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The Importance of the Deadbolt Lock

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Doors without a deadbolt lock provide a tempting target for burglars. FBI statistics indicate that almost two-thirds of all burglaries involved forced entry. In many cases, that included kicking the door in or prying it from the door jamb. A solid core or metal door makes that much more difficult, but the important security addition is a deadbolt lock. Here are some things to consider when choosing a deadbolt lock.

  • Heavy gauge metal. Make sure the deadbolt offers as much strength as possible and won't give way easily if challenged by a burglar. The sturdiest locks with deadbolts will cost more, but experts all agree they are worth the money.
  • Grade 1 lock. One way to be sure the deadbolt is strong enough is to look for a lock and deadbolt that has received a Grade 1 from the American National Standards Institute. Locks are graded on a scale of 1 to 3, with a Grade 1 providing the best residential protection.
  • Solid metal strike plate. The strike plate is the piece that secures the lock into the door. This plate is not always made with steel, so it's important to check for the strongest strike plate available. Also, make sure the lockset includes four long screws to attach the strike plate - at least 3 inch screws.
  • Metal lock guards. These surround the lock in the door and make it more difficult for a burglary to use pliers or a wrench to try to twist the lock out of the door, a common method of gaining entry into a home. The lock guards are heavy duty metal and while not impossible to remove, they are another piece of security that will make the lock that much more difficult for a burglar to defeat.
  • Deadbolts that resist saws. These deadbolts include pins inside that move. When a burglar tries to saw through a deadbolt, they encounter the pins and the saw spins the pins around, but cannot make any progress on getting through the deadbolt.
  • Deadbolt throw. The throw is the length of the deadbolt that extends into the door jamb when the door is locked. A deadbolt that barely extends out doesn't provide the protection gained form at least one inch of the metal bolt into the door frame.

Don't Forget the Deadbolt Lock on Digital Locks

Burglars are just as likely to kick in or pry open keyless locks as those with keys. While the absence of keys helps with the issue of lock picking, nothing about digital locks provides a door more resistant to being forced open. All keyless locks - from pushbutton to remote controlled to fingerprint models - are much more secured with a strong and reliable deadbolt lock.

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