Why Deadbolts are the Best Locks for your Home
Of course, it’s important to effectively provide dependable security for your home, at a reasonable cost. If you’re shopping for the right locks for your place of residence, you’ll soon find that there’s a nearly endless selection of various types of locks. You may feel like it’s impossible to know what to choose. But you can at least narrow it down to the fact that, by and large, most locksmith professionals agree that deadbolts are your best bet.
Deadbolts truly are typically viewed by most expert locksmiths as one of the safest and most secure ways to provide home protection. The reason they’re called “dead” is because they lack springs to operate the bolt; that is, a deadbolt is operated manually, with a key or a thumbturn.
Residential locksmith specialists recommend that you install deadbolts on all your external doors. There are numerous deadbolts to choose from. The most common are: single-cylinder, double-cylinder, jimmy-proof, and lockable thumbturn.
- A single-cylinder deadbolt lock is the standard deadbolt we commonly imagine, used on wooden or solid metal doors. There is a key cylinder on the outside, with a thumbturn on the inside to open or close it. The one disadvantage to a single-cylinder deadbolt is that if there’s any possible access to the inside (such as through a nearby window, or even through your peephole), then the door can be opened using the thumbturn.
- A remedy for this challenge is the double-cylinder deadbolt. It has a key cylinder on the inside of the door as well as on the outside. This means that if it’s locked, the double-cylinder always requires a key to open the door from the inside. It’s ideal if your door has any glass, or if your door has a window nearby, because it prevents an intruder from breaking the glass and reaching in to unlock the door. Its downside is that in case of fire, it’s a bad idea. Therefore, if you install this kind of deadbolt, then make sure you always leave a key on the inside whenever people are there, so everyone will be able to make a fast exit safely in an emergency.
- A jimmy-proof deadbolt is a surface-mount lock, most often found on double doors and at apartment buildings. A surface-mount lock means that the lock screws into the inside of the door, rather than with a complex drill pattern, the way a standard deadbolt does. A jimmy-proof deadbolt is popular because of the minimal door modifications required. In this unique style of deadbolt lock, the deadbolt interlocks with the jamb bracket, which prevents it from easily being pulled apart or from being forced open from the outside.
- The lockable thumbturn deadbolt is the deadbolt that provides maximum security and flexibility. It basically combines the features of the single-cylinder with the double-cylinder deadbolt. It has a thumbturn on the inside, which works like a regular single-cylinder deadbolt, yet it can be locked with a key, so that it can’t lock or unlock the door. This means that the thumbturn can be left in an unlocked position when people are at home, but it will operate just like a single-cylinder deadbolt. When everyone’s away, especially if it’s for an extended period of time, the thumbturn can be easily locked, so that even if a burglar manages to gain access to your door from the inside, the deadbolt can’t be unlocked.
In addition to these four viable deadbolt options, there are also five more kinds of deadbolts that expert locksmiths often recommend: vertical, rim, mortise, keyless, and digital.
- A vertical deadbolt is bolted to the inside face of the door, but this kind is placed on top of the door, which makes it impossible for a potential intruder to pry it open by putting a bar between the door and the frame (which a person can do in the case of some horizontal deadbolts).
- A rim deadbolt is also bolted to the inside face of the door, but the good thing about this type of deadbolt is that it locks automatically behind you each time you shut the door. That way, you won’t ever forget to lock it. Both the vertical and the rim deadbolt are easy to install. A minor drawback to both the rim deadbolt and the vertical deadbolt is that they are a bit bulky, and therefore not as attractive as traditional deadbolts.
- A mortise deadbolt lock is a conventional lock that you can install in a mortise or a recess pocket, cut in the edge of the door, so that it can’t be easily tampered with. This lock is indeed sturdy; but keep in mind that because you have to penetrate the door frame to make a hole, it can slightly weaken the structure of the door itself.
- A keyless deadbolt is also mounted on the inside of the door, but it has a keypad rather than a keyhole. Instead of using a key, you put in a secret code. The obvious advantage of this deadbolt is that you don’t require a key at all, so you won’t ever have to be concerned about losing your key or having it stolen. Furthermore, in order to optimize security, you can establish a new code every few months, or as often as you wish.
- A digital deadbolt is a lot like a keyless deadbolt, since you also have a keypad instead of a keyhole. What’s different is that it requires electricity or batteries to operate. With a digital deadbolt, be sure you periodically monitor the power level. Always keep the batteries charged, in case of a power outage!