In the March 31, 1985 column I discussed a deadbolt device that makes one-piece garage doors more resistant to burglars. These doors--common in the Southland--are especially vulnerable to any miscreant with a crowbar.
Considine Products Inc., 61 S. Lake Ave., Suite 102, Pasadena, has taken a different approach with its Shur-Latch, a relatively low-cost bracket that uses the strength of the garage header to keep burglars and vandals from prying open a garage door equipped with an electric opener.
According to Michael A. Considine of the firm, Shur-Latch can be purchased and installed for less than $40 by any of the 36 Sears, Roebuck & Co. service center stores in California.
Since so many houses have attached garages, many burglars skip doors and windows and use the garage as the entry point of choice for the house proper.
Considine is currently trying to convince the Sears management in Chicago that the product is worth carrying in the company's retail stores as well as the service centers.
"The cost could be as low as $20 for the Shur-Latch without installation--a price that would bring an added measure of security to hundreds of thousands of homeowners with one-piece doors," he said. Apparently, the folks at Sears find it difficult to believe that one-piece doors are so common out here; managers in the Midwest are used to segmented, overhead track units.
The installation sheet accompanying the sample Shur-Latch that Considine supplies is easy to follow, but many homeowners might find that it's worth the nominal $20 cost for a professional installation. Garage doors are cumbersome objects with potentially hazardous springs.
As long as I'm on the subject of security, I've come across a security light that might be worth installing at the same time as the Shur-Latch.
It's called the Smart Light and it's from Gateway Scientific Inc., 3020 Redhill Ave., Costa Mesa 92626.
The gimmick here is a sensor that turns on the light when light from a car's headlights strike it. The light also has a switch that enables you to turn it on to allow guests to leave without tripping over bikes or other objects on your obstacle course, otherwise known as the driveway.
There is also a switch position that allows the light to go on automatically at dusk and turn off automatically at dawn, as well as a completely manual position to turn Smart Light into a regular front light.
I like this kind of versatility in one unit. The manufacturer can supply readers with a list of retail outlets.
BOOKS WORTH NOTING: If you're building or remodeling a house, two books from McGraw-Hill Book Co. in New York should be helpful. The sixth edition of "House Carpentry Simplified" by Nelson L. Burbank, revised by Charles R. Phelps, has 252 pages and plenty of illustrations. It's a large-format paperback priced at $14.95.
The seventh edition of "House Construction Details by Nelson L. Burbank and Arnold B. Romney was also revised by Phelps. It's a large-format paperback with 460 pages and a price of $19.95.
Sunset Books offers a brief (80 pages) guide to remodeling in "More Living Space." It has plenty of color illustrations and a palatable $5.95 price. The book presents a variety of space-expanding solutions from raising ceilings to pushing out walls to second-story additions to digging a basement for a hillside house.