How bad is it getting where you live? In the Old West End, it's not bad, but our security company sends us a month city crime map, and i'm astonished at how crazy things are getting. For July, city wide: Homicide (2) Armed Robbery (16) Robbery (34) Assault (36) Burglary (390) Theft (194)
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Isn't there something similar published in the Blade Peach? I could be wrong, but when we first started to house hunt we were directed to a local publication to get a feel for the spread of the cities crime in reference as to where we should avoid when looking. Either way, those are some scary numbers.
I'm glad we just had deadbolts installed in our doors. Increasingly, I've been tempted to take gun training and keep a gun in the home for protection.
Ohiokimono there is no reason you should not be able to defend your property. Police RESPOND to criminal activity AFTER it takes place.
Our police force is more worried about "The War on Drugs" and busting Johnny Pot head in his basement eating a whole pizza on Friday night while the rest of the city falls apart.
I feel sorry for the kids walking to school. The younger ones (who are naive) are prone to being run over by cars, and the older ones to being beaten up by bigger predators. There should be some kind of class in how to protect themselves against the larger teenage predators.
O.K., I don't want to prey on your fears, but doors are additionally weak in the framing. I've seen enough doors whose design merely directed the force of the intruder's kicks into the frame, which being sufficiently cheap, would crack and spall inward.
I have a friend who, in his job, has had to kick a few doors open. He hasn't met a residential door yet that can resist 1 to 3 of his kicks. And when the door gives, it's usually the frame that shatters. Ironically, the cheaper doors give him the most problems, since he ends up kicking holes in them, and that takes a lot more time to clear for entry ... which in his profession, is obviously a factor.
I have the same design flaw in my own residence. I'm taking steps towards rectifying it, but it involves a lot of steel strips, which you'd find unpalatable in your own home.
I've asked around about those locking bars that were used in places like NYC apartments in the 1970s. The bars met in the middle of the door where the lock was, and they slid into stops on both sides of the frame. I've been told those are illegal now, due to fire codes. Drat!
You are correct about barred doors being against code in commercial or industrial settings, but I am not sure the fire department (the entity that enforces this code in Toledo) could do anything about private residences. After repeated break-ins via the hidden back door at one of my old businesses, I installed the very system you described, paying a contractor to weld steel loops to the metal frame and door through which a steel bar could be slid after the employees left for the night.
The next time the fire marshal came out to
shake us down for money inspect the premises, he went ballistic and ordered me to remove the bar assembly, not even allowing me to continue using it after the building was empty.
In your own home, I suspect that even if this is against the fire code, no one will ever be able to see your modifications unless you happen to invite them in. Don't invite them in. :-)
Prostitution arrests are directly related to when the police decide to step up enforcement. I would bet that during every single day of recorded history there has been prostitution occurring in the world, and no amount of police enforcement is going to: a) stop the people seeking paid sex; or b) stop the people who want to profit from others who want to pay for sex.
I would be delighted to see that prostitution arrests are down, because this would mean that the police are busy investigating other crimes, most of which are more important than harassing strung-out crack whores or busting pathetic creepers cruising for sex.
Hmm. HM, I can see that being true. But I could have sworn that according to McElheney Locksmiths, they are still illegal, which is why they don't sell them at all. Literally, you can't find them, and you cannot get a locksmith to install one, even if you did have one. I'd love to be wrong about this, obviously.
As you saw directly, commercial code pretty much said that people inside the building should only have to actuate one control in order to escape the building. That's why we have those push-bars on many commercial exit doors. I'm sure from your experience that you can specify even more details on that.
At any rate, the modifications I'm making now aren't against code, since there's nothing in the code that's against making your frame and door intrinsically stronger. You can make a steel door if you want, as long as it functions as a door.
Some of these old buildings in the downtown have older, small vault doors, that are 1/4" steel with bolt mechanisms on their inside surfaces. I had always thought that those would be keen additions to a home, at least for making a walk-in vault of a closet. However, we'd have to get the building owners to part with them.
Speaking of which, specifically, the old Fifth Third Center building on Madison (recently abandoned) has two of those types of doors on each bank office floor. That makes at least 10 available vault doors that I know of, which a homeowner would be able to move and install himself. The building owner might be compelled to part with them, all things considered.
I would be really disappointed if I put a bunch of ugly bars on my door to stop would be thieves and then have to turn around and replace a window they broke out instead.
Such devices might be against code, but "illegal" implies criminal activity. Trying to prevent break-ins at your own house to me seems to be responsible home ownership, and I wouldn't worry too much about the arcane details of the fire code if you are making an honest effort to balance fire safety with protection from criminals. Have an escape plan in case of fire that everyone in the house knows about, teach everyone how to work any "illegal" safety devices, and also design the barring device to be easily manipulated from the inside.
The reason locksmiths are reluctant to go against the fire code probably has more to do with liability than fear of being fined by the fire marshal. Imagine installing such a buglary-deterring device on a commercial property and then having people die in a fire because they couldn't get it to work.
In my own case, the fire marshal just insisted that the bar device be removed, and he was uninterested in how it got there (he was a bit sympathetic to the fact that I had been burglarized numerous times, but adamant that the bar be removed). Anyways, here is a link to the Ohio Building Code if you are curious about the statutory permissibility of any modifications you want to make. Personally, I think the rights of private homeowners to secure their property should supercede any attempts by the state to barge into private residences and inspect the property without just cause. The only caveat would be if you take in boarders, since the state ostensibly could make a case that it is protecting tenants.
I had that kind of door locking mechanism in my Brooklyn loft (about 10 years ago). Honestly never felt safer... fire safety aside :)
It's definitely getting worse in the south end. I am seeing more prowlers, more break-ins, and for the first time, I don't feel safe in my neighborhood. I am installing more motion detectors, and, possibly a surveillance camera.
Worse downtown. We've had a rash of car break-ins over the past few weeks. The crooks even broke into an off-duty sheriffs car here.
Hoops, he's talking about the Old West End Security -- which is a private security firm that subscribers in our OWE neighborhood pay for.
It helps supplement the patrols from TPD.
"...which is a private security firm that subscribers in our OWE neighborhood pay for."
I wish we had that in our neighborhood. I would be willing to contribute towards a private security firm to patrol our neighborhood.
I love it, renegade, love it. Maybe you should bring this up with your neighborhood association (if you have one).