NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- For anyone who has seen those World's Dumbest Criminals clip shows on late-night TV, it may come as no surprise burglars aren't always the smartest tools in the shed. But sometimes they don't even have to be.Burglars most often enter a place through an unlocked door, says Craig L'Esperance, a detective for a Midwest law enforcement agency. Other times the homeowners have a burglar alarm, but forget to set it when leaving the house, even for just a short amount of time.
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Standard exterior doors should contain a good-quality deadbolt lock, says Robert A. Gardner, a certified security and crime prevention consultant with offices in California, Arizona and Nevada. That bolt should have a hardened steel insert and a minimum throw of one inch, so check the packaging if you're thinking of installing a new one. Double exterior doors should be equipped with a vertical throw deadbolt and all locks should have a five-pin (or more) tumbler, he says. Sliding doors also need a lock system that prevents the door from being pried open or lifted off of its track. Locks should be changed when moving into a home or whenever a key is lost. Make sure the locksmith has the necessary licenses and is bonded and insured, and get recommendations from friends or business rating agencies if you can, Gardner says. Gardner also offers a home security test on his Web site so you can see how well your home is protected.