Make certain locks installed properly

Published 10:14 am Wednesday, July 16, 2003

By By BEN RAYMOND LODE / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- It may sound strange, but apparently it doesn't really matter what kind of locks are installed in your home.
What really matters is how the locks are installed, said Chief Ric Huff, Niles City Police Department.
Huff encourages people, perhaps even more so with the recent wave of armed home invasions in the area, to ensure all of their locks are properly installed to prevent anyone from gaining easy access to their homes.
Huff said sometimes when police need to enter a home or a building and they encounter properly installed locks, they often have to use heavy equipment to be able to break a door open.
Huff said from his experience, many locks aren't properly installed with the proper screws and haven't been fastened to the two by four studs in a home's walls.
Huff said people installing locks should use two to two-and-a-half inch screws that screws the door jam into the wall studs of a home.
Huff said the locks should be properly installed whether it is a sliding door, a window or a regular door.
He also encourages people to make sure the screws that come with the locks that they buy are the correct screws.
Although a properly installed lock can deter people from breaking into a house, many people also have alarm systems installed in their homes.
Huff said alarm systems are helpful, but when armed, people are unable to open their windows or doors without having the alarm go off.
Which has the effect of 'trapping' people in their own homes, he said.
Huff said some people arm parts of their home, but that still restricts movement and many get rid of their alarm system after having tried them out for a while.
Jerry Bowman, a systems consultant with SCI Alarm Inc, in South Bend, Ind., said the company hasn't experienced a large rush of people buying home security systems since the home invasion began in late April.
He said many people, however, are calling to enquire about alarm systems.
Many of them are asking whether an alarm system will stop crimes from happening in their home, he said.
He said an alarm system can't physically prevent anyone from entering a home, but the idea is that it works as a psychological deterrent.