Securing new house

I just purchased my first house and was wondering if any of you could give me some advice on securing it. I used to be the most carefree person in the world, but now that I have a baby girl I'm becoming a paranoid safety freak. I have a few questions.

  1. The basement has replacement windows which are about 1' high and hinged at the bottom. The latch is made of a very soft plastic. I think I could push the window in by the glass and bypass the latch without even cracking the glass. Should I just replace these with a better lock, put two locks on each window, or use a completely different system to secure these windows?

  1. The house currently has Kwikset Ultramax deadbolts. I rekeyed them myself with a kit from eBay and was amazed at their simplicity. Wouldn't locks be much harder to pick if they had pins on the top and bottom? I have a security device that protects the steering column in an old GM car I have. The lock has 4 rows of pins so the key is shaped like a cross "+". Wouldn't that type of lock be more secure against picking?

3 . What is the best way to stop kick-in attacks on a door? I've read about using 4" screws through the jambs and I've seen a steel reinforcement on the internet to use behind the strike plate and hinges. Any other ideas or advice?

Thanks Dante

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Dante M. Catoni
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Put yourself in the position of an intruder and thnk how in practice you would break in. Which locking system do you think would be the best deterrent.

Yes, but house locks are made to a price. Replacing the Kwikset with Medeco deadbolts (Medeco locks are virtually impossible to pick and are bump-proof) would alleviate your 'picking' concerns but you need to decide whether the cost is worth it. The average intruder does not bother picking or bumping locks, which is why the standard 5 or 6 pin cylinder is prevalent despite known security weaknesses.

A second lock placed well apart from the first one. An outward opening door would also assist but do not seem to be common.

My daughter works in Europe and her apartment door has a rim lock operated by a 'pump' key (6 or so levers), with 5 round bolts as well as rods that lock the top and bottom of the door.

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More diligent than a homeowner I know. Put home on the market with several realtors and gave each a key - it then appeared some realtors copied extra keys for their sales staff (some use lockboxes, some don't).

House sold, but it seemed realtor who negotiated the successful sale did not advise the other realtors (or they did not advise their salespeople) - realtor could have at least reminded vendor to tell the other realtors.

Result was that calling cards kept appearing in the house as salespeople continued to show prospective purchasers around.

I said that they ought to change the lock and got the response that 'it should not be necessary'.

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