SPECIAL REPORT: Dangerous Deadbolts - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

SPECIAL REPORT: Dangerous Deadbolts

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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Protecting your home is something that's probably at the top of your list - but so is saving money - and the two can equal major problems when it comes to home security.

"Most of the people who are putting in deadbolts are not looking beyond the cost," said David Hall with Albany Lock and Safe.

He has been in the locksmith business for 35 years and knows the difference between a good lock and bad one.

"If the lock is not reinforced, if the door jam is not reinforced, if the hinge screws are not reinforced -  you have a weak door - easy to get in," said Hall.

Many burglaries we frequently show on the news are pulled off by crooks simply kicking in the door.

Some doors are only reinforced by tiny screws in the strike plate. That's why strike plates with long screws and steel rods are recommended for extra protection. 

While any lock can be compromised, Hall says it's all about delay.

"All your trying to do with deadbolts, you're trying to delay entry. Given enough time, they're going to get in. They get into bank vaults."

Deadbolts can vary in prices. Some run as high as $200 while others can run as low as $15.

What's alarming though is one of the last things a contractor puts on a home is a deadbolt and often times the cheaper the better, no matter the cost of the home.

 "It's really bad. Homeowners are getting ripped off," Hall said.

And what else might surprise you is the fact that several people out there might have the key to your home.

We went two big box home improvement stores where deadbolts are sold. It was easy find matching key codes but we found no more than 4 different variations of codes on the shelves.

That means odds are good whoever bought that brand of deadbolt could very well have your house key.

We asked Home Depot and Lowe's how many different keys are available in their inventory of locks.

Home Depot said "We don't break out the information you are requesting."

Lowe's said "We aren't able to provide information on inventory."

The bottom line when it comes deadbolts wherever they are sold, you get what you pay for.

"You're going on a gambling spree with this (cheap lock). You're not with this (expensive lock)," said Hall.

And when it comes to securing your home, its one gamble you don't want to take.

Now beyond securing your home with a deadbolt, a home alarm system is highly recommended.

But when it comes to which deadbolt is right for your home, you should consult a licensed locksmith to find which on the market will best suit your needs.

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