Choosing A Dead Bolt Lock

What type of dead bolt lock is right for your door? Do you really need one if you have a high quality lockset?

Okay, you have installed a good lockset with you new exterior door. You are safe from intruders and can rest easy. Right? Wrong! Even a door with a high-quality lockset can make for easy entry with a good kick against the door! The strike-plate will tear loose and splinter the jamb, providing easy access to your home. The solution to this security problem is installing a dead bolt along with the lockset.

When purchasing your locks, don't pick this time to pinch pennies. A more expensive lock is usually a superior one, even if they look the same. Choose a lock that is constructed with a hardened steel bolt that extends a good inch into the doorjamb.

Doors are the second point of entry for residential burglaries. If your door is a solid wood or metal door or a door with a solid core┬╣, with no glass flanking the sides, a single cylinder dead bolt lock would be sufficient. If your door contains glass, or your entryway has sidelights, stay away from locks with a thumb latch on the inside. This is an invitation for a burglar who will break the glass and unlock the door. Where glass is present near or on the door you would want to install a dead bolt with a key inside and outside (double cylinder dead bolt). Although this will offer the best protection against intruders, it also can present problems for easy egress. You will need to use a key to unlock the door from the inside as well as the out, so the key should be left somewhere near the door, but where an intruder would not be able to see it. You would probably not want to use a double cylinder dead bolt on your only fire exit. If you are planning to install a double cylinder dead bolt check with your local law enforcement agency because in some places it is illegal to use this type of lock.

A hollow core door┬▓, or the type that would be an interior door is not suitable for a dead bolt lock since it would splinter easily if kicked to open. To determine if the door is a hollow core door, knock on it and it will sound hollow. A hollow door is also a lot lighter than a solid core door.

For extra safety you should remove the screws that are securing your existing strike plate and hinges, and replace them with 3" to 4" screws that secure into the wall stud, instead of just the door casing. Also, make sure that you have the door hinges secured on the inside of the door. Otherwise a possible intruder will be able to pull the pins out of the hinges and just take the door off the hinges!

For added security there are other items available such as a metal dead bolt wrap-around which strengthens lock kick-in resistance. A door-bar also offers formidable resistance to a kick-in type of intrusion. A door viewer

lets you see who is at the door before you open it and allow easy access.

For more information consult an expert at a home center for more hands-on suggestions for home security.

1. A solid core door might be found between your garage and your house. These doors are made of particle board covered with masonite and have a solid wood frame.

2. A hollow core door is the same as a solid core door without the particle board interior.

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