Locks are a significant part of a comprehensive strategy for protecting your possessions, your loved ones, and your home. Locks are an important investment that if made properly, will provide years of protection. Cutting corners on security is never a good idea. Resist the temptation of purchasing cheap or inferior locks. Besides having a shorter service life owing to poor quality control, the protection they afford is considerably less than their higher quality counterparts. Lower quality locks tend to contain cheaper materials that allow the manufacturer to cut costs. Most of the locks found in big box stores are not manufactured with quality being of primary concern, as is evidenced by their price point. You might be asking, “Where then, would I find high quality locks?” The answer is: Precision Lock & Safe, Inc. Your local locksmith has access to quality lock and door hardware that are not available to the big box stores. In addition they can also provide you with vital information and security advice.
Your next question might be “How can I tell the difference between a cheap and high quality lock and how do I know I am getting what I paid for?” Generally speaking, higher quality locks are manufactured primarily from solid metals such as brass and steel with few parts made from plastic or pot metal. Lower quality locks contain more pot metal which is then brass plated or given a brass shell. High quality bolts and latches (the parts that come out of the door from the knob and deadbolt) are solid brass, with the bolts having hardened steel pins to prevent sawing. Lower quality deadbolts are made of pot metal, which is easily sawed through. High quality locks come with reinforced strike plates (the part on the frame side of the door) and long screws while the lower quality counterparts do not. It is important to note that even though a lock may come with a reinforced strike plate most people, as well as many locksmiths simply do not install them because they add time to the installation process. Though it may take extra time, it protects the frame of the door from being compromised in the event of an attempted forced entry.
Many people believe that because they have a burglar alarm they do not need the best locks or even properly working locks. Alarms should be used in conjunction with locks, not as a replacement. A burglar alarm will not keep an intruder out, but rather is a deterrent. The alarm only notifies someone that an intruder has been detected. Unfortunately, the time it takes for either the local authorities or private agencies to respond, may be enough time for the intruder to ransack your property.
Whether you are looking at purchasing a safe or already own one, it is important to determine what you are going to protect, and what are you protecting from. There are two primary types of safes: fire and burglary. Fire safes offer protection from fire, and are to be used to protect important papers and documents, but offer little or no burglary resistance. Many home fire safes are sold by big box stores and uninformed locksmiths giving people a false sense of security from theft. These fire safes can be forced open by a burglar in under 5 minutes. Burglary safes are designed to protect cash, jewelry and valuables from theft. In addition, some burglary safes also have fire protection.
Most safes found in homes are light enough to be carried out by a burglar with a hand truck or a partner. A safe offers zero protection if it can be just carried out. What it does offer to the burglar though if not bolted down is a convenient location of many of the valuables in the house. Bolting down a safe is mandatory in order to take advantage of the protection it offers. Bolting should be done preferably into concrete, wood as a distant second choice. If all this sounds like a lot of work and too much trouble, remember this: there is convenience and there is security. There is no convenient security!
- Every 13 seconds a home is burglarized.
- More than 50% of all residential break-ins occur through a first floor door, less then 25% occur through a window.
- A thief’s preferred method of entry is by quickly getting through a vulnerable or unlocked door.
- The average residential break-in creates- about $1600 in losses.
- 85% of break-ins are committed by non-professional burglars, who are usually desperate and dangerous individuals.
- Half of all burglaries occur during the day.
Are all doors leading into your home made of solid wood or metal?
Do all doors leading into your home have a deadbolt?
Are all strike plates (the part of the lock mounted on the frame side of the door) secure?
If you have recently moved or lost your keys, have you changed the locks or had them rekeyed?
If you have more than one lock, do you have one key to operate all of them?