The door lock provides front-line security to your home. Choosing a new lock is an important decision and has direct impacts to your safety and security. When shopping for a new door lock, consider these nine features.
According to the Consumer Reports website, any dead-bolt lock is better than a simple keyhole in the knob lock. Be sure to look for a door lock that has a built-in dead-bolt for security.
2. Strike Plate Reinforcement
Look for a lock with built-in strike plate reinforcement. These locks help to prevent unauthorized access such as kick-ins. A kick-in is the leading way that a burglar gains entry through front doors.
3. Extra-long Screws
Choose a new door lock that comes with screws that are at least three inches long. These screws affix the strike plate to the framing of your home. The long screws add resistance against an impact to the door.
Search for a lock with a reinforced doorjamb. The doorjamb strengthens the hinges and the edges of the door. Made of reinforced steel, the doorjamb increases the durability of your door and resistance to burglary. Doorjamb reinforcement kits come with the lock or can be purchased separately and retrofit onto the door.
5. Key Code Locks
If you need a lock that will allow your children, babysitter or dog walker to get inside when you are not home, consider a key code type of lock. These locks use electronic passwords to unlock the door. You can change the code as needed in order to prevent unauthorized access if the pass code is leaked.
6. Vertical Cylinder
Look for a lock with a vertical cylinder. A vertical cylinder separates the jamb from the lock. This makes the lock nearly impossible to pry open.
7. Double Cylinder
If your door has a pane of glass, consider a lock with two cylinders. The double cylinder lock requires two keys to open the door. One key is put into the lock from the outside and the second key is put into the lock from the inside. When both keys are turned, the door will open. This prevents a burglar from breaking the glass and unlocking the door.
Choose a lock that has a corrosion-resistant finish. Since the lock may get water inside, these materials prevent rusting. These locks also withstand exposure to deicer, ice and snow.
9. Independent Ratings
Look to independent ratings of different types of locks before making a purchase, suggests the State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Agency’s website. Independent ratings agencies suc as the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association (BHMA) grade locks based on their durability, security and strength.