A good locksmith knows that the only thing standing between your valuables and a robber is your front door. You have to rely on a door lock to keep all entry points secure and burglars on the outside. Not all types of door locks are designed to give you the same level of protection, so before choosing a low quality one based on convenience, it’s a good idea to know all the options that are available to you.
Many of our readers rely on their dogs and other pets for their home security. We’ve teamed up with Jon Miller from Millers Locksmiths based in Bristol to give you the lowdown on the different types of door locks, so you’re not solely reliant on your animal for your security.
The Knob Lock – Knobs can be found on exterior and interior doors in your home. Your bedroom, bathroom and garage door likely all have them, as well as your vulnerable front door. This type of locking mechanism has a door knob on both sides, but one has a thumb lock and the other the key hole that locks and unlocks it.
The locking mechanism is contained inside of the knob itself, which is why they are great for interior doors. If a child accidentally locks himself in, a good locksmith only need to break the knob to get inside. The same concept works on your front door as well, making it a poor deterrent for burglary and home invasion.
Single Cylinder Deadbolts – Deadbolt locks are the most effective because they employ a metal bolt to slide into the door jamb, making it impossible to open the door when the lock is engaged. A single deadbolt lock has a keyhole on the outside with a thumb turn on the inside that when turned will move the metal bolt into or out of the door jamb.
Double Cylinder Deadbolts – The only difference between a single and double deadbolt is the thumb turn. With a double deadbolt there is none. Instead, both sides of the door require a key in order to engage and disengage the lock. Homeowners may not like this type for the inconvenience of needing a key to get outside of the house, but a good locksmith will recommend this model if you have a window close to the door that would make a thumb turn accessible from the outside.
It is easy to get used to the double deadbolt lock. Put yourself in the habit of locking it when you enter and still have the key in your hand. Then designate a spot that is close to the door, yet not reachable from any window, where you leave your keys while at home. Not only does this make it fast to open the door back up for the pizza delivery guy, but now you’ll never have to search for your keys in the mornings while trying to get to work.
Keyless Entry Deadbolt – A keyless entry deadbolt gives you that same security of a metal pin entering door jamb, except a keypad and code are used to gain entry instead of a regular key. You will program the lock with a code that when entered, instructs the lock to engage or disengage. This type of system can even be set up with a remote device that opens the lock in the same way you open your car door.
The main problem with keyless entry is the need for electricity to power it. Most run on batteries that have to be changed out, and with exposure to moisture you may find them failing more often as they get older. Most do come with a key that can override the control panel, and for most homes, it is recommended to just stick with that method to begin with.
What to Look for In a Deadbolt Lock for Your House
Deadbolt locks have features which allow some to offer more security over others. Ask a good locksmith to show you models with high security cylinders. These are designed to make it impossible for a burglar to open the locking mechanism from the outside and are ideal if you have exterior doors that are not visible from the street.
The length of the bolt used also makes a difference in how secure your home will be. Too short, and the door can still be jimmied open using a crowbar. The metal bolt of the lock should go at least one inch into the door jamb in order to be effective.
Locking your house up is the best security method available. Don’t rely on door knob locks for any of your home’s exterior entry points. Make sure you get in touch with a good local locksmith in your area and defend your house with high quality locks that keep you protected without causing an inconvenience.