MEMPHIS, TN - (WMC-TV) – Burglars broke into 20 homes a day last month in Memphis, and they often came in through a locked door.
Many home burglaries occur because thieves are able to kick your door in. But experts say a better lock may be the key to keeping someone from breaking into your home.
Gone are the days of leaving your doors unlocked and your windows and garage doors open.
"A lot of the burglaries occur in apartment complexes and some in the surrounding neighborhoods," Memphis Police Lieutenant Darren Goods said.
Lt. Goods said there were 564 burglaries in Memphis, just last month.
"A lot of the burglaries we have are the result of some type of forced entry," he said.
Forced entry, through a locked front door, he explains.
Many break-ins stem from faulty deadbolts when the pocket the bolt slides into isn't deep enough and the door frame isn't secured with a steel plate.
Glen Peifer of Peifer Safe and Lock meets quite a few clients after they've been robbed.
"My goodness, do your homework," he said. "Put a good lock on your house. I've seen doors that are kicked in, and it didn't even damage the door. I mean the bolt just snapped off."
Peifer recommends a deadbolt with a solid steel pin, a strike plate that won't collapse under pressure and a casing that can't be penetrated by a drill.
"Putting a good lock on your house, it needs to be pretty high on your priority list," he added.
Peifer is an authorized dealer for Medeco brand locks. They are considered the grand daddy of deadbolts. The top of the line option is solid steel.
"This is actually the locks that are on the White House," Peifer said.
If the one hundred to three dollar price range isn't in your budget, experts also recommend the Schlage deadbolt: solid and reliable with an anti pick shield, it retails for around $54.
Surprisingly, older homes aren't always the most susceptible to break-ins. The American Locksmith Association says 1 in 10 new homes have locks that are improperly installed.
Experts say you get what you pay for, and you can't put a price on safety.
"I don't think a person has a more important decision to make than the locks that they put on their home," said Peifer.
Memphis Police say no lock, regardless of its quality, is foolproof. They say you should change locks immediately if your keys are lost or stolen. And always have all the locks changed when you move into a new home.