Purchasing new locks for your home or business can seem like a daunting task. Although the look and cost of the hardware are both important concerns, the main consideration must be the level of security the new locks will provide. There’s a vast array of choices available on the market today, and making decisions about which hardware to purchase can be difficult if you don’t have the expertise. Follow our simple guide to help you make the right choice for your property.
Exterior doors are vulnerable targets for intruders. For this reason, both front and back entrance doors, and garage doors will require a higher level of security than those inside the property.
Most front and back doors use a keyed entry function, and are fitted with handle sets. There are three main options for exterior lock hardware.
Single cylinder deadbolt
A thumbturn allows the door to be easily to be easily opened from the inside. When the handle or knob is turned, the door will open freely. However, in order to gain entry from the outside, a key is needed to unlock the door.
Double cylinder deadbolt
This works in a similar way to the single cylinder deadbolt, but a key is needed on both sides of the door. This type of lock is recommended for glass doors such as patio doors. Should an intruder manage to break the glass, the handle on the inside would not open without the key.
Auxiliary deadbolt/Mortise lock with dwelling entry function
These are often installed for added security. A deadbolt is a one inch solid bolt that can only be retracted with a key or a thumbturn. It is a secondary lock usually located above the primary lock, although it can be used on its own.
The purpose of a Mortise Lock is to act as a combination of locks. It is dual action means that it can act as a door knob and a deadbolt. A mortise lock allows for faster exit during an emergency.
How to Choose the Right Level of Security:
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a non profit organisation whose aim is to grade security ratings for builder’s hardware, so that customers can identify the quality and durability of locksets through a series of operational and security tests.
Grade 1: The highest level of security available for both residential and commercial properties.
Grade 2: Excellent security and durability for residential and some commercial properties.
Grade 3: Basic residential security. The lowest grade provided by ANSI and the minimal acceptable quality for residential door locks.
The BHMA (Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association) product number is another way of checking the grade of any particular piece of hardware. This number gives information about the product category, the material used and the function of the hardware.