Home security is important. When you think about all of the essential things that your home is protecting — not the least of which is you and your family — then it’s not exaggerating to say that securing your home is as vital a job as anything you will ever do in life. The problem, though, is that there are so many options out there when it comes to home security that you might not know if you are doing it right. Many people are tempted to go with whatever is the most expensive. Although there’s something to be said for the idea that “you get what you pay for,” that’s not always the case.
Regardless of what home security options you go with, however, there are a couple of standard truths. Realistically, there might not be anything more truthful than this: the best bet for keeping your home safe and secure is the use of a strong, solid deadbolt lock on your exterior doors.
Why Are Deadbolts so Important?
Many people pay attention to the central lock on their front door. They want to spend a lot of money to get something with the latest technology or the highest rating. There’s nothing wrong with that, but in most cases, those spring-loaded locks or doorknobs can only protect your house so much. A determined burglar can get through many of those standard bolts. Not even newer locks are immune to this issue.
Deadbolts, on the other hand, are much harder to get through. Because their mechanism utilizes a completely different principle than spring-loaded locks, they are far less susceptible to tampering. Deadbolts are also ridiculously secure. In fact, when a deadbolted door is finally opened by an intruder, it’s usually because the door or doorjamb has been broken, rather than the lock. And, depending on your living situation, deadbolts come in many configurations to accommodate whatever type of entryway your home possesses.
What are the Different Types of Deadbolts?
Single-cylinder deadbolts are more or less the “standard” style you can find. They consist of keyed lock on one side (for the outside) and a knob on the other that can be turned.
Double-cylinder deadbolts are similar to single-cylinder, except both the outside and inside of the door require a key to turn the lock. This option is great for when the door has glass that can be broken, allowing an intruder to reach in and turn the knob. On a double-cylinder lock, this isn’t possible.
Lockable thumb-turn deadbolts are a combination of the two. The inside face of the lock has a knob to turn, but it can be locked with a key for greater security.
Vertical deadbolts are units that are placed on the top of the door. This type of bolt is almost impossible to pry or force open.
Keyless deadbolts are just that — deadbolt locks that open with a keyed-in number code. These can also be digital.
There are many other types of deadbolt locks available, but you get the idea. Whatever kind of door you have that needs to be secured, there is a deadbolt that best fits the situation.
How Difficult Is Deadbolt Installation?
This is not an easy question to answer. Because there are different types of doors and deadbolts, this can be anything from a smooth, straightforward installation to a rather complex one. However, one thing is certain — installing a deadbolt is something that should be done by experts. If a lock is not lined up perfectly, or if the bolt doesn’t go far enough into the doorframe, you could be doing nothing but installing a worthless piece of metal just for show.
What Else Should You Know?
While having high-quality deadbolts are essential, they aren’t the only thing you need to think about when securing your home. Of course, making smart decisions is also critical. Many people hide spare keys somewhere on the property just in case they need one. This is actually a bad idea, as anyone observing you and your family is likely to see this key being used at some point. Besides, this trick is so overused (as are “clever” ways to hide these spare keys, such as fake locks) that most criminals immediately know to check for them.
Finally, it’s important to remember that a deadbolt on your front door is useless if your other entryways aren’t protected the same way. An experienced intruder is going to spend time looking at all possible points of entry. Most likely, he isn’t going to consider the front door, since that’s the entryway that’s most exposed. Make sure you are also securing back doors, garage doors and any other place an intruder can get into your home.
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