As a new homeowner, one of the first priorities should be making sure that your new investment is secure. The best way to do that is through purchasing high quality, durable locks for all of your exterior doors. There are many different styles of locks that you can choose from, and understanding the function and advantage of each one will help you to choose the best fit for your situation.
Standard Exterior Locks
Traditional exterior locks feature a standard doorknob with an inset lock. These systems have a locking mechanism on the interior side of the door knob and a keyhole on the other side. These doors can typically be locked from the inside on your way out.
They offer a moderate amount of security, as they are typically solid construction and require a key to unlock. The drawback is that these locks are often easy to breach using common tools.
Slip Bolt Lock Structure
Slip bolt locks have a spring-loaded mechanism tied to the lock chamber. With this type of system, you have to lock the door by turning your key in the lock cylinder. These locks prevent the door knob from turning at all when the lock is engaged. It's potentially vulnerable to breach as well, but you can reduce the risk of that by adding a solid plate made from steel or other heavy metal over the gap between the door and the door frame on the lock side. This will block any space where you could slip anything in to trip the locking mechanism.
You should consider installing a deadbolt lock on every external door of your house. In most cases, a deadbolt is installed above a standard doorknob with a lock set or slip-bolt lock. Some lock systems even come with a deadbolt and standard lockset in a single component. If you opt for a deadbolt with a long, hardened locking bolt, it can add extra security.
Single Lock Deadbolt
A single lock deadbolt features a locking bolt with a flip-lever or locking handle on the inside. Turn the locking handle to lock the deadbolt from the inside.
Double Lock Deadbolt
A double lock deadbolt is a similar design, but instead of featuring a locking handle or flip lever, it features lock cylinders on both sides of the lock. The biggest consideration when installing this type of lock is that you will have to keep a key accessible at all times to disengage the lock and open the door. This is ideal if there are large windows by the door, because there's no locking lever for a potential intruder to flip if they can shatter the glass.
Keyless Entry Locks
Keyless entry systems are a convenient approach when you want to ensure personal security. With these locks, you need to have a pass code, remote keypad or fingerprint scan to unlock them. This prevents the potential risk of intrusion due to stolen or lost keys.
The system will typically also require a manual override with a key in the event of a malfunction or power failure. These locks may even integrate with a home security system, allowing you to be notified any time the doors are unlocked.
Auxiliary Locking Systems
An auxiliary lock is a pin lock or chain locking system installed on your door to work in conjunction with the existing lock systems. In many cases, these are added as a secondary form of security, allowing you the ability to open the door partially if necessary for visibility.
The best thing you can do is work with a locksmith to conduct a full security audit of your home. Locksmiths such as Affordable Locksmith can tell you where your vulnerabilities are and which locks will fit best at each entry point. You can even work with a locksmith to choose and implement a security system. With the information here and support of a professional, you're sure to find a security option that works for you.