Longer shackle of lock makes house break-in easier for burglars
With incidents of burglary, especially at locked houses, having become a nightmare to Madurai residents and a challenge to the law enforcers, the district police are promoting some simple techniques among people at awareness meetings on strengthening grille gates and wooden doors that would make burglaries difficult, if not impossible.
“The foremost aim of burglars will be to operate quickly and without making any noise that will draw the attention of neighbours or passers-by. By making their job difficult, we can discourage their attempts,” says Superintendent of Police V. Balakrishnan.
The most common practice of the burglars is to insert an iron rod into the shackle of the padlock. When the rod is pressed down, the shackle comes off from the lock. “This is the only way a lock can be opened without making any noise,” he adds.
Stating that a longer shackle would allow enough space for inserting the rod, he suggests using padlocks with smaller shackles.
The police also advocate fixing of the bolt on the grille gate at least three-and-a-half feet above from the floor. At this height, a man of average height will find it difficult to break the lock used to hold the bolt.
“It takes extra effort and more time to break it at this height,” says K. Ramesh Hochimin, a civil engineer.
Breaking of mortise lock, fitted on wooden doors, is also done in a similar fashion. With the locks fixed at around 2.6 feet or 3 feet from the floor, even teak wood doors give in easily when pushed with some force on the bottom.
“It is in this small gap that the burglars insert iron levers and push it up slowly. The lock breaks without much noise in a few seconds unable to withstand the pressure as the lever is moved up,” he points out.
He suggests fixing of one more mortise lock on the door at around one foot above the floor, so that the burglars cannot create a gap to insert the lever. “An ordinary lock costing Rs.200 will save the entire house,” he says.
The police say fixing of cross bars will give more strength to the rear wooden doors. Fixing of an iron sheet on the grille gate will deny access to the lock on the gate, they add.