3 Facts About Choosing the Right Lock For Your Home in 2017

In an ideal world, we wouldn’t have to worry about our property being vandalized or broken into. Alas, we don’t live in that sort of world, and so having a sturdy lock or two (or three, or four…) is a must for homeowners. There are a lot of options out there when you’re looking for the right lock for your Phoenix or Mesa, AZ area home, however, and so we’re here today to offer a guiding hand.

First, we’re going outline the classification scheme that the American National Standards Institute (or ANSI) has established for the quality and reliability of a lock, which covers three elements:

  • Cycles: A “cycle” consists of the knob or handle on a door being turned completely to retract the latch bolt (allowing the door to open), then releasing it to push the bolt back in place (allowing the door to close). Locks must be able to perform this action properly many times (as in several hundred thousand times) to be considered acceptable. The more they can withstand without breaking from wear, the higher they’re graded.
  • Door Strikes: This refers to the number of times a door can be struck with a great deal of force (such as somebody ramming it with their body or a blunt instrument) and hold before the lock breaks. The more strikes, the higher the grade.
  • Weight: The simplest measurement. This indicates how much continuous pressure a lock can withstand before breaking. The higher the weight, the higher the grade.

Using these three factors, the ANSI categorizes locks into three tiers of descending quality:

  • Grade 1: These locks represent the most reliable protection available, and handles of this grade tend to be reserved for commercial buildings. However, grade 1 models can still be used for residences in the form of deadbolts, which are attached separately from a door’s other locking systems. Homes can, therefore, couple these locks with a grade 2 or 3 knob for maximum security grade 1 deadbolts withstand 250,000 cycles and 10 door strikes.
  • Grade 2: These locks meet the requirements for light commercial buildings only, but still exceed the standard requirements for residential and general building security. The knobs withstand 400,000 cycles, 4 door strikes, and a weight test of 250 pounds and the deadbolts withstand 150,000 cycles and 5 door strikes.
  • Grade 3: The weakest locks meet the standards for residences only and provide minimum security. Grade 3 knobs withstand 200,000 cycles, two door strikes, and a weight test of 150 pounds while the deadbolts withstand 100,000 cycles and two door strikes.

Choosing the Best Security Solution for Your Home

In case all of those zeroes didn’t tip you off, the ideal for your home’s safety is in some ways a numbers game: the more you have to work with, the better. As such, a smart (and more cost-effective) approach is to incorporate a few different locks on your doors, not just one. A key-utilizing mortise lock (the type that most handles and knobs use) is good, but having a deadbolt alongside it is better. And if you throw in a second handle or deadbolt on top of that? You’ve got yourself an ideal setup. A three-point locking system such as this is practical, affordable, and minimizes the inconvenience that comes from piling on multiple security measures.

This is also why a sturdy security screen shines as a safety precaution: a second door made of materials just as durable (if not more so) than your primary one effectively doubles the number of locks. It may add a few additional seconds to the time it takes you to get in or out, but it’s an easy enough sacrifice to make.

So there you have it: a guide to locks and how to use them. Which option works best for which of your doors is up to you, depending on your budget and level of concern, so don’t be afraid to experiment. What locks do you prefer/ let us know in the comments section below!