FAQs on Choosing the Best Lock for Home Security

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How Are the Security of Door Locks Tested to Give a Guarantee to Consumers?

The American National Standards Institute is a private, non-profit organization. They oversee the creation and use of standards that impact the effectiveness of locks. They test locks on how well they protect against the failure of the lock under a variety stresses. They grade locks on a scale of 1 (most secure) to 3.

Should I Switch to a Keyless Door Lock?

Not necessarily. A keyless door lock will not improve the security of your home. It only changes how you operate the lock. These locks are graded by the same ANSI standards as mechanical locks that open with a key.

Is a Digital Lock Better Than a Lock That Opens with a Key?

No, they are neither better nor worse depending on what you want to be better. They offer different ways to open and secure the lock, but no increase in home security. In fact, these locks can be more vulnerable to hacking.

How Do I Know When I Need a New Lock?

You need a new lock if any of these situations occur:

  • A break-in: – If the lock has been forced, a new one is needed.

If the lock seems to work OK, but your home has been broken into, you still need new locks. Any keys in the home are compromised, but also someone may be using a copy of your key that you don’t know about.

  • A roommate moves out: – You don’t know if they now have more copies of the key you gave them.
  • The lock does not function well: – First check that the door itself is not the problem. Open the door. If the lock functions as poorly with the door open as when it is closed, replace the lock.

Are Some Locks Better than Others?

I assume you mean, are some locks more secure than others. Yes. Locks are made and marketed to meet different needs. Some locks are designed to only prevent a nuisance entry. For example, on a bedroom door when you don’t want someone to walk in on you when you are dressing. That lock is not as secure as a lock designed to prevent surreptitious entry through your front door. Even locks for your front door to keep out thieves vary in how much protection they will provide. You won’t need much protection in a quiet gated community with security patrols. You will need more if you live in a troubled neighborhood that is subject to more crime. You can tell which locks are better by the ANSI grade on the package. Grade 3 is good. Grade 2 is better. Grade 1 is best.

How Do I Choose which Lock to Buy?

This is how to choose a lock when choosing locks for home. Consider:

  • Function

Consider this first. What room is it for? How much traffic will go through it? Is privacy the main concern or security? Bathrooms and front doors have the highest volume of traffic. Endurance is important. Front and rear entrance doors need the highest security. Deadbolts and ANSI Grade 1 are needed.

  • Endurance

Except for the bathrooms and entrances, ANSI Grades 2 or 3 are fine.

  • Aesthetics

This is important to every home owner. But, you would not want security or endurance to take a hit because you like the appearance of a particular door knob.

  • Price

This is often the first thing we look at. Typically, when the price goes up higher grades, and more style and feature options are available.

Tips from the experts:

Look for the Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) seal on the package. This indicates that the lock meets fire safety standards.

If you choose a lever type knob, select one that opens the lock when rotated to 45 degrees. It will be much easier to open your door when carrying a bag of groceries than if the lever must be rotated 80-90 degrees.

Consult a locksmith in your area for more advice.

A1 Locksmith of the Palm Beaches, Inc. is passionate about what they do for their community and manage a blog on all things security related: https://www.a1gmtlocksmith.com/locksmith-blog/.

Sources:

Accessed June 01, 2018. https://www.ansi.org/about_ansi/overview/overview?menuid=1.

How To Choose a Door lock | Kwikset – How Locks Work, Industry Standards, When To Replace a Lock, Designs & Finishes

https://www.kwikset.com/how-to-choose/overview.aspx

Lekowski, Rob. “Bluetooth: Just How Secure Is It?” May 23, 2016. Accessed May 29, 2018. http://www.lawtechnologytoday.org/2016/05/bluetooth-how-secure-is-it/.

When to Tell Your Landlord You Need a New Lock., July 19, 2017. Accessed June 01, 2018. https://www.apartments.com/blog/when-to-tell-your-landlord-you-need-a-new-lock.