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3 On Your Side: Home Security Alert

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By Susan Barnett

PHILADELPHIA (CBS)The FBI says two million burglaries happen every year. The criminals are often getting in by busting through a door. Could your home be next?

You make sure your doors are locked before you go to bed every night, but if your deadbolt is not installed correctly on your door, burglars can get in, often with just one kick.

“They got around the deadbolt because there actually was so much force it broke the frame of the door,” says Nether Providence Police Chief Thomas Flannery.

That’s one problem you can have with a deadbolt if it’s been installed with screws that are too short.

“That happens a good amount of time,” says locksmith Dan Muller of Harvey’s Locks in Clifton Heights, PA.

Muller has spent years replacing deadbolts after burglars strike.

“They should have three-inch long screws that go into the frame of the house,” says Muller. “That makes it a hundred times better.”

Muller says anything less and the screws will only go as far as the thin wooden strip on the doorframe.

Another problem is when the hole for the deadbolt isn’t deep enough so that the lock won’t click in all the way.

Muller was able to demonstrate how easy it is to pry the deadbolt open with a putty knife if it’s not completely thrown.

A deadbolt hole should be one at least inch deep and anything less won’t allow the deadbolt to come out all the way and that makes it easy to push back.

When the bolt is ceded in all the way it can’t pushed back.

“A good installed deadbolt will stop most people because it takes too long to get into a house,” says Chief Flannery.

Home security starts with making it hard for the bad guys to get in.

We’ve set up a link to the National Crime Prevention Council with more advice on how to keep your home safe.