Slide Bolt Door Locks – Homeowner Beware

slide-bolt-door-lockSlide bolt door locks have been around for as long as I can remember. Back in the day they were considered to be a reliable safety lock – at least some of my aunts and uncles thought so. Of course, back in the day people weren’t so bold and brazen as they are today.

If you’re brave enough to watch the evening news (I don’t; it makes my blood boil), you don’t have to watch long before you’ll learn of a home invasion, a car jacking, a criminal assault in broad daylight, school shootings and whatnot.

Crime is definitely on the rise. Criminals are more brazen than ever. They just don’t care. I retired in 2013 after 32 years of service with a major police department. Believe me, things are definitely different now than when I started in 1981.

Don’t Answer the Door

Question – The woman in this image thinks she’s safe with her slide bold in place. Is she correct in her thinking? Is she safe?

Answer #1 – If the person on the other side of the door is a 12-year-old selling Girl Scout cookies, all is well.

Answer #2 – If the person on the other side of the door is bent on breaking in, this woman is in serious trouble! It wouldn’t take much for the person to force his way in. The slide bolt lock ($4) would quickly give way to force. Even a more expensive lock that appears to be safer ($7) would not stand up to a 200-pound man who is determined to enter the home.

As a rule, I don’t answer my door. Have you ever had someone knock at your door (or ring the doorbell) and when you open the door he pretends he’s at the wrong house? What he’s doing is scouting out the neighborhood. That’s right. Things like this actually happen. Maybe not as often in a smaller city, but they do happen.

So back to the woman in the above image. Maybe the unwanted guest for whom she opened her door doesn’t plan on kicking her door in, but maybe he does. If nothing else, he knows an elderly woman lives here.

You’re Being Too Cautious

It is true, I am cautious, but I am not being too cautious and I’m not paranoid. Keep in mind that most criminals have a game plan. They prey on the unsuspecting. In my 32 years as a police office, I took many reports in which the victim of a crime said, “If only I had been more careful”. That’s right, if only!

My daughter asked me to become certified in Basic Life Support (BLS) because we often babysit for her. Is she being paranoid, is she asking too much? After all, nothing’s going to happen, is it? What are the odds? Well, I’d rather be certified and nothing ever happen than to not be certified and something does happen.

Answer the Door

Wait! You just said not to answer the door. Yes, but with a doorbell camera you can answer the door. Whether you’re home or away, not only can you answer the door but you can see who’s at your door. And with most doorbell cameras you can be alerted to someone’s presence as he approaches, before he even rings the doorbell. The video on a smartphone is much better than having to look through a peephole.

I said earlier that I don’t generally answer my door. That is true. The problem is I miss out on certain things. We have a number of families in our neighborhood whose children come by selling things for their school. We enjoy their brief visit, and we honor their dedication and commitment. We always buy something.

Package Deliveries

My son has a doorbell camera and he loves it. When he’s expecting a package, he is alerted on his smartphone when the mailman or UPS or FedEx approaches the door. If he’s at work and it’s an expensive package, he calls someone to stop by and pick it up for him. If an unauthorized person approaches the door before the package has been retrieved, he is alerted and can talk (he’d probably holler) through his phone and hopefully scare the thief away. He would also have a video of the thief or would-be thief.

Keep Your Seat

As I was posting this article, my doorbell rang. I was seated comfortably in my recliner and my wife was busy in the kitchen. My wife stopped what she was doing and through the peephole saw two women. She didn’t feel like talking so she ignored them. If we had a doorbell camera, I could have handled it from where I was seated (and still am seated as I write this).

Now’s the Time

My wife and I are seeing more and more doorbell cameras and security cameras when we’re out soul-winning – showing people the Bible way to heaven. I saw many homes with cameras when I was in the home inspection business.

My son has a Ring brand, which I like very much, but my doorbell button faces cross ways, not straight out toward the street. I am currently researching my options so I can buy just the right camera or system.

I’ll update this post soon. Meanwhile, please be sure to post any questions or comments.

Be safe, and

Kind Regards,





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