Deadbolts locks are a simple and very effective tool to deter burglary and keep your family safe. But - you’ll find that not every deadbolt is as effective as another. Your last resort is having a burglar trigger your home security system, but defense starts at your front door.
How to choose?
With many lock options crowding the market, the first thing you need to look for is general lock sturdiness, how well it will hold up to an attempted intrusion, or deter potential intruders just from being installed on your door. You can address this sturdiness simply by choosing a lock that’s received a designation of Grade 1 or ANSI. A lock with this classification means that it cannot be picked or pried, broken, drilled, or hammered easily.
Consumers should know that a Grade 1 classification means that this particular dead bolt has passed through rigorous testing that indicates the lock can withstand up to ten hammer strikes. And, the lock has been tested to show that it can open and close well two hundred and fifty thousand times. The grade designation also informs consumers that the lock has been tested to project a minimum of one inch into the door frame.
Grade two dead bolts are considerably sturdy and secure, and are frequently recommended for home use, as they are less expensive than a Grade one lock. However, selecting a grade one lock means you can be sure it’s the strongest and most tamper-proof dead bolt out there.
Dead bolt purchasers should also be sure to look at a lock’s UL. The UL indicates the underwriter laboratories standards for listing. The strongest and ultimately reliable dead bolts have a UL listing of four hundred and thirty seven, certifying the lock meets the standards for locking security and toughness.
So, you’ve looked for and found a variety of dead bolts each designated as ANSI Grade 1, with a UL 437 rating. At this stage in the lock selection process, home owners should decide whether their property and family are best protected with either a single or a double deadbolt. Both types of locks have different advantages.
While a double cylinder deadbolt offers top of the line security, homeowners must use a key to unlock it, from both the inside and the outside of their homes. That means unlocking can take a longer time, which can offset family safety in the event of an emergency, and can be difficult for younger family members to operate. More common is a single cylinder deadbolt lock, which is what most home owners are familiar with using. These single cylinder deadbolt locks open from the inside by a simple twist, and they require a key only when opening or closing them from the outside of your home.
Of course, if your exterior door includes a window, or you have glass around your door, then a double cylinder dead bolt could be the best choice. An intruder could break a window and reach inside to unlock a single cylinder dead bolt, while a double cylinder would still not yield without a key.
Without any windows around or on your door, single cylinder locks are solid and safe, and the additional complication of a double cylinder dead bolt is usually not necessary.
Another element to consider when looking for the right dead bolt lock for your home, you’ll also want to be sure that the lock you select has a throw that is one inch or larger. A throw is the steel bolt or steel insert in the lock and the one inch measurement refers to the length that the bolt actually extends beyond your door’s edge. This length of throw indicates that an intruder would find it difficult to pick your lock.
Lastly, you’ll want to select a dead bolt that has a strike plate made of steel with strong screws at a minimum of three inches long. You’ll want to buy a leading brand of dead bolt too, rather than an off-brand, which ensures quality manufacturing.
Madison Parker is a security expert whose passion for both personal and home security has led her to create a home security database which is encapsulated in her Home Security blog!