Author Topic: Choosing Door Locks for Your Home  (Read 7320 times)

HumeMan

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Choosing Door Locks for Your Home
« on: February 03, 2010, 03:17:20 PM »
Choosing Door Locks for Your Home


Many insurance companies recommend Grade 1 (ANSI designation) deadbolt type locks on:

    Exterior doors
    Doors between attached garages and living spaces
    Garage man doors (even if the garage is not attached to the house.)

What kind of door locks do building codes require?

Although many people assume their local building codes require a minimum level of quality and security for the door locks installed on their homes, most building codes don't even require a lock on exterior doors, let alone a minimum level of quality.

Most contractors select the locks based on price.  Make a better selection by knowing what to look for.

Door Locks From a Burglar's Perspective

Burglars prefer to break into a home through a door because it is quick and easy.  A good quality lock is a deterrent. When intruders are interviewed about the selection of a target, many say seeing quality deadbolt locks will cause them to move on to another house.

A burglar can enter the home through a door using several methods:

    The door can be left unlocked.
    Doors can be kicked in.
    Door locks can be picked.
    Door locks can be hammered until they fall off.
    Doors can be pried open.
    Door frames can be spread apart with a spreader bar.
    Door locks can be "drilled out" using a power drill.
    Locks can be pried off with pipe wrenches or pliers.
    Panes of glass in or beside doors can be broken so the intruder can reach in and unlock the lock.
    Sometimes thieves obtain a copy of the house key from an acquaintance.

Remember, the intruder will select the door that looks easiest to break into and that offers the least chance of being seen.

Doors going into the garage and going from an attached garage into the house many times offer an intruder the opportunity to hide from view while they are breaking in. Extra thought should go into the security at these locations.

According to a study by the California Crime Technological Research Foundation, the most common
techniques used by burglars to enter single-family homes are (from most often used to least often used):


    32.00% Through unlocked window or door
    26.64% Forced entry by impacts
    24.02% Prying or jimmying
    6.79% Use of pass key or picking the lock
    5.10% Entry attempted, but failed
    5.45% Other or unknown


Learn more about how to protect your home from intruders.

Tips:

1.) Install locks with deadbolts.

In residential construction there are basically two types of bolts used on exterior doors: latch bolts and deadbolts. Some locks combine the two bolts into one.

2.) Install locks with an ANSI Grade 1 classification.

There is a grading system that measures the security and durability of door locks. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has standards, developed and maintained by The Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association Inc. (BHMA), that comparatively measure the security and durability performance of door locks.

Not all Grade 1 locks are equal. Different types of door locks are tested differently under ANSI standards. But the grade designation system is the same.

3.) Install locks with key control.

Key control is simply controlling who has copies of keys to your home. Many door keys can be copied at a local hardware or retail store. However, many manufacturers now offer locks using keys that cannot be copied except by certain locksmiths or only by the manufacturer themselves.

There are burglaries where the unlawful entry can be traced back to a key that was either knowingly or unwittingly provided to the burglar.

Key control can help protect your from the following scenarios:

    In-home help has been fired or quit, but they made their own copy of your house key.
    In-home help may have acquaintances who burglarize homes; they might try to acquire a key through them
    Mechanics may try to make copies of your house key while working on your car.

Key control may require extra effort, such as a letter to the lock manufacturer or a trip to the locksmith to get a key made. Also, there is an additional cost due to record keeping by the manufacturer or locksmith (between $10 and $50 per key). The additional cost and inconvenience should be weighed against the security benefits.


(Source: StateFarm.com)

Offline wcff3431

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Re: Choosing Door Locks for Your Home
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2010, 11:00:00 PM »

HumeMan

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Re: Choosing Door Locks for Your Home
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2010, 07:25:02 PM »

Offline Pathfinder

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Re: Choosing Door Locks for Your Home
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2010, 07:44:12 PM »
There are lots of ideas on burglar "proofing" your house - reinforce the jambs, deep anchor the hinges, use a real dead bar across the door if security is an issue. Use steel jambs in a concrete wall to keep them from being pried sideways. Sliding glass patio doors are another issue, as are windows. All you are going to do is slow the BG down, and maybe make his actions very noticeable - like popping a light on over him. You cannot stop someone who really wants to enter from entering.

One thing you do not want are the locks you get from your local box store. My son locked me out of the garage one time, and it took the locksmith longer to walk from the alley to the garage door (ca. 25') than it did to open the K------- brand dead bolt.
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Offline Ann

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Re: Choosing Door Locks for Your Home
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2010, 09:36:05 AM »
Suggestion request for back door/sliding glass door...

We cannot yet afford to replace the door, though it is quickly becoming a priority.

We have a locked gate between the outside and the back door.  The sliding door has a lock AND a block of wood to keep the door from opening.  Granted, if somebody pulls off the back gate and has a big rock it wouldn't take much to get through the door.  It's one of those old sliding glass doors that is basically to LARGE panes of glass.

Any suggestions?   >:( - concerned!



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Offline gigaJack

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Re: Choosing Door Locks for Your Home
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2010, 11:05:50 AM »
We have 4 Medeco high security deadbolt and handles.

For years these locks were bump/pick proof and in the last couple of years they have changed to bump/pick resistance. These locks can be bumped, picked or a copy of your key could be made from plastic and used with a paper clip to defeat the sidebar. So it appears that all locks can be opened. Here is how I rationalize this. If a run-of-the-mill bad guy walks up to my house and sees the sticker above the locks that says “Medeco High Security Locks”, alarm stickers on the windows, motion sensors and a large barking German Shepherd. I think he/she might move on to my neighbor that doesn’t even have a deadbolt on their front door or leave doors and windows unlocked. They would have to have good intelligence on very high valued goods in our house to make the risk/reward formula work out in their favor.

Medeco Double Cylinder High Security Locks

We also use High security window ballistic film on all of our windows.

Not one solution is an answer. The better answer is to have overlapping security measures (good door hardware, alarm, alarm stickers/signs, reinforced glass, dogs, et cetera).

gigaJack

Offline Ann

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Re: Choosing Door Locks for Your Home
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2010, 02:31:30 PM »
Thank you for the suggestion...after re-reading my post, I realize that I gave confusing information.  Please accept my apologies...I blame stress.

My back door IS a sliding glass door, installed in 1982.  Big glass panes with metal frames on rollers.

While this same door is in the back yard, behind an 8' locked wooden gate, it's not that easy to access.  Since the gate to the back yard faces the front yard and can be easily seen from the street AND by neighbors, it makes access even less convenient for burglars.

I still worry, because we had the wonderful experience of a SWAT raid across the street last night.  Turns out they were serving a warrant, but STILL...!    :o :o :o

Needless to say, there is more urgency in obtaining my CHL now



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HumeMan

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Re: Choosing Door Locks for Your Home
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2010, 04:13:14 PM »
Even if you use a blocking device, it won't keep out the more determined burglars who may (and will) simply lift the whole door out. One of the simplest ways to prevent lifting is to install an anti-lift device such as a pin that extends through both the sliding part and the fixed part of the door.

Here's two different types.  Both do the same job.





Several retailers sell the security pin on Amazon for various prices (most for less than $5). 

http://www.amazon.com/Window-Guard-Sliding-Doors-Windows/dp/B0036UFTVQ/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&s=hi&qid=1265926142&sr=8-5


Offline Spamity Calamity

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Re: Choosing Door Locks for Your Home
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2010, 05:20:21 PM »
Even if you use a blocking device, it won't keep out the more determined burglars who may (and will) simply lift the whole door out. One of the simplest ways to prevent lifting is to install an anti-lift device such as a pin that extends through both the sliding part and the fixed part of the door.

Here's two different types.  Both do the same job.





Several retailers sell the security pin on Amazon for various prices (most for less than $5). 

http://www.amazon.com/Window-Guard-Sliding-Doors-Windows/dp/B0036UFTVQ/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&s=hi&qid=1265926142&sr=8-5



I like this. It seems a lot better than the bar I installed which Im not happy with. Except way up high there my wife cant reach it (shes 5'2") can you also install it lower down or does it have to be up at the top there?
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Offline Ann

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Re: Choosing Door Locks for Your Home
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2010, 06:24:32 PM »
Thanks Spammity...I'm only 5'4"

But I like that idea!  Granted, it still won't stop anybody that just throws something large and heavy through the pane of glass, but it will help until we can get the door replaced.



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Offline TigerDragon

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Re: Choosing Door Locks for Your Home
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2010, 06:36:19 PM »
There are measures that can be taken for the glass sliding door.  A metal grating behind the door, if installed properly, can be a deterrant to brute force through that entrance.

Most burglars won't try to "pick" a lock.  They might try a bump key if the lock is a common keyway (kwikset, schlage, etc) but picking is one of the least favorable entry methods.  Destructive entry is far more favorable for speed.

If you are worried about bumping, installing a lock that is either non pin tumbler is the only sure fire way.  Lever locks, the new kwikset smart key locks (these interact with a sidebar rather than having a pin stack) disc tumbler (abloy makes some of the best) etc, will all prevent bumping.  Problem with the kwikset lock mentioned is that kwikset has some other flaws that I won't discuss openly on these forums.  If you just care about the one trick pony "bump key" thieves, it will do the job, though.

The more secure the locking mechanism, the more you will spend.

The other half to this, is replacing your typical doors with heavy duty doors (solid oak, steel, etc) and reinforcing the door way with a sheet of metal to keep the intruder from kicking your door in.

Your best bet is to talk to a security alarm company and/or a local locksmith to discuss concerns and options.  Typical home hardware just doesn't cut it for protection against destructive entry (kicking the door in, busting the locks, etc) but there are options available if you're willing to pay for it.
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The zones of security:  financial, information, life, liberty, property

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Offline TwoXForr

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Re: Choosing Door Locks for Your Home
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2010, 03:18:10 PM »
One thing to be careful of is ensuring that you can get out once inside,  No key locks on the inside of the door, unless you leave a key dedicated to that lock in it at all times. 

Of course if there is a cute little window next to the lock that someone could bust thru and turn the interior thumb lock by feel, this would be a bad thing. 

Offline mxitman

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Re: Choosing Door Locks for Your Home
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2010, 08:35:57 PM »
A friend from work had his house burglarized last summer while he was at work. They just threw a big rock through the slider window and walked in. They got off with a whole lot of stuff, his truck (recovered) but his wedding ring and all his wife's jewelry was taken along with a couple of dirt bikes and plasma t.v. to name a few.

After the break in the insurance company put back in just a regular old slider again, but this time he visited a locksmith and asked what he could do. He recommended a cheap option of just buying some lexan or plexiglass, the really heavy duty stuff. I thinks it's 1/4" or so...lol

He then screwed it to the frame of the slider on the inside, if someone tries throwing a rock it won't go through... it's not the best but it works. Plus he added a security system, video cameras, mobile access... etc. And my favorite a big dog for his kids... as he said...
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Re: Choosing Door Locks for Your Home
« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2010, 03:09:51 PM »
I investigated a lot of burglaries when I was still a cop and I've installed a lot of locks over the years and the weakness is seldom with the lock; it's with the door frame.  Probably 25-35% of the burgs were doors and windows left unlocked, 30-40% were people with access already (roommates, landlords, construction workers, housekeepers, etc.) and the remainder were kicked or pried open doors or broken windows.  I can only recall one burglary that happened at a home with a security system, but they were dumb enough to go back three times to the same place (just waited long enough for insurance to replace everything) and we caught them the day after the third time.

Personally, when I buy a new place the first thing I do is run a sawzall along the back of the door frame to remove the shims behind the locks.  I put in a 1.5"x1/8"x36" piece of steel behind the door frame and reshim the door, using 6- 1/4"x3 1/2 screws through the frame, steel and well into the 2x4 behind the door.  I put in a larger strike plate with 3 1/2" screws after redrilling the 3/4" hole for the deadbolt so the bolt goes through the strike plate and the steel bar in the frame.  Now the reality is, this will stop several hard kicks, but it is not going to stop a determined person with a sledge hammer or 35 pound battering ram.  Nor will just about anything else.  That's why I have a gun safe in the basement, a locking filing cabinet, a lock on the bedroom door, and a small safe in my bedroom.  Delay, delay, delay, while they're listening to a very loud alarm and looking out the window at my very curious (some would say nosey) neighbors.  Prevent the smash and grab and you may lose your DVD player and a few things that didn't get properly stored in the safe, but they aren't getting enough of value to make it a loss worth filing an insurance claim on.  While they might put a chair through your plasma screen in frustration, they aren't going to take the big stuff if they know the neighbors are watching.  They're going to grab small stuff and run.
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Offline mike77

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Re: Choosing Door Locks for Your Home
« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2010, 10:20:08 PM »
This is a product that gives similar results to what Endurance does. I haven't used it yet myself, but have heard good things about it from another podcast I listen to. Anyone on here use one?

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Re: Choosing Door Locks for Your Home
« Reply #15 on: September 17, 2010, 05:04:59 PM »
that door devil thing looks pretty good, I have a friend who basically made the same thing from 1/8" steel strip about 1-1/2" wide. He made his the entire length of his door though, used a drill to make about 12 mounting locations and cut out for the dead bolt with the drill and then a jigsaw. His was crude, but when painted white you could hardly notice.
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Offline Elex23

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Re: Choosing Door Locks for Your Home
« Reply #16 on: November 17, 2012, 12:13:22 AM »
I took these ideas to make my house more safer from unwanted person. I think electric lock system consider good in terms of getting foolproof security because no one can cheat with its codes.

Offline AlanB

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Re: Choosing Door Locks for Your Home
« Reply #17 on: November 17, 2012, 08:01:49 AM »
Something you may want to think about is your windows as well, and how they are installed.

I was putting deadbolts etc. on my house we were renovating at the time, and had Window World come out and replace all my windows.

After having bought expensive deadbolt sets, rehanging doors with metal backing around the locks and doing the things I thought would make it much more secure, I then watched the Window World guys work.

They walked up too me and said, I see on the work order you would like to save the old windows, where would you like them stacked?  I pointed to a place, then the gentleman said to me, that they would have my new windows installed in the next 45 minutes, and then work on the trim.......................  And I thought, OMG they sent me idiots................

35 minutes later there were new windows in my house (10)  and they were setting up to do the aluminum trim work.  And I was still staring at the dead bolt I was working on.

There were two guys, and guy A walked up to a window, took a 1" wood chisel, eyed it up, and smacked the chisel between the window frame and the wall where the fastening screws are.  Four quick, not loud, not long, relatively quiet hammer blows, then reached up and removed the window................  The whole thing, quicker and quieter than I could have removed a pane of glass. 

While doing this guy B had grabbed the appropriate new window off the truck and carried it over, while A hung the new window, B dropped the old window off and grabbed the next new window.

While I realize that the statistics do not show this as being how thieves are doing it, it just really struck me that I was putting a pretty solid amount of money, time, effort and materials into making my home safer, and had missed several relatively large gaping holes in my defenses.

As a minimum, I would suggest you look at how yours are installed, and I would think an extra 2 screws at unusual places could make this much more difficult.

Offline nelson96

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Re: Choosing Door Locks for Your Home
« Reply #18 on: November 17, 2012, 12:10:12 PM »
You all have great ideas, but keep in mind that locks only keep out honest people.  It is true, a good lock can slow down a dishonest person, but not stop them.

If you have windows (to simply break), an attic space between your ceiling and roof, or access under your house (who thinks to secure crawl spaces); how secure do you really think your home is?

A security system that alerts a third party, including a very loud alarm to alert the neighbors is the safest bet.  And simply advertising that you have a security system (even if you don't) by placing stickers on all your windows and doors, and a sign in your front yard will help tremendously.
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Offline flippydidit

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Re: Choosing Door Locks for Your Home
« Reply #19 on: November 17, 2012, 11:54:25 PM »
I'd like to give you all a couple of points to ponder.  So far your posts have all been spot on.  Of course there is a perspective that many people don't consider.  Mostly because they've never been in the "business" of gaining access to a structure.  During my time in Iraq our unit did a lot of "door kicking".  We tried many different techniques for the different missions we had.  What you see on TV and what happens in reality are two different animals (usually).  For instance, many people are familiar with soldiers "stacking" at a door, breaching the door, and then quickly "clearing" the room through that doorway.  We used that technique ourselves, initially.  Then when we ACTUALLY took fire coming through the "fatal funnel" we adapted.  Our new technique was to use our BFV (Bradley Fighting Vehicle - picture below) to back through a wall, drop the ramp and effectively have 9 fully armed guys all in the room at once.


It's SERIOUSLY unlikely that any of us have to worry about that technique being used against our homes, but many people don't think from the outside in.  For example, all the heavy duty locks and door jambs didn't keep us out when we wanted in.  We didn't use bump keys, battering rams, or even shotguns to breach the locks (we used the rams and shotguns at first) if we wanted in a door.  We would take a "Hi-Lift" off road jack, place it horizontally in the door frame and crank away.  It was much quieter, and GUARANTEED that we would get in.  Essentially it pulled the door frame apart horizontally.  Any lock or deadbolt was physically separated from the frame.  Then we just pushed the door open and stepped under the jack.

I just wanted to illustrate for everyone how most security we buy is "false security" to a determined bad guy.  It's only through honestly assessing our strengths and weaknesses that we can avoid falling into this trap.  Take some time, do a walk around your home and think about how you'd get in "if you had to".

Hope this helps!
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