Home Security – What You Should Know

It’s important to know how to enforce home security to prevent break ins and burglaries. There are steps you can take to make sure your home is safe and eliminate the chance of someone intruding.

You may have already read about things your burglar won’t tell you bouncing around the web. If you haven’t yet, it’s a list of things a consultant, who hosts the Crime Doctor Website, and a professor, who interviewed a bunch of burglars for his book, put together. It actually gave me a little bit of an uneasy feeling after reading the list. Knowing all the things that burglars look for before invading is good to know, but like I said before, not exactly comforting. So If we make sure and do these things I think it can up our chances of home security and maybe helping (a little) by putting our minds more at ease.

Things burglars don’t want you to know:

  • If you have nice taste outside, it most likely means you have nice taste inside.
  • Signs that you aren’t home: piled up newspapers, mail or flyers on the front door. If it snows while you are out of town, it might be a good idea to have a neighbor make some tracks around the house, so virgin snow drifts don’t give away the fact that you aren’t home.
  • Don’t let your alarm company install the control pad where a burglar can see if it’s set or not. A good security company will alarm the window over the sink and the windows over the second floor, where the master bedroom is.
  • Don’t ever forget to lock your front door, lots of times a burglar will try that first and lots of times they can walk right in.
  • Some burglars knock at your front door to see if you are home. If you are, they might ask for directions or offer to help in the yard. They may even carry a clipboard or carry a rake like a lawn guy to make sure and never look like a crook
  • Don’t hide your valuables in drawers or a safe that’s not secured to the floor.
  • A loud TV or radio can sometimes be as good as or better than a fancy alarm system. They have devices you can buy now that work on a timer and simulate the flickering glow of a real TV.
  • Burglars don’t like dogs.
  • Breaking a window, even if it’s a little noisy, is no big deal to them because even if your neighbor does here it, he will probably stop and listen to see if he can hear it again, and if he doesn’t he will just go back to whatever he was doing.
  • Make sure and use your alarm system. What’s the point of paying for it if you don’t set it?
  • Avoid announcing your vacations on Facebook, because it’s easy to look up your address.
  • Never leave a window open, even if it’s just a cracks

Things You Can Do to Ensure Home Security:

  • Lock your door, always. – 51% of break-ins occur during daylight. 49% occur after dark. 8,600 break-ins a day. 1 every 13 seconds.
  • Every exterior door (even the garage door to the inside of the house) needs a deadbolt with a full 1″ throwbolt. They should also be solid
  • Good exterior lighting around the house will prevent intruders. 40-watt bulbs on the porches should do the trick. Trimming the bushes should help too.
  • Double cylinder deadbolts are good for doors with glass an arms length away will help, because they will need to the key to unlock from the inside.
  • Sliding doors, when installed can easily be lifted out of place if not careful. Adjust screws in the door track to limit clearance. And make sure and add a broom stick or something similar in the track so the sliding door isn’t easily opened.
  • When out of town, take extra steps to have the appearance that you are still home. Automatic devices, like the flickering TV, or timers to turn on different lights at different times. Have trusting neighbors pick up your mail and newspapers, maybe even have them use your garbage cans. During the winter have them make tracks or have the snow shoveled.
  • Start a  neighborhood watch.
  • Make sure to hide our “spare key” well or not at all. Under the mat or above the door jamb is not good.
  • If something does happen, you would want the police’s help asap right? Make sure your house numbers are nice and big so they are visible maybe even reflective. Help others by reporting strangers running through private yards.
  • Don’t make it easy for a burglar to rob you. Hide your valuables or lock them in a safe that’s bolted down. Engrave your valuables with “this property is stolen from…” and include your divers license number. Don’t make it tempting for a robber when you have your empty TV box sitting in the driveway. Be careful, you don’t know who’s watching.

 

Sources: Weiser.com, 10 Things you must know about home security. Reader’s Digest, 13+ Things a Burglar Won’t Tell You, Author: Michelle Crouch from Reader’s Digest, September 2009. Richard T. Wright, criminology professor at the University of Missouri- St. Louis – Book: Burglars on the Job. Chris McGoey, host of crimedoctor.com.

 

 

Door Closers:

What is a door closer?

Door closers are what you see on doors of almost any building. It’s what makes a door close behind you safely after entering a restaurant, restroom, or any room pretty much in a public building. It’s something so simple, but also such a great and helpful tool.

What do you need to know about door closers?

When looking for door closers it’s important to know that each door closer may be specifically designed for different applications. These each may be made for different purposes such as, matching the door closer with different door dimensions and it would be a good idea to figure out about how many people will be using the door. You can choose door closers that are more lightweight or more heavy duty or that are made from different metals like aluminum, bronze, and brass. There are also different design options like for example some are more obvious and some may be more hidden.

When doors are used a lot, it would be good to install a heavy duty door closer for the application with an ANSI grade one (which basically means its the highest grade, or most heavy duty grade rated by the ANSI agency). More use means it needs to be more heavy duty to stand up to the abuse.

Another thing is to make sure that the door closer is ADA compliant, which stands for The Americans with Disabilities Act and this law provides requirements and rules to make it safe and easy for the elderly and people with disabilities. Door closers need to meet ADA requirements of strength and size. To be ADA compliant, an interior door can not open with an opening force of more than 5 pounds. So it’s good for the door closers to have less pressure to make it easier for anyone to open and close doors.

For fire exit doors, looking under UL listed hardware would be the best. UL listed door closers are tested and meet safety requirements in case of fire. In other words it will maintain its integrity longer. Most buildings usually require UL listed for a 3 hour fire. And it may be a good thing to look into getting door closers with electric sensors to make sure the doors open permanently if needed. It’s absolutely necessary to the NFPA 101 life safety code when ordering for fire doors.

 

 For more information on door closers go here.

How Do Locks Work?

It’s interesting (if you get the chance) to learn how a lock works. And there are several different kind of locks out there, but I think I will just go over the basic ones that are the every day to day type that we all can relate to. Like the mechanical locks, tubular locks – which are the most common type of lock today, and the electronic locks.

Let me first start by telling you how the keyed lock works or how the mechanism works. Most keyed locks have a pin and tumbler locking mechanism. Which means that it has a series of spring loaded pins and these are loaded into a series of little cylinders. And each of the little cylinders’ bottom is called a pin and a top called a driver. When inserting the key, the springs will be compressed and the key lifts the pin and it pushes the driver into the upper chambers of the cylinder. So when you put in the correct key for the cylinder the bottom and top pins are aligned and the key can turn. The bottom pin will be in the key chamber and the top part of the pin rests on top of the bottom half with gentle pressure of the spring when the key is not in the lock. So when an incorrect key is inserted, the key will not align correctly with one or maybe more of the spring loaded cylinders – not allowing the key to turn by placing at least one of the pins or drivers in the way.

Most locks are mechanical. Mechanical Locks operate by one or more pieces of metal (tumblers, levers, or latches) falling into a slot in the bolt, and prevents from being moved. And most mechanical locks require keys to unlock and lock.

Tubular locks are a good example of this type of mechanism. And like I said earlier tubular locks are the most common type that most people use on their own homes. Tubular locks are the type of locks that can be installed on a basic door or a standard prepped door. These locks have a keyed cylinder on the outside and turn button or a push button on the inside to manually lock it.

Electronic locks operate by an electric current. And are sometimes capable of operating independently with an electronic control assembly that is mounted directly to the lock and allows access by a code or a key.

 

For more info on other locks, go here.

“How Locks Work” – Author: WeiserLock.com

What’s New to Direct Door Hardware?

Have you noticed our new look on the site?

The New Drop Down Menu:

On the home page, you can shop under “Shop by Category”, which give all the door knobs, levers, deadbolts, bath accessories, best selling, great value hardware, etc.  Or there is a NEW drop down menu at the top you can shop under. If you run your mouse over the menu bar a list under each of the door hardware, door accessories, bath hardware, cabinet hardware, commercial and brands categories appear. Below is an example of what the drop down menu looks like under Door Hardware. All the door hardware you need categorized in one place. It gives you a list of door knobs, levers, deadbolts, handlesets and hinges.

Same goes for the other categories on the drop down menu bar. Under door accessories there will have a list of the misc hardware such as, door stops, kickplates, switch plates, house numbers and there are even safes and floor registers in this category. I’m sure you can imagine what you might find under bath hardware and cabinet hardware. I think it’s pretty self explanatory, but just in case you were wondering – bath hardware includes towel bars and robe hooks etc. And cabinet hardware, well its basically cabinet knobs and cabinet pulls. Commercial is where you will find all the hardware necessary for all your commercial applications like, office buildings and public buildings. Lots of people like to shop by brands, so this is where this category comes in. It’s a handy way to search if you want a specific brand.

The New Help Tab:

We pretty much covered all the new menus, but before you start exploring the new site, I kinda wanted to go over the NEW drop down help tab. This is an important one, and it may have a lot of the answers to the questions you may have. If you take a look below for example,

It gives a list of the basic things you need to know if you are placing an order. Like fore example, door prep, how to order, door hardware 101, and contact info. Click on the door hardware 101.

If you aren’t familiar with door hardware, this is a good place start. Things like, what a backset is, what standard door prep is and latch types are listed here. These are all things you may need to find out so you can make sure you are ordering the right hardware to fit your door(s). If you still have questions that’s what the contact information right under help is for – call us. Our number is listed at the very top of each page in orange – call us. We would be happy to help you with any questions, or if you would just rather place your order by phone-call us! We would love to help you!

Thank You

We just want to express how grateful we are to have all of our customers out there. You are all so great and help keep us going strong. We know that without all of you, not one of us at Direct Door Hardware would still be here, so a big big thank you!

When we receive all the positive emails, polite and upbeat phone calls, and the gracious reviews about our customer service – it makes our day and we want to improve even more for all of you. We appreciate the insightful comments on what we need to do to improve, these comments are just as important to us as all the rest. Thank you all so much for taking time out of your day to do these things, it really does help us to know how we are doing and it is important to us that we are doing our best for you. We are grateful for all of the super friendly customers that call in and make it so comfortable and easy for us to chat with about anything door hardware related or not, it makes our day more interesting and fun. We cannot begin to tell you how great it is to hear that customers have been referred to our websites from friends, and family who have enjoyed their experience with us and hope that continues. Not only do we appreciate more business, but it gives us confidence that we did a good job in helping you and others who have visited Direct Door Hardware.

We know that sometimes the orders don’t always come out perfect, but thank you to all of those being so patient and letting us fix our mistake and make it right. We want you to know that the customer always comes first in our eyes and we will do everything to the best of our ability to make sure the Direct Door Hardware experience is a great one.

 

Thanks a Million,

Direct Door Hardware Staff

 

Kwikset Smart Key

Just recently my sister witnessed someone breaking in to their neighbors car. Her husband got out the door a little too late before they had what they were looking for, but he did scare them off. And before this quite a few neighbors down the road got hit. Nobody felt very safe after this and they all were feeling like maybe it was a good time to re-key their deabolts and locks to their houses. What a scary feeling.

Kwikset offers what they call Smart Key, or the Smart Key approach to home security (more info here). What’s neat about this feature is that you can re-key your “smart key” locks as often as you want while maintaining high level security. And what a comforting feeling that is to have high security.

Kwikset’s top reasons to re-key:

  • Lost keys – do you have any idea how often this happens? I know I have lost keys before. What good is a lost key?
  • Stolen keys – let’s hope this one isn’t as often. This is an uneasy feeling.
  • Un-returned keys – I am sure this happens to a lot of renters out there.
  • Just moved – this one is kinda a given, I hope that the locks are changed when you move in to a knew place.
  • Want more home security
  • One key convenience for all locks
  • Remodeling/updating home – For all the people you give out keys to that are helping with remodeling or updating or upgrading, a good idea to change the lock.

So what’s so great about the smart key?

Well for starters they have what is called drill resistance which means that the lock uses steel balls in the front of the key face to resist attack from the bad guys that try and drill into your lock to break the lock and are able to get in. The smart key function also includes a bump guard and this provides protection against lock bumping which is an attack technique used to defeat pin tumbler locks. This is just to name a few, you can check out more reasons here.

How does it work?

First you will need to have your functioning key and smart key learn tool for this to work.

You do it all yourself as often as needed! I think the SmartKey makes life a whole lot easier.

 

Can Finishes Tell You Something?

Can finishes really tell you something about yourself? Well according to Weiser (under What does your door knob say about you?) yes they can! “Your home’s entrance can tell a lot about your personality.”

When choosing a finish that suits your fancy, it can be a really overwhelming chore. So what Weiser has done, is give a brief summary of what each finish can say about your personality and style:

  • A Venetian Bronze finish is a throw back to yesteryear, it suits someone who is nostalgic, paints their home in warm roses and cream colours and has a soft spot for classic Victorian décor. Personality traits of these individuals include: conscientious, dependable, steady and conservative. Their hobbies might include classical music, fine dining, designer clothes and trips to Rome.

 

  • A Satin Stainless Steel finish is for someone who likes clean, polished and modern looks. Their home is very simple, bright and airy, probably with a lot of windows and open spaces. Symbolic of this individual would be innocence, purity and naivete. People who chose this finish are probably into alternative or indie rock, wearing jeans with a t-shirt, vacationing on the beach and chowing down on sushi.

 

  • A Rustic Pewter finish is chosen by someone who prefers an average suburban house to a modern mansion. This person often has a good business sense but tends to work too much. They love classic rock, attending sporting events, eating cheeseburgers and taking camping trips at national parks.

 

  • An Iron Black finish evokes a very mysterious feel. Door knobs which are all black represent a dignified and impressive look, without being showy. These people most likely love emo music, visiting Eastern bloc countries, wearing all black wardrobes and eating at ethnic restaurants.

 

  • A Bright Brass finish has yellow undertones, representing happiness and imagination. The people who choose this have sunny personalities and a great sense of humour. Hobbies of this person include, visiting glitzy Las Vegas, wearing bright clothing and accessories, listening to pop music and dining at chain restaurants.

 

This list can possibly make things a lot more simple to help anyone to choose what finish to go with. A lot less overwhelming. I think I may fall into the Satin Stainless Steel category. What about you?

 

What Does Your Door Knob Say About You?, Author: Stephen Murdoch, Black & Decker, OEB Enterprise.

The Eagle’s Nest

“The Eagle’s Nest” in English (aka “Das Kehlsteinhaus” in German) – A famous Teehaus (Teahouse) built in September 1938 on the Kehlstein mountain in the Bavarian Alps by the Nazis – so it’s about 74 years old. This was a present for Adolph Hitler for his 50th birthday.

The Eagle’s Nest building is a popular tourist attraction in Germany, particularly for Britons, Canadians and Americans according to Wikipedia. People take bus tours, or can take a two hour walk up to the mountain – it also serves as a restaurant. The tours are not offered in German, because a requirement due to previous trouble with neo-Nazis and post war Nazi Sympathisers. The lower rooms of the building are not part of the restaurant but can be toured with a guide.

Here it says that a lot of Americans mistakenly believe that the term “Eagle’s Nest” refers to Hitler’s former private residence which was located below the Kehlsteinhaus. And in the movie “War and Remembrance” it showed some scenes of events that happened at Hitler’s former residence, the Berghof, but in the movie the scenes were filmed at the Kehlsteinhaus. So the term “Eagle’s Nest” actually came from a group of World War I veterans who visited the Kehlsteinhaus and the name has always only referred to Hitler’s Teehaus.

You are probably wondering what this has to do with door hardware, but when reading more about the Eagle’s Nest, in this particular post, it mentioned door hardware, believe it or not, at the very end. It says, in Germany they used door handles, not door knobs. And that door knobs were pretty much were unknown on German buildings when das Kehlsteinhaus (The Eagle’s Nest) was built in the year of 1938. And then it says, and this is the my favorite part, homesick American soldiers in Germany in the 1940’s and 1950’s would refer to the United States as “the land of the round doorknob”. So maybe even homesick Americans may have had some door hardware geek in them.

One of the door handles from the Kehlsteinhaus in 1977.

NEW! Nova Brand:

We just added a new brand to the site ya’ll! I am excited to introduce the new brand called Nova. Keep this brand in mind especially if you like that trendy modern look. This is where you would look! Well before I make it sound like it’s the only place to look, I better correct myself… This is one of the places to look under!

Nova hardware is high quality hardware, and they pay great attention to the detail of all their products. These styles are all designed to fit American standards. These levers are made of 304 stainless steel. Their goal and focus is to provide affordable products with great quality to anyone in the world! They offer a life time warranty – does that tell you that they must provide good quality? I think so!

I think we are about ready to see all these modern style levers Nova has to offer. Pay attention to the names of each lever, I find that they are pretty interesting and some match the style spot on. I also like how most of them are named after planets.

Nova’s Venus style lever.

Nova’s Simplicity Style Lever. What a great name for this one, because it totally is simple! It screams simplicity!

Nova’s Saturn Style Lever. This one is pretty similar to the Venus style with some slight changes as you can see if you compare the stem or core of the levers.

Nova’s Mars Style Lever. This one reminds me of some type of sweet bullet or something. This style is pretty sharp looking.

 

The Nova Jupiter Style. This one is pretty simple looking, like the Simplicity with just a touch more detail. Me likey.

 

The Nova Granata Lever Style. This one is so awesome. A little like the Venus and Saturn, but with more bulk. I like the square stem part rather then round like the others.

 

The Nova Curve. Heck yes! This style is classy and simple with a touch of unique.

Last but not least, the Modernus Lever. Maybe the name is like you saying we are modern, modern-us. Get it? Totally just throwing that out there. This lever is so great on so many levels.

 

 

Making a Door Knob – Finishing Steps:

So, earlier I talked about forged brass (which I researched from this site), the common material for door knobs, and went over the steps of how it’s made. Now we can go over the preparation of the door knob. So after the door knob goes through the forging process (that we went over in this post), the door knob goes through a series of finishing steps:

Coining – a form of precision stamping (the term comes from the initial use of the manufacturing of coins process)

Milling – or grinding.

Drilling – pretty self-explanatory, but it’s a process that uses drill bits to cut or enlarge holes.

Tapping – a process of cutting threads using a tap (a tool).

The basic components of a door knob are the knob of course (or the knob top), the rose, shank, and the spindle.

I am a visual learner, so  for those of you that are the same, here is a picture that was shown when I researched this, so you can get an idea of what each of these parts look like:

You can see in the picture that the rose is the round plate or washer that is adapted to attach to the surface of a door. The shank is the stem that projects from the knob and contains a hole or a socket to connect to the spindle. The spindle is connected to the knob, a metal shaft that turns the latch of the lock. I feel like this sounds awfully familiar to the “Dry Bones”, but I will just need to adjust the words a little. The door knob connected to the shank, the shank connected to the knob rose, the knob rose connected to the spindle, the spindle connected to the knob, dem knobs, dem knobs, dem knobs… It’s not as smooth I guess, but now it’s going to be stuck in my head all day.

Anyway, so a few buffing steps are used to get the brilliant finish! Then there is the coating process:

An organic/inorganic coating is applied with several processes. And I read that the solvents used in organic coatings can produce hazardous materials as well as some quality problems, so manufactures are now turning to the inorganic coatings.

PVD (which is a super great finish to choose for exterior doors by the way) applies a coating by sputtering and thermal evaporators in an airtight chamber.  Then it says the chamber is evacuated to high vacuum pressures by a series of pumps. And then a thin coating is put down one molecule at a time. That’s crazy! For successful PVD, the brass surface must first be cleaned with washing and agitating tanks and followed by electroplating (or coating) with semi-precious materials.