Understanding the Basics of a Deadbolt Lock
Many of us know what a deadbolt locking mechanism is. Chances are you have a deadbolt locking mechanism securing your front door right now. In fact, nearly 90 percent of the homes in the United States have a deadbolt locking mechanism securing the inside of their home from the world outside.
But do you know if that deadbolt is really strong enough to stop a burglar and protect your home and family?
According to the National Crime Prevention Council, burglars tend to be lazy, targeting homes that are easily accessible. Deadbolts, if used properly, provide enough resistance to deter further action. Since deadbolts come in all shapes and sizes, before you start perusing the lock aisle of your neighborhood home improvement store, there are some basics things you need to know about the ideal deadbolt.
Deadbolt Grading Scale
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a nonprofit organization that oversees performance standards on builder’s hardware with the purpose of assuring safety and health to consumers. These standards are then maintained by the Builders Hardware Manufactures Association (BHMA).
Dependent on how a lock performs under various tests, the ANSI will issue a grade to identify quality and durability. The grading scale is comprised of three levels all of which differ in security and durability:
- Grade 1: Considered the strongest and is the highest grade given by ANSI to residential and commercial products. These locks should be able to withstand 75 pounds of force multiple times with a life expectancy over 10 years.
- Grade 2: An intermediate level and most common in residential settings. These locks should be able to withstand 60 pounds of force multiple times with an average life expectancy of 5 years.
- Grade 3: This is the lowest grade level recognized by ANSI. These locks should be able to withstand 30 pounds of force multiple times and will last about three years.
Newer vs Older Locks
As with almost every consumer product, innovation and the design of deadbolts have changed over the years to increase durability and security. Older deadbolts will most likely have a pin and tumbler design, which uses pins of different lengths to prevent entry without the correct key. Unfortunately, this offers very little resistance to burglars and capable lock picks.
Newer modeled deadbolts have locking bars, trap pins, steel casings, and double cylinder locks to increase resistance. Since intruders use various methods to break into a home (picking locks, force, power tools like drills, etc.) Some deadbolt models have drill resistant features to destroy the drill bit upon use.
Whether it is the babysitter, weekly cleaning crew, dog walker, or family friend; we tend to give many people unsupervised access to our homes, trusting that they do not abuse such access. Finding a deadbolt that has Key Control will keep anyone from making unauthorized duplicates of your key. These keys have utility patents that offer that extra needed protection.
Who says size doesn’t matter? Deadbolts smaller than 1 inch offer very little resistance in the case of a forced break in. A longer deadbolt will sit deeper in the door frame, making it more difficult for a burglar to separate the two.
What’s The Best Deadbolt Solution?
Today, many home security systems with wireless communication capabilities support automated dead bolts which allow homeowners to control access to their home remotely as well as receive notifications when the door is opened – and provide the tangible benefit of professional monitoring should a break-in occur. Our top recommended provider, Frontpoint is compatible with many of the top automated dead bolts available such as those offered by Kwikset and Schlage.