You want to keep your home and your family safe, right? Did you know most building codes don’t even require locks on doors? The first step to a good home security plan is having solid doors and windows in place, and this includes locks. Not all locks are created equal, and some older ones are downright flimsy. If you think someone could kick open your door, it’s probably time to go lock shopping. Likewise, if you live in an apartment or a house where the locks haven’t been changed since you moved in, changing the locks makes a lot of sense. There’s just no way of knowing how many spare copies of your keys are out there. Let’s take a look at what you can do to make sure your doors aren’t the weakest part of your home security plan:
Install Grade 1 ANSI (American National Standards Institute) designation deadbolt type locks on exterior doors, doors between living spaces and attached garages, and garage man doors (even if the garage is separate from the house–most garages are full of tools a burglar could use to break into your home). read more
Burglars know they are more work. If they can’t easily kick in a door, pick a lock, or drill out a door lock, they’re likely to move onto an easier target. Just having solid deadbolt locks tells a burglar you care about home security, and you may very well have a full-fledged home security system in place. That’s something they generally don’t want to mess with. For other locks on your doors, stick with solid Grade 1 ANSI designated locks. Make sure to practice key control (i.e. don’t lend copies of your key out to everyone and their relatives), since many keys can simply be copied by local hardware stores. In-home help, in particular, can be troublesome, especially if they’re fired and left disgruntled, or they have acquaintances who burglarize homes (this is more common than you might think). Also be wary because mechanics can copy your house keys while your car is being worked on (this can be avoided by simply not giving them the house key along with the car key when you have work done). To further protect yourself, consider going with a manufacturer that puts out keys that can’t be copied by anyone except locksmiths or by the manufacturers themselves (these people keep records and won’t let just anybody copy your key). Yes, this kind of key control can be a bit of an inconvenience, but it goes a long ways toward making your home more secure.
Some other door lock features to look far are:
-High Security Strike Plates (while all door locks come with strike plates, not all of them do much; a high-security version has screw holes that are staggered so they don’t penetrate the same grain of wood, which makes it difficult for a burglar to split the wood door frame or wall framing with a kick or other impact).
-Saw-resistant Bolts for DeadLocks
-Captured Key or Double Cylinder Deadbolt Locks (these have keyholes on both sides, so a burglar can’t break open a window pane next to the door, reach in, and disengage the lock from the inside–consider this type of lock a must if you have glass near your door).