There are several types of locks that are designed to be used on front doors. They vary from simple knob locks to electronic and keyless entry locks. But what is important to know when buying one? What other types are available today? Read on and find the answers to these and many more questions.
Front door handle sets
Handle sets used for entry doors are elegant in appearance and are most commonly used on period or designer front doors such as those with curved or stained glass. They also provide an additional level of security since most of them include a deadbolt upper lock and a thumb-activated bottom lock. Door lever locks, on the other hand, are ideal for people who often need to get the front door open while carrying bags of groceries. They also come in a two-piece configuration, with a thumb-turn deadbolt above the lever door handle.
Electronic deadbolt locks
For many homeowners, these are the most convenient front door locks, since they don’t require a key. Most of them come with an analog number pad with buttons, while some even have touchscreens, allowing them to be opened via a smartphone app. However, most of these electronic locks also have a key-opening feature, just in case the technology fails.
A door latch is a kind of a secondary lock that is often used in hotel rooms or apartments. It can’t be picked and it uses the door frame to keep the door locked. It’s made of two pieces – a long chain installed on the face of your door and another piece on the door frame. Working together, these pieces tether the door to the doorframe and prevent it from opening any wider than the chain allows. This type of lock is an excellent added security layer, but it should be paired with another reliable lock such as a deadbolt.
Front door security
There are homeowners who’ll rather buy an aesthetically pleasing door lock than one with the highest security rating. When it comes to choosing a door locking system, your primary concern should be the security. There are several factors that make up a solid entry door lock, however, it’s also our habits that keep our front door safe. Although leaving a spare key with a neighbour might sound simpler than calling an emergency locksmith, in reality, if one gets locked out or if there is a break-in, getting your neighbour involved might cause more inconvenience than you hoped for.
Lock grades and rating
Most front door locks on the market today have been tested by the national standards institute or associations of builder’s hardware manufacturers for their security. Consumers should be aware of these ratings, as they let you know how secure the lock you’re interested in is. These ratings test the locks on the following points: lockset operation, strength and durability, lock mechanics, overall security, material quality, and fit and finish. The actual lock grade represents a number of locking and unlocking operations. Grade 1 refers to 800,000 locking cycles, grade 2 to 400,000 cycles and grade 3 to 200,000 cycles.
Battery drills pose perhaps the biggest danger to many locksets since most handheld drills can easily drill through a deadbolt lock and disable it in less than two minutes. However, there are door locks which are resistant to drilling more than others and are designed to prevent unlocking even if the lock itself is disabled. Check out the video review of the new Schlage deadbolt lock with an anti-drill plate.
1 is none, 2 is one
Investing your security in only one lock is a mistake. If you want a guarantee that your front door is extra safe, you need multiple door locks. For the best security, you need at least one deadbolt lock. Its bolt actually goes inside your door frame, which is much safe than just a bottom lock that is easily overridden by a credit card. When choosing a deadbolt lock, look for grade 2 at least.
While there is a whole range of convenient solutions regarding front door locks and hardware, experience tells us that the best strategy is to go with a lockset that matches your lifestyle and the amount of security you’re willing to invest in.
Guest post by Lillian Connors
About the Author
Lillian Connors can’t resist the urge to embark on a myriad of green living/home improvement projects and spread the word about them. She cherishes the notion that sustainable housing and gardening will not only make us far less dependent on others regarding the dwellings we inhabit, but also contribute to our planet being a better place to live on. You can check her out on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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