Tips for Making Door Locks More Effective
A lock is only as strong as its setting, so you need to make sure to consider all factors affecting a door lock’s security
Buying high-quality, tamper-resistant locks is an excellent way to protect your home from unlawful entry by thieves or other criminals. However, a quality lock alone is not enough. You also need to consider the quality of the door the lock is attached to and the integrity of the strike plate the lock’s bolt fits into. Here are some tips to help you make sure that your door locks are installed in a way that enables to them to provide maximum protection.
Install a Sturdy Door
Not all thieves are concerned about finesse. Some won’t even bother to attempt to pick the lock, but instead will simply kick or pound the door down. That’s why it’s important to have a sturdy door that can resist this sort of attack, in addition to a quality lock that can resist picking and/or blunt force. All exterior doors should be made from fiberglass, solid wood, or metal. It’s okay for the door to have a wood veneer covering as long as the core is solid. If you choose a metal door, make sure it is mounted with a lock block so it can’t be bent out of the frame.
Check Your Doorframe
You also need a sturdy doorframe to go with your sturdy door and quality lock. Otherwise, an intruder could break down the entire door and its frame. Be sure your doorframe is made of solid wood or metal and attached securely to the wall studs. All hinges should also be attached to the wall studs, preferably on the inside of the door. If your hinges are on the outside, be sure they have non-removable pins.
Avoid Doors with Windows
Doors with windows may look pretty, but they can pose a security risk, especially if the windows are close to the lock. A thief could conceivably break the window, reach in, and manually unlock the lock to gain entry. One way to prevent this would be to install a double cylinder deadbolt that must be opened with a key on both sides, but fire codes often forbid the use of this type of lock in residential settings. It’s simpler—and safer—to just get a door without windows. You can install a peephole to provide some of the functionality of the window.
Invest in Quality Strike Plates
Strike plates are the metal pieces that cover the hole in the doorframe where the lock bolts enter. If you have an inferior strike plate, a thief could kick down your door, but with a strong, heavy-duty metal plate and screws that extend all the way through the doorjamb and into the stud, this method of attack becomes much more difficult.
Remember to Use Your Locks!
Obviously, your locks won’t provide any protection at all if you don’t use them! Make a habit of always locking your doors and avoid giving intruders an easy entry into your home.