Research shows that 34% of burglars access your house through the front door. These statistics can be backed by the fact that it is easy to slip into an unsecured door when most people are at work, school, or away visiting a friend. You can keep your house safe from burglars by protecting it with sturdy, untamperable locks. Here is a guide on the best lock and safe you can find.
- Types. Exterior doors require deadbolt locks. These are locks separated from the handle or knob, and they are challenging to pick, saw through, or jimmy open. When you turn the key, a thick, solid metal bolt extends into the strike plate and door frame, closing the door effectively. Deadbolt locks come in two types; single and double cylinder deadbolts. Single cylinder deadbolt contains one keyhole on the outside and a turning latch on the inside. As such, you can lock and unlock the door from the interior without a key. You can also find single cylinder deadbolt locks in a one-sided configuration that you can operate from the inside and not outside. Although these locks are strong, they are not the best to be included as the only lock on your main door. The double cylinder options contain a keyhole on both the interior and exterior. This lock presents added security, but it can also prevent you from a quick exit in case of an emergency.
- Usability. Deadbolt locks are the recommended locking mechanism for all your exterior doors. However, you must make a decision regarding how your lock fits into your door and how the lock affects the operation of your door. These considerations affect your door’s appearance, usability, and security. You can find several handle-sets, doorknobs, levers, keyless locks, and smart locks with deadbolt applications. However, most knobs and handles are sold separately. As such, you must know what you are buying. You can also consider your décor preferences but ensure you meet the usability and security objectives.
- ANSI Grade. Door locks are scored through the ANSI grading system. This system is a numeric representation of how easy it is for a burglar to move past this type of protection. Each grade has a minimum acceptable requirement for ease of operation, impact resistance, several key torque cycles, pull strength, and finish. Most exterior door locks have ANSI grades from 1 to 3. Grade 1 offers the tightest level of security, while Grade 3 meets the basic requirements. Experts recommend choosing the Grade 1 or 2 lock and adding some locks and security measures.
- Strike Plate/ Box Strike. Strike plates are installed into the doorframe. The purpose of the strike plate is to catch and hold the deadbolt to keep the door shut. A poorly installed or low-quality strike plate compromises the security of your lock. Ensure that you install the strike plate with long screws that extend deep into the door frame. You can also opt to upgrade the strike plate to a box strike. A box strike fits into the doorjamb, like a regular plate, but it comes with a box shape surrounding the entire deadbolt with metal. Although the box strike is more expensive than a strike plate, it offers more security than the latter.
- High-Security Locks. If you wish to take your home security to the next level, consider a high-security lock. These locks are mechanical with modifications in them, making them 100% breakproof. No one can compromise these locks in a reasonable amount of time. High-security locks are made from superior materials, and drilling them could take hours. Copying the key is also challenging since you can only do so using a special card that comes with the locks. You will not find high-security locks in most hardware stores because you must order through a locksmith store or the internet.
- Kwikset SmartKey. This lock works in a different technology than any other lock on the market. The purpose of the new technology is to allow you to change the key easily without the hassle of calling a locksmith. The interior structure of the lock is different, making compromise methods useless. The lock is also challenging to drill since the cylinder is extremely hard.
The best door locks provide safety and peace of mind even when you are away for some days. Read our best lock guide for more information. Here, you will also find a review of the locks you wish to buy.