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Old 06-01-10, 09:59 AM   #1
SonataInFSharp
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Deadbolts Keyed on Both Sides

So, the new house had deadbolts that are keyed on the inside as well as the outside. It dawned on me that the reason for this is because the exterior doors have glass, so someone could break the glass, reach in, and undo the deadbolts if they were normal deadbolts.

The keyed inside freaked out my wife, and we were already locked-in a few times while looking for our keys among the 275 boxes and other crap around the house after moving, so I replaced the locks with more normal (and beefier) deadbolts.

So, are there any ideas floating around out there to make the doors more secure? I know I can simply add a chain, but that only helps if we are inside to lock the chain. If we are out of the house, someone could still break the glass on the door, reach in, and unlock the deadbolts now.

We do live in the safest neighborhood I have ever been in, but I don't want to be naive, either...

Any thoughts?

BONUS question: The current clothes dryer is really old with a gas hook-up and takes two hours to dry anything. We have a brand new dryer in the garage that we own, but it is electric only. The plug, though, is that HUGE three prong plug thing, whereas there are only normal 3-prong outlets in the laundry room. 1) Can we switch the type of plug on the dryer to match the outlet? I suppose it should be on its own breaker, too? 2) We can just shut off and cap the gas line used for the current dryer and put in an electric dryer, eh?
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Old 06-01-10, 10:10 AM   #2
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Change the lock to a hand controled dead bolt for the following reason: Imagine your home burning behind you ('cause you replaced the 220 plug on the dryer with a 110) you and your wife, your both stuck at the doorway without the keys. While you're chewing on that you cannot just replace the plug, more than likely you have a 220 electric dryer and the outlet is 110. I have a 110 electric dryer ('bout 5 years old now) and it has treated us well, clothes dry to perfection as long as its not over loaded.
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Old 06-01-10, 10:13 AM   #3
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One of the best security devices I've seen is a prop bar, although it requires a minor modification to your floor. It consists of a simple steel rod which hooks over the doorknob and the opposite end is placed in a recessed catch plate in the floor.
Of course, it's useless in the case of a glass paneled door where anyone can see that it's there.

You might consider slider bolts or fold-overs at the top and bottom of the doorframe if you're really concerned. Or just go with an alarm system.
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Old 06-01-10, 10:18 AM   #4
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One of the best security devices I've seen is a prop bar, although it requires a minor modification to your floor. It consists of a simple steel rod which hooks over the doorknob and the opposite end is placed in a recessed catch plate in the floor.
Of course, it's useless in the case of a glass paneled door where anyone can see that it's there.

You might consider slider bolts or fold-overs at the top and bottom of the doorframe if you're really concerned. Or just go with an alarm system.
+1, I forgot to mention an alarm, I've been with Brinks (now Broadview) for many many years and I really like their service.
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Old 06-01-10, 10:21 AM   #5
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Having glass windows near the deadbolt in the door my parents have key on both sides deadbolts. They keep a key hanging on a hook around the corner from it. House rules state that key never leaves the house, and really never goes more than ~10 feet. It's around the corner so you can't get to it with a pole through the window in the door.
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Old 06-01-10, 10:35 AM   #6
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Wow, if you're that nervous about it, I'd just move.

Someone could break the window and turn the bolt? Sure they could. They could also just break a window, or kick the door really really hard. Is your frame as strong as your lock? Are your hinges as beefy as your deadbolt?

You can "not be naive" without being overly paranoid.
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Old 06-01-10, 10:46 AM   #7
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Wow, if you're that nervous about it, I'd just move.

Someone could break the window and turn the bolt? Sure they could. They could also just break a window, or kick the door really really hard. Is your frame as strong as your lock? Are your hinges as beefy as your deadbolt?

You can "not be naive" without being overly paranoid.
Speaking as a victim of five break ins, I would hesitate to call myself overly paranoid. One break in happened when I was sleeping and the other I came home to. Both were at two different houses, 60 miles apart. Thank the Lord nothing happened to me when I came home to find the burglar in my house wielding a fat metal pipe. I am also grateful that I didn't stir when awakened from my sleep when the bad guy quietly unplugged the phone that was on the nightstand next to my head. Silently crying while trying not to let the tears flow for fear he might see is a hard thing to do, especially as you watch through eyelashes as he takes your valuables.

And sometimes people ask why I have to have three large dogs and personal home protection close by.
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Old 06-01-10, 10:59 AM   #8
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Dude I love dancing Snoopy! Its going to be my next tat! Oh, yeah, large dogs are always good for home protection.....as long as they're not doin' the Snoopy dance!
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Old 06-01-10, 11:01 AM   #9
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Having glass windows near the deadbolt in the door my parents have key on both sides deadbolts. They keep a key hanging on a hook around the corner from it. House rules state that key never leaves the house, and really never goes more than ~10 feet. It's around the corner so you can't get to it with a pole through the window in the door.
This is what I do. We bought the house this way - I wouldn't have bothered installing it that way, but it was already there.
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Old 06-01-10, 11:03 AM   #10
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Heh, the neighborhood is the safest I have ever stepped foot in. The girls next door have had their bikes in their front yard, unlocked, for about three months and they haven't been stolen. That's a pretty neat thing from my perspective.

I am not trying to keep out an army, but basic security considerations always seem reasonable.

I have thought about the slide bolt/chain idea, but you can't lock those when you are away. We may have a home security system installed, but we would be the only people in the neighborhood with a security system and it might feel like overkill.

I just read somewhere that there is a clear film you can put over the glass so that it can't be broken. Hmmm...
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Old 06-01-10, 11:07 AM   #11
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Our previous house also had the little windows right by the front door and AIRC the local codes required that the lock be key-operated on both sides. We kept one key on a string that stayed on a hook just around a corner from the door. The string was long enough to reach the lock so the key could always remain tied to it and we would be able to find it in a hurry if there were an emergency such as a house fire.
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Old 06-01-10, 11:12 AM   #12
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Hopefully the string doesn't burn in a house fire.
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Old 06-01-10, 11:13 AM   #13
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Interesting that you mention the codes because as my father-in-law rents out houses, he had to change some of the locks to be hand-operated on the inside, regardless of windows or not. Of course that is local to the city he rents in, though.

We were going to do the key on a string idea, but my wife came up with 10 reasons not to do that, either, and I agreed with 6 of them, so that sqaushed that idea. (Keep in mind that a recent relative died in a house fire because they couldn't get out--and they were found at the door--so that makes this extra sensitive from my wife's perspective.)
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Old 06-01-10, 11:14 AM   #14
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Get a Chow Chow...best security system around.
They don't bark...they just kill intruders.
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Old 06-01-10, 11:15 AM   #15
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Get a Chow Chow...best security system around.
They don't bark...they just kill intruders.
Heh, and almost their owners. I was babysitting once and the dang Chow mauled the brother, right in front of me.

That kept me a block away from that house for years until they moved.
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Old 06-01-10, 11:16 AM   #16
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I just read somewhere that there is a clear film you can put over the glass so that it can't be broken. Hmmm...
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Old 06-01-10, 11:19 AM   #17
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So, are there any ideas floating around out there to make the doors more secure? I know I can simply add a chain, but that only helps if we are inside to lock the chain. If we are out of the house, someone could still break the glass on the door, reach in, and unlock the deadbolts now.
The nicest and most aesthetically pleasing thing do is to have security window film applied to the glass. EDIT Clifton beat me to it. When applied, the glass will be resistant to blows with a hammer and prevent the intrusion of an arm. If the doors have plastic framed thermal windows, the interior frame should be removed before the film is applied so that there's no chance of breaking the window out around its edge.
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1) Can we switch the type of plug on the dryer to match the outlet? I suppose it should be on its own breaker, too? 2) We can just shut off and cap the gas line used for the current dryer and put in an electric dryer, eh?
This might be a big job. 1) You need a full 30A service with dedicated breaker running from your breaker/fuse box to a 30A outlet in the laundry. Hopefully you have the extra capacity on your power board. This is probably something you will need help with. Here's some info. 2)Yes. You should cap it, or remove the line back to the main and cap it there. Again, if you don't know how to do this RIGHT, have someone help you.
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Old 06-01-10, 12:40 PM   #18
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Dude, Hang a key ABOVE OR BESIDE the door. Easy for you to get to, there all the time, etc, but out of reach of the broken in door. Had a neighbor who had keyed deadbolts for same reason and her keys hung on the wall close by, but out of reach of the arm of an intruder.
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 06-01-10, 12:44 PM   #19
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Dude, Hang a key ABOVE OR BESIDE the door. Easy for you to get to, there all the time, etc, but out of reach of the broken in door. Had a neighbor who had keyed deadbolts for same reason and her keys hung on the wall close by, but out of reach of the arm of an intruder.
This.

At our old house we had the key having off of a chain that was long enough to reach the lock, but it was far enough away from the door you need to be Mr. Stretch to reach it through the window.
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Old 06-01-10, 01:18 PM   #20
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Dude, Hang a key ABOVE OR BESIDE the door. Easy for you to get to, there all the time, etc, but out of reach of the broken in door. Had a neighbor who had keyed deadbolts for same reason and her keys hung on the wall close by, but out of reach of the arm of an intruder.
Will fire and life insurance pay off if you're in violation of fire codes?
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Old 06-01-10, 01:34 PM   #21
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I have no idea on that. Is it really in violation of a fire code to keep a key by your deadbolt ?

According to state farm it is I just found out. Also learned about captured thumb key deadbolts, which sound like a decent option for a door with glass in it.

http://www.statefarm.com/learning/be..._doorlocks.asp
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

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Old 06-01-10, 01:40 PM   #22
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I have no idea on that. Is it really in violation of a fire code to keep a key by your deadbolt ?
No, but some fire codes prohibit a double cylinder lock on an entry door. He may want to call his local building department and his insurance carrier.

Personally, I'd go to a locksmith and ask them for suggestions. The one I go to has all kinds of good stuff.
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Old 06-01-10, 01:42 PM   #23
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Get a new door without a window and replace all your windows with bricks.
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Old 06-01-10, 01:47 PM   #24
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Get a new door without a window and replace all your windows with bricks.
Wow, I guess when the big bad wolf blew away your brothers houses it really affected you, huh?
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 06-01-10, 02:21 PM   #25
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Get a Chow Chow...best security system around.
They don't bark...they just kill intruders.
Which is why I prefer my monsters. I always laugh at the ADT comercial where the alarm goes off as a burglar kicks in the door or trips a latch. system goes off BEFORE a burglar decides to break in. So nothing ever happens. Of course I have a yard that fits for large dogs.

I would not suggest that anyone gets dogs for security. But if one wants a dog as a pet/friend it can be helpful to have a friend that can help out.
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