Are rim locks safe?

December 20, 2014

Although they’re very common, rim locks alone can’t guarantee the safety of your home. However, the following tips may help you feel a little safer.

Are rim locks safe?

What are rim locks?

The rim is the metal box that contains the lock’s mechanism and the latches. It's generally secured on the inner side of the door, enabling it to be unlocked from inside the home. A smaller rim fitted with a keyhole is installed on the outside.

Common, but not very tough

Although very common, rim locks (and all cylinder locks) can yield to a violent blow. If the impact causes the strike plate (the metal plate that’s screwed to the door) to become unscrewed, the back plate will come off, thereby allowing the door to be opened.

Take steps to strengthen your locks

  • Anti-burglary bars

To improve the safety of rim locks, it is recommended to add steel anti-burglary bars. These long bars are installed around the strike plate and attached to the door frame.

  • Lock reinforcement

Reinforcements can be added to strengthen rim locks or any other type of lock. For instance, metal plates can be fitted on either side of the door, inside or out, and bolted to the door or the door frame. A double pair of reinforcements could also be installed on either side of the strike plate.

  • Triple lock

There are several levels of security for locks. Experts suggest using a lock consisting of three pins that are inserted deep into the door frame, in addition to a safety armature that is screwed in from the inside (to prevent the cylinder from being removed from the outside) and covered by a plate.

  • Key duplication

It is preferable to choose a lock with a patented cylinder and a protection card, or at least with a coded key, to prevent keys from being duplicated too easily. The locksmith will ask you for your code or protection card before agreeing to make a duplicate of the original key.

  • Solid doors

To augment your security measures, it is recommended to choose exterior doors that are sufficiently thick and sturdy and that are made of multiple layers, such as wood and metal. In addition, the glazing must meet anti-burglary standards (laminated glass). The door frame must also be solidly constructed (of steel, for example) and should ideally be embedded in the masonry.

  • Adding clamps

Installing anti-burglary hinge shields on the outer perimeter of the door is effective against thieves who may want to try using a crowbar to break the lock.

Lastly, keep in mind that these measures are primarily aimed at deterring thieves. Most standard systems for homeowners can be compromised by a very determined person. Keep in mind that your investment should be based on the level of security that is acceptable to you. Check with your certified locksmith.

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