The top 6 door locks that can keep your home safe

July 27, 2015

Here's a rundown of the best locks you can use to keep your home and family safe.

The top 6 door locks that can keep your home safe

1. Standard locksets

  • Also called cylindrical or key-in-knob locks, these locks are installed as a single unit in a single hole in the door.
  • The least expensive choice, a standard lockset has the entire latching and security mechanism built into the doorknob.
  • The outer knob has a key-operated cylinder and the interior has either a pushbutton or a turn lever that sets and releases the latch and deadbolt.
  • This type of lock can be jimmied open with little effort. Or the entire outer knob can be sheared off with a heavy blow.

2. Mortise locks

  • These locks are mounted inside a deep pocket cut into the door's edge. Pressing down a thumb lever on the exterior or turning the knob on either side actuates the spring-latch portion.
  • The security lock portion consists of a separate deadbolt operated by a key from outside and a thumb lever inside.
  • This makes for a sturdier combination, but mortise pocket also has a weak spot along the door's edge.
  • It's a good idea to protect the pocket area with a wraparound reinforcing plate specially designed for these locks.

3. Rim locks

  • The rim lock is often used as an auxiliary lock. It mounts on the inside of the door near the edge, usually about 15 centimetres below or above the doorknob. It also requires a second cross bore hole in the door.
  • Rim locks consist of  surface-mounted steel deadbolt assembly (a stile) on the inside of the door, a strike on the adjacent interior jamb and an exterior cylinder key lock.
  • The door is locked by turning the key on the outside or the latch on the inside of the rim lock. An action slides the vertical deadbolt through the eyes of the strike.

4. Cylindrical deadbolt

  • A cylindrical deadbolt lock is installed in the same way as a cylindrical lockset.
  • A double-keyed deadbolt requires the use of a key on the inside as well as on the outside. This prevents an intruder from breaking the window and reaching through to turn the knob.
  • A double-keyed lock can make getting out the door more difficult if the key isn't handy. That can be bad in emergency situations, like a fire.
  • In many areas, fire codes prohibit double-keyed deadbolts. If that's the case in your area, it's best to use a single-keyed model with a thumb turn on the inside.

5. Auxiliary locks

  • Auxiliary locks, such as a crossbar and a brace, offer extra security.
  • The crossbar lock has several elements: a lock mounted on the inside center of the door, a pair of horizontal steel bars and fittings to match on the adjacent door frames.
  • The door locks by inserting a key from the outside or turning the knob on the inside.

6. Brace locks

  • Also known as police locks, these locks mount on the inside of the door above the conventional lockset.
  • They consist of a lock unit, a heavy steel bar that runs downwards at an angle from the lock and a steel-lined pocket set in the floor.
  • When in position, the police lock is particularly resistant to break-ins with pry bars.
  • These locks are generally unattractive and can be something of an obstacle for people coming in and out.
  • The bar portion can be removed and set aside during the day if a high level of security isn't needed.

These locks can be your best bet for security in your home, and can often be used in combination. Be sure to pick a lock that fits your lifestyle, and make sure it's installed properly by a professional for maximum security.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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