SPECIAL REPORT: 20 cent solution to make your home safer

SPECIAL REPORT: 20 cent solution to make your home safer

(WTVM) - Every 13 seconds, a home burglary happens in America. And if the past is proof, it's a crime that will happen more often in the upcoming summer months.

Columbus Police reported having seven burglaries per day, last year - but there's an easy fix that costs just $0.20 to make your home and family safer.

Damaged doors at homes all around the nation are proof of how thieves get in.

Chances are good the door was missing two small things - which would have made it much harder to kick in: Number 8 screws, three inches in length, to replace just two of the shorter screws that come standard in door plates like this.

The two screws you need cost $0.08 each and it's easy to install, so add in a little labor, and you get a $0.20 solution.

We wanted proof that it really works, so with the help of our sister station WBTV in Charlotte NC, we set up a test with a contractor - and a set of identical twins.

A construction company built mock doors to demonstrate the difference with the size of screws in latch plates. In the door on the right, there were half inch plate screws which come with the door knob when you buy it.

"Those screw only into the door frame made of soft white wood not much strength there," said Rich Huffman from JNL Quality Construction.

In the door on the left, they added two three inch screws that go through the frame and screw into the two-by-four studs.

"That will make it more solid and the screws we use are stronger screws," Huffman added.

Twins Steven and Greg gave it all they had try to kick in the doors, the one on the right easy to kick in with one solid kick - the plate ripped from the door and the frame split.

On the other door, the longer screws held, even after several hard kicks.

"Most people don't realize until after it's too late - until someone has kicked in that door," said Gray Little from Little Hardware.

It's a simple way to deter the bad guys. Home security statistics show that 95 percent of break-ins needed some amount of force to break-in.

Experts say homes using deadbolts on their doors don't necessarily need this $.20 solution, but not everyone uses deadbolts and adding the three-inch screws certainly wouldn't hurt.

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