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Wanna keep out burglars?...Stop 'em with a Schlage! (1 Viewer)

Kevin Alexander

Screenwriter
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Apr 17, 1999
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1,365
After a recent break in at our home, my wife and I decided to get an alarm system installed along w/ new doors and locks. After picking out the new doors we had several choices for locks to choose from at Home Depot. We've heard so much advertising for Schlage Locks being the "Cadillac" of home and business locks and the preferred lock of choice because of their reputation for being able to keep out anyone or anything unwanted. The TV commercials for Schlage even show frustrated burglars beating on the doors of homes equipped w/ a Schlage lock to no avail; eventually they give up and flee the premises in bitter disappointment. Anyway, the locks for both doors come out to be around $150 or $75 for each door - kinda on the expensive side, but worth the extra protection we both figured.

Anyway, my wife and I recently began accidentally locking ourselves out of the house because we weren't accustomed yet to the new lock system. When that happened we would call each other at work or interrupt each other's errands to come home and let either her or I in the house. As you can imagine, this turned out to be a major inconvienience for both of us.

Well, yesterday, it happened again. My wife accidentally locked herself out of the house. But this time she left her cell phone inside the house and couldn't call me. After realizing that she couldn't just wait for me to come home, she decided to go next door to our very nice neighbor who's helped us w/ home improvement things from time to time to use the phone. After explaining to our neighbor (a family man in his early 50's) the situation, he immediately told my wife..."No need to bother your husband, I can get you into your house." "How?" my wife asked. "I can pick the lock" he told her.

My wife told me she was skeptical and told him we had just gotten new expensive locks, to which he said "no problem." Now here's the point of all this: My wife then told me that he came over and in just 4 minutes he cleanly picked the lock! I couldn't believe it when my wife told me. After I got home, I immediately inspected the lock sure that he must've damaged the lock or the door and even to my surprise, the lock was picked clean w/ no sign of force or damage to either the door or lock. I told my wife in disbelief: HOW COULD HE DO THAT TO A SCHLAGE LOCK??? I thought they were virtually impenetrable. My neighbor is no locksmith either - he's a carpenter! Should I be surprised at this? Are there other people out there that can easily manipulate the security of any locked door or area? Although I was pleased that my wife didn't have to wait outside in the rain, I was a little disturbed that someone could gain access to my house so easily.

All of this goes to show that if that certain someone wants into your place, they can do it...no matter how hard you try to keep them out. And as for Schlage locks, those guys are master marketers...and I want my money back.
 

Jeff Gatie

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Just about any lock can be picked if the picker is skilled enough. Big "if". One of my hobbies used to be lock picking. I used it as a mental exercise after I read that one of my science idols (Richard Feynman) used it to sharpen his mind. With a good set of picks, a little knowhow of different locks and a LOT of practice, you can pick just about any lock. I used to amaze my coworkers by getting into the locked security door at a former job when we needed parts or procedures after regular working hours.
 

Charles J P

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I have a friend that prides himself as being a jack of all trades. He ordered $30 lockpick set and was able to pick several locks in the first week. You should be glad it took him 4 minutes, that is much too long for most burglers. The cheap lock my friend practiced on, you can rack, meaning there is a pick called a jiggler and you just stick it in and while you pull it back out you rock it up and down and slowly turn the knob. Any pin that gets jiggled into the right place will be held there by the pressure of turning the knob. There is an art to it, but it is not difficult.
 

Colton

Supporting Actor
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Jan 12, 2004
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I think you better invest on a wireless home alarm system as a backup. Get the works - windows, motion, and door sensors.

- Colton
 
E

Eric Kahn

If you want pick proof locks, find a Medeco lock dealer, usually a locksmith in town

Medeco locks use keys with angled cuts, the pins in the lock will not let it open unless they are sitting at the right angle along with the right height, and the key blanks are very hard to get and a standard key machine can not copy them

and they are exceedingly hard to pick
 

Drew Bethel

Screenwriter
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Nov 22, 1999
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1,209
Nothing beats our dog. We woke up many mornings to find unlocked doors but our dog "Mukeke" had out backs! :)

I agree with Colton, you may want to look at a home alarm system. I wouldn't go the subscription route though - you pay and you pay and you pay while they sit back and collect.

Sites like popularmechanics or popularscience should be able to give yo some leads on a system you can actually purchase.
 

VinhT

Second Unit
Joined
Feb 14, 2002
Messages
357
I am one of those. I'm not very good though, takes me about 30-45 minutes to pick an unfamiliar lock, so plain luck may be a factor. :D

Anyways, I consider the primary weakness of a locked door to be the door frame. I don't think many burglars, if any, are skilled enough to pick locks. Efficiency is also an issue. The typical wooden door frame is much easier to overcome.
 

Garrett Lundy

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[Dickens]As a former neighborhood "Nogoodnik", me and my fellow nogoodniks formed a small band of professional "ner-do'ells" that bemused ourselves by confounding the local curmudgeony constabulary.[/Dickens]

Anyway, somebody got one of those $13.95 lockpick sets mail-ordered out of the back of aSoldier of Fortune magazine, and after a few hours of practice, we could get through most anything with a tumbler lock. padlocks, however, remained elussively uncrackable, even after somebody pilfered a stethascope from the hospital. (it always worked on cartoons).

Anyway:

Unless you're installing deadbolts or fancy electronically monitored magnetic locks, or even simple combination locks... the traditional keyed lock remains suprisingly ineffective. Luckily most modern hoodlum's are more concerned with stealing cars nd dont take the time to learn how to use a lockpick.
 

Philip_T

Supporting Actor
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Jun 28, 2002
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I used to be a locksmith years ago and can tell you that there were some Schlage's that I could pick in 10 seconds and some that I could not pick at all and ended up having to drill out. Schlage's in general are fairly good locks, but there are better ones out there as Eric mentions. However, short of buying all new locks, you may want to try this option. Have a local locksmith come out and re-key your locks, but specify that you want the cuts to alternate greatly between each pin (shallow cut, deep cut, shallow cut, deep cut, etc.). A lock with greater varience in depth between each cut makes the lock much hard to pick open as it is almost impossible to get the pick to push up say the last pin all the way, without raising the one before it as well. Just my 2 cents.
 

MikeSerrano

Second Unit
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Dec 7, 1999
Messages
354

The Discovery Channel has a show called "It Takes a Thief" in which ex-burglars break into the houses of willing victims to show them what they are doing right and what they are doing wrong when it comes to home security. In every case where there was a dog (or dogs), the intruder easily got past them by either making friends or distracting the animal. In one case, they even stole the dog! It was quite an eye-opener for the homeowners.

-Mike
 

Jeff Gatie

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Yep, I saw that. It didn't even take into account that most thieves who really want to get past a dog will just throw it a steak mixed with poison. Unless you have a trained guard dog who will not take food from anyone but the owner, Fido is as good as gone.

The only dog I'd fully trust is a Charter Arms Bulldog .44, with Glaser Safety Slugs. Smaller than even a Chihuaha, much less expensive to feed and (usually) leaves no mess. It's bark is kind of loud, though.:D
 

Dennis*G

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Oct 7, 2003
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was this just a door handle lock, or do you have a deadbolt also? I assume for &75 you must have both locks, but by your statements that you lock yourself out, you must not ever lock the deadbolt then (can only be done with key from outside if you are leaving) also with the deadbolt you need to re-inforce your door jamb so it cant just be kicked in.
 

Garrett Lundy

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I'm gonna recommend a standard 12-gauge shotgun myself. Its easier to hit your target (shot spread), the shot that misses the target is going to be less lethal after passing through adjoining walls than a traditional bullet, have more non-lethal ammunitions available for it, is cheaper to purchase, and can be used for recreational clay-pidgeon shooting on weekends.
 

Kevin Alexander

Screenwriter
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Apr 17, 1999
Messages
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Yes, I also have a deadbolt. We accidentally lock ourselves out because even though the lock is engaged, you can still turn the knob from the inside to get out, but once out you can't get back in because you didn't disengage the lock before exiting. So simple things such as going out to check the mailbox or getting somthing out of the car yields a rather unexpected surprise once you attempt to re-enter the house.
 

Michael Warner

Supporting Actor
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Sep 24, 1999
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Mike


For the most part a dog considers his guard job to be over once an intruder has actually entered the house. Growing up we had our house broken into twice and each time we came home to find a somewhat sheepish dog waiting for us amid the ruins of our belongings. Fortunately the burglars never hurt the dog.
 

Greg_R

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Apr 9, 2000
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Portland, OR
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The better tumbler locks usually have better (stronger) deadbolt mechanisms and kick plates. The lock is still fairly easy to pick (especially if the thief has plenty of time). At least it isn't one of those bike locks that takes 2 seconds with a Bic pen to pick...

How to pick a lock. This covers how a lock works as well... I found it very interesting.
 

Jay Taylor

Supporting Actor
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Sep 8, 2000
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Location
Oklahoma City

Exactly! When we moved into our new home 5 years ago I replaced the locks with Schlage locks due to a friend's recommendation. I was so disappointed that the doorknobs would turn when locked that I removed them and threw them in the trash!

I will never buy a Schlage lock again unless they change this “feature”.
 

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