Installing quality door locks is an important step to protect your home from burglars and home invaders. Not all locks are created equal, however, so it’s important to understand the strengths and vulnerabilities of common types. Adequately securing your home’s doors often requires a combination of lock styles.
Every exterior door in your home likely has a doorknob lock. Generally, they include a keyed lock cylinder on the outside and a turning lever on the inside. The locking mechanism simply prevents the doorknob from being turned to retract the latch that extends into the doorframe. These types of locks are incredibly easy for burglars to defeat, by either picking the lock or just knocking the door handle off with a hammer. While you should always engage your doorknob locks to turn away casual intruders, understand that even an inexperienced crook can get through one in seconds. A doorknob lock, at the minimum, should always be paired with a deadbolt.
The second most common residential door lock is the deadbolt. When the lock is turned, a metal bolt extends from the door into the doorframe, uniting the two pieces. Most household deadbolts (called single cylinder) have a keyed lock cylinder on the outside and a turning lever on the inside. Others (called double cylinder) have keyed locks on both sides. While properly installed deadbolts provide reasonable protection, there are risks. With single cylinder deadbolts, burglars often break door-side windows to simply reach in and turn the latch. Double cylinder deadbolts can slow family members trying to flee from the house in case of fire or other emergency. A well-placed kick can crack the doorframe, circumventing any deadbolt.
With the obvious exception of allowing you to enter a code to operate the lock, from a security standpoint, keypad locks function much like other doorknob locks. The locking mechanism is contained within the doorknob housing, and the lock just prevents the knob from being turned. Generally, there’s also a keyed cylinder option on a keypad lock. So, you have the same doorknob lock vulnerabilities previously addressed. Additionally, you have to worry about forgetting the code, or having a would-be intruder learn or guess your code. Always pair these locks with other door locks.
Bars, Bolts and Chains
Many security experts recommend adding physical barriers including bars, bolts and chains to back up your door locks. Because they lack exterior components, these options can’t be directly tampered with from the outside. Most, however, can be overcome with brute force. They should be used as additional security measures only, and never relied upon as standalones.
The truth is, a determined burglar can beat any door lock. The best you can do is slow them down, or make your home too challenging to deal with, by using a combination of the lock types described above. Adding a monitored home security system is the ultimate solution. With a monitored home alarm, when and if an intruder does make entry, an audible siren will be triggered and an alert sent to a professionally staffed monitoring center to dispatch police.
If you’re looking for the best security option for your home and family, contact Crime Prevention Security Systems today for a free consultation.