The primary goal of a lock on the front door is to prevent unauthorized entry. Some locks are better at this than others. When considering a lock replacement for your front door, get the best available for the most protection from intruders. Here is how the deadbolt keeps your home safe and what to look for in residential locks.
A Simple Mechanism With Many Parts That Must Work Together
The deadbolt lock attaches to the door with a knob on the inside and a key lock on the outside used to move the bolt. The bolt slides in and out of the door through a metal plate, called the strike plate, into the door frame. When you lock the door, the bolt slips into the door frame so the door can't be opened. There are three ways a person can get through a deadbolt and into your house:
- They can cut through the bolt.
- They can push the bolt through the door frame.
- They can pry the strike plate away from the frame.
The deadbolt and hardware you choose for your front door need to prevent these from happening.
Shopping for the Deadbolt
Have a locksmith show you their ANSI Grade 1 deadbolts with hardened steel, bronze or brass bolts. These bolts cannot easily be cut through and will dissuade an intruder from trying. The lock itself is resistant to being broken. Cheaper die-cast locks can be shattered by a blow from a hammer or heavy pry bar.
An alternative to the standard deadbolt which slips into the door frame is the vertical or surface mounted deadbolt. This lock uses two components, one mounted to the door and the other to the frame. The bolt in the lock slides up into a series of steel rings in the section mounted on the frame. A burglar can't gain access to the bolt to try to cut through it.
Shopping for Lock Hardware
The typical strike plate is a flat metal strip with a hole cut into it for the bolt. Ask the locksmith to show you the reinforced steel plates with a metal box attached for the bolt. Instead of the bolt slipping through the plate into the wooden door frame, it rests in the metal box built into the plate. This makes it difficult to push the bolt through a lightweight door frame.
While looking at strike plates, get extra long screws with which to attach the plate to the door frame. This prevents the plate from being pried away from the frame enough to slip out the bolt.
Get the best combination of lock and hardware for your front door. Cheaper solutions may only slow down a persistent home burglar as they break into your home through the front door.
To learn more, contact a company like Fox Chase Lock & Key.