CHOOSING THE BEST LOCK FOR YOUR HOME

By Amy Howell Hirt
Door Locks for Home Torch Blog Banner
It may seem like an easy item to check off the to-do list, but choosing a lock to protect your home is an important decision. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, more than 70 percent of home burglaries involve forcible entry through a door. There are many different types of door locks, but not all locks are created equal. In fact, many can be compromised with just "a little skill and a cordless drill," according to testing done by Consumer Reports.

Evaluate each of these features to ensure your lock is tamper-resistant to help keep your family and home safe:

  • The bolt. Make sure the bolt extends at least one inch into the door jamb, which will help keep the door secured if it is kicked or struck. The bolt should also have a hardened, free-spinning steel pin, which makes the bolt more saw-proof. Locks with a six-pin keying system are also more difficult to pick than a five-pin system.
  • The strike plate. This is the metal piece mounted inside the door frame that holds the bolt. It should be made of heavy-gauge steel or brass and should come with screws that are at least three inches long to securely affix it to the door frame.
  • The plug. Both the plug (the part of the lock that the key turns) and cylinder (which surrounds the plug) should be made of forged solid brass. Avoid locks that use brass-plated zinc, which is softer and easier to compromise.
  • The housing. Choose a lock with housing that recesses into the door, rather than sitting flush on the face of it. This prevents a burglar from simply sheering off the deadbolt.
  • The door. Sliding doors are a favorite target for burglars since they often have a lock on just the handle that can be easily defeated. Add an auxiliary lock with a steel bolt that attaches to the door frame, rather than another sliding panel, to prevent both horizontal and vertical movement.
It's also important to remember that home door locks should be just one component of your security system. Review these additional tips from the Torch for deterring crime.


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