Selecting A Secure Deadbolt Lock

Person installing a deadbolt
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Choosing a deadbolt lock is an important step in securing your home. Here are a few things you should look for when shopping for deadbolts.

1. Minimum Requirements

There are a few features you should always consider in a deadbolt lock. All locks manufactured in the United States are graded by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and are rated from one to three. A lock with a grade of three barely meets the requirements set forth by ANSI and won't necessarily be secure.

Locks made outside the United States won’t be held to these standards and you can’t be sure how secure they are. You want to look for locks that have been tested and graded by ANSI.

2. Features to Look For

deadbolt door locks

To make sure you have the safest lock, ensure it has a throw bolt that is at least one inch long, a reinforced strike plate, a pin tumbler mechanism, and solid tapered metal housing.

Many locks are made with much higher standards and will offer more security, but these should be the very minimum you accept.

3. Saw Resistance

Burglars can cut through the throw bolts with small saws. Locks made of certain materials are considered saw-resistant. This doesn’t mean saw proof, but it will make it very difficult for a would-be thief to get through.

4. Strike Plates

A great lock is useless if the strike plate can be easily pulled off. Pick a lock with a strike plate made with a heavy gauge metal and at least three-inch screws. The screws need to extend through the door jamb and into the frame. This will make it really difficult—if not close to impossible—to remove the strike plate.

5. Double Cylinder

group of deadbolt locks

Double cylinder locks are good to use with doors that contain glass. Since a double cylinder deadbolt requires a key to operate on both sides of the door, simply breaking glass and reaching in won’t be enough for a thief to access your home.

These do come with some other safety concerns, though. If you misplace your keys, you may not be able to leave your home if you can’t unlock the deadbolt from inside. In many places, it can be against fire code to have double cylinder locks since it will require an extra step to get out of the home in the event of a fire.

6. Electronic Deadbolts

As we see increases in technology everywhere else, deadbolt locks are no exception. You can now find electronic locks that are secure and have other features. Lugging groceries into the house is a lot easier with an electronic deadbolt.

A computer chip in the lock can be set to automatically lock the door when it senses the door has been opened and closed without locking. Anyone with children will appreciate this feature.

Most locks will also include a rolling code technology, which means would-be thieves can’t just try to open it with their own keyless tag.