Have you considered a deadbolt? Many people go out of their way to upgrade their doors and the locks on their doors. The desire for security is understandable, but if you overlook the deadbolt, then you're missing one of the best and simplest security measures you can employ.
What Makes a Deadbolt so Special
A deadbolt is that lock with the steel bar that extends into the strike plate and doorjamb. The deadbolt, all on its own, can defeat a lot of would be burglars. That's because people who use force to enter a home often don't hang around for dedicated assaults.
Consider this: Even if you had a solid door and a name brand spring bolt lock, it's still possible for an attacker to breach them. That's because brute force methods usually break the doorframe, which bypasses the security represented by the door and the regular spring bolt lock.
When a deadbolt is in place, the integrity of the frame will remain intact. Deadbolts also defeat softer breaching methods such as prying the door or using a card to push back the spring bolt lock.
Deadbolts are not All the Same
Even with a deadbolt, you get what you pay for. A flimsy deadbolt can help, but it's easily defeated. You need to start with a quality deadbolt.
- Look for ANSI Grade 1 or 2 locks
- Make sure the throw bolt extends at least an inch into the door frame
- The security plate or strike plate should consist of steel
- The screws for the plate should be at least 3-inches long
You also need to make sure a professional handles the deadbolt installation. You can do it yourself, but if you do it wrong, you ruin the integrity of the whole mechanism. It's pointless to have a deadbolt that doesn't fully lock or a throw bolt that doesn't fully extend.
A Deadbolt is Only a Part of Your Door Security
Having a deadbolt is important, in fact, it's the bare minimum requirement of securing a door. If you do nothing else, you should at least have a deadbolt installed. However, a deadbolt is only one feature of a fully secure door.
You need a solid door. You should reinforce the doorjamb. Remember the frame is typically the part of the door that buckles. So a reinforced doorjamb can help the deadbolt do its job. There are products available for doing that, and some methods of doing it yourself as well.
If you're ready to upgrade, replace, or purchase new locks, speak to a professional (at Fox Chase Lock & Key or elsewhere) about installing deadbolts on your exterior doors. While you're at it, ask about what else you can do to protect your home with locks.