Is Your Front Door Lock Security As Good As You Think?
As many of us know, danger does not go away when we lock our doors and windows. What you might not have known is how easy it is to break in to locks that are supposed to be secure. In a study for their June 2011 magazine, Consumer Reports was able to break open most locks with a well-placed kick and a cordless drill. That same year, Forbes reported that most of the Simplex series of push-button locks, which cost over $300, could be broken into with a powerful magnet.
Despite how simple it might seem, door lock security for your home is impossible without the right information. In order to sufficiently secure your home, you need to know which lock to buy, how to install it correctly, and what signs show that your lock needs to be replaced. Even then, you'll need additional layers of protection against burglars, like a home security system from ADT. Here is the basic information you should know about door lock security:
SEE ALSO: How Secure Are Hotel Room Locks?
Not All Locks Are Created Equal
Just as there are many different levels of security to a castle, so there should be many different locks on all the doors to your home. One lock will make a burglary easy - all he'll need to do is kick open the door. Multiple locks will make the job harder, but only if you get the right types. The three basic lock types are:
- Doorknob lock: While this lock is convenient, it should not be your only line of defense against a burglar. These locks are easy to pick or simply knock loose with a heavy rock.
- Deadbolt lock: One of the most secure, simple to install, and most affordable locks is the deadbolt. Because it bolts the door into the door frame, it is extremely difficult to kick open. Still, in Consumer Report's magazine, they were able to defeat deadbolts with a few simple tools. Adding a reinforced strike plate will help secure a deadbolt.
- Auxiliary locks: The more levels of security you have on your door, the better. With additional locks, your security boosts significantly. Take, for example, the chain locks used in hotel rooms. If these locks are installed correctly with heavy-duty screws, they can resist kicking.
These Door Locks And Add-Ons Are A Mark Above The Rest
As Consumer Reports showed, just choosing any deadbolt at your local hardware store will not improve your door lock security. In fact, only one lock stood up to the violent tests Consumer Reports attempted: the Medeco Maxum 11WC60L. This grade 1 lock - the highest grade a lock can receive - features anti-drill and anti-pry features and pick resistance technology. Though it does cost about $150, the investment is well worth the security you receive.
Add-ons can give you another level of security, making your door nearly impossible to open without a key. A vertical deadbolt, which is a staple of New York City apartments, secures your doors by being pry-resistant.
Finally, the Door Devil, a professional hinge-pinning and kick-proofing solution, is the ultimate way to stop a burglar in his tracks. Here's an example of how powerful Door Devil is against burglaries:
This celebrity-level security only costs $69, which is well worth the investment.
Installing A Lock Yourself Isn't The Best Idea
Humans are mistake-prone. There's no way around it. Admitting this and leaving your lock and add-on installation to a professional will insure your future protection. A badly installed door lock can leave your home vulnerable to burglary, no matter the grade or type. Though professional installation will take a few more bucks out of your pocket, you and your family's security is well worth it.