The choice of what home locks to install is crucial, considering that burglars break into a home every 15.4 seconds, according to the FBI. There are many different locksets available on the market, but you should be able to make a safe choice if you follow these tips for choosing home locks.
- Consider a double cylinder lock. The cylinder lock is a good choice and many security experts recommend double cylinder locksets because they require a key to both enter and exit a home. The second key, which should not be left in the lock, stops burglars from breaking in to nearby windows or door sidelights to reach in and simply open up the door.
- Always go for a deadbolt. A deadbolt is the most important part of any lockset for the entry or exit doors in a home. Also consider deadbolts for the door that leads to an attached garage. The choice of deadbolts should be carefully made to get as secure a deadbolt as possible. About 40 percent of burglars get inside through first-floor doors, so securing the home locks as much as possible is crucial. Get a steel deadbolt with a minimum of a 1-inch throw, which is the length of the deadbolt that extends into the door frame. Also look for deadbolts that resist saws with pins inside that spin when engaged by a saw. Instead of cutting through the deadbolt, the saw turns the pin around and around.
- Don't ignore the strike plate. In some locksets, this is more decorative than anything. It is the plate that secures the lockset into the door frame. Security experts say this is the usually the weakest point of a lockset and often the target of a crowbar or other tool used by a burglar. Look for heavy gauge metal strike plates with four screws that are a minimum of 3-inches long. That ensures that the strike plate is firmly secured in the door and much less likely to be easily pried away.
- Look into digital locks. There are several times of keyless locks that can help with security, since many burglars use bump keys or pick cylinder locks to get inside homes. If there is no keyhole, then lock picking efforts aren't a concern. Digital locks include pushbutton locks, fingerprint locks and remote-controlled locks. Be careful when choosing digital home locks to be sure there is no keyhole. A number of the systems include keys as part of a backup system.
- Don't forget the door. It doesn't make much sense to spend a good bit of money on sturdy home locks to put on a hollow door. The easiest and quickest way for a burglar to get inside a home is to kick the door down. Make sure your door can stand up to a pounding. Look for a solid core wooden door or a metal door.
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