television. The Petit home is just a few blocks from a dear friend of mine; it is not a neighborhood where anything like that has happened nor would anyone even think that it could occur. I suspect that's why it did - everyone had their guard down.

Lock your doors, brother. Lock both locks.

RONW said...

Ann- if that's the case that I think it is .... those are some crazies. They ought to be drawn and quartered then hanged. In that case, though, the cops appeared incompetent. At least I felt that as soon as the bank teller alerted the cops they should have been there before the wife returned back home with the ransom money. Once the crazies got their money, they did everything to conceal the crime. These types you buy time it works against you. So they were apprehended after the fact. What good does that do.

Ann da sista said...

One of the guys was sentenced to the death penalty last year. The other guy's trial just concluded (guilty) and they're in the penalty phase. No one here doubts that he'll get the death penalty as well. But seriously - it all started because Dr. Petit didn't lock the door. Lock your door--not just to protect your stuff but to protect yourself from some crazy who might be waiting inside for you when you come back from getting the paper.

RONW said...

Ann- for the past 7 days I've been locking both locks on the door. Still doesn't make sense to me but just avoiding a I told ya so.