Home Security Starts With Your Door Locks

key-in-knob-lockThe locks on your doors is exactly where home security begins. It is your first line of defence related to the safety and security of your family and property. The security level that your home currently has will be determined by the type of locks that are installed on your doors. If you have a key in knob type lock, and this is the only lock on your door, you should consider having a Professional Locksmith install a good quality deadbolt.

Key In Knob Lock   A key in knob lock is one where the handle that you turn to open the door accepts a key. There are many different styles of key-in-knob locks including, ball knob, tulip, lever handle among others. It has a spring loaded latch and if not installed properly, it could easily be opened with a credit card. This type of lock is also susceptible to being picked open very easily. Most burglars already know how to pick a lock and this type of lock is his number one choice and an invitation into your home. The fact that the latch is spring loaded actually helps to get the lock picked faster than a deadbolt.  Another technique for getting these locks open is brute force. The burglar will arrive at the property with a pair of channel lock pliers or ViseGrips and will apply enough brute force on the handle to cause two flats to happen at the points where the force is applied by the pliers. He will then apply force in both a clock-wise and counter clock-wise direction and eventually wrench the handle off of the door. This is a very fast and quiet method to get your door open.   Yet another technique to gain fast entry to your home is key cylinder knockout. The burglar will arrive with an automotive dent puller much like the ones used in auto body shops. He will twist the threaded end into the keyhole and proceed to slam the cylinder out of the lock. This technique is likely not used as often because of the amount of noise this would make while knocking out the cylinder but it is still a very fast and effective entry method.

By now, you must be asking yourself, just how do I go about better protecting my home, family and property?   To begin with, you should have a Professional Locksmith install a deadbolt on your door. The key is to get a deadbolt that provides certain features and specifications which I will endeavour to cover within this article. The deadbolt you select will determine the degree of security offered to you, your family and your possessions. The best deadbolt you could buy will likely cost in the range of $175 and $250 depending on the manufacturer. It should have the following features built in for your maximum security:

1. The bolt should have a hardened and tempered steel core.

2. The bolt should be at least 1? in length when extended.

3. The lock cylinder should be made of hardened and tempered steel so that it is resistant to drilling.

4. The lock cylinder should be constructed to include a sidebar to be pick and bump resistant.

5. The outside decorative ring should be supplied with a hardened and tempered steel slip ring so it will stop it from being crushed into the deadbolt cylinder with a pair of vice grips or channel lock pliers. This will defeat a brute force attack to occur on the cylinder.

6. The screws that sandwich the front and rear portion of the deadbolt into the front and rear of the door should actually be at least1/4? thick.

7. The rear plate on the inside of the door should be separate from the inside thumb turn (the thumb turn is the lever on the inside of the door that you use to extend or retract the deadbolt).

8. The deadbolt should come supplied with a strike plate (the plate that is fastened to the frame that accepts the bolt when it is thrown). There should also be a secondary plate that is made of hardened and tempered steel that is installed behind the strike plate to resist crowbar and kick-in attacks.

9. Wood screws supplied with the secondary plate should be at least 2-1/4? in length.

The deadbolt described above is actually a Commercial Grade Lock. You won’t find it at a Hardware or Depot store. They are usually only available through a Professional Locksmith or a Locksmith Supply House. This type of lock will definitely slow a burglar down and will offer your Maximum Security against forced entry through a locked door.

The Bottom Line: You only get the degree of security you are willing to pay for. The less you spend on your deadbolt, the less security features built in and the easier it is for burglars to break into your home through your door.

Security article written by: Toronto Locksmith


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