Our guest blogger Ralph Goodman from United Locksmith tells us about locks.
What Every Property Owner Needs To Know About Locks
Locks are an important part of every single home, and they just might be the most underrated aspect of home security (aside from your neighbors). They are responsible for so much, but get very little credit as a majority of said credit is dispensed to security alarms, motion sensors, and surveillance cameras (the real James Bond looking stuff). However, behind the scenes of every home security setup, no matter how grand or intricate, lies a lock at the foundation. Home security is, more often than not, crafted around the existence of locks. Locks are fundamental to ensuring that home security remains as robust as possible.
Due to the fact that many people tend to overlook the importance of locks, there are some crucial things that homeowners never take into account. As a lock expert, I feel obliged to let people know these important things, so let’s dive into what every property owner needs to know about their locks.
Not All Locks Are Created Equal
There is a common misconception, among people who have never studied security, that all locks are created equal. Essentially, some people believe that any lock will suffice when it comes to home security. But it is important to realize that there are many different types of locks that can be used for a variety of purposes. For instance, the locks that you might use for the interior doors in your home will not be the best fit for your exterior doors.
Locks are made to different specifications and they are each meant to provide a particular tier of security for a specific purpose, so it is important for homeowners and property owners to be aware of this before they install any locks on their property. Not only will this help you install the right locks, it will help you when you are upgrading locks or making security modifications.
The worst thing you can do is use the wrong lock on your front door.
The security grade of the lock is pretty much the rating that is used to measure the overall security, longevity, and effectiveness of the lock. In most cases, security grades are assigned to deadbolt locks but they can also be used to gauge the attributes of many other locks. Property owners and homeowners alike need to be able to understand what the security grade of a lock stands for so that they know what they are getting out of their locks.
Locks are usually graded using the ANSI (American National Standards Institute) standard of rating, and they are graded from Grade 1 to Grade 3. Grade 1 locks are the strongest and most resilient forms of locks on the market, whereas Grade 3 locks are not as strong, but still very effective when used in the appropriate fashion. For instance, it would be completely acceptable to utilize Grade 3 locks on interior doors, but it will be much more suitable to use Grade 1 deadbolt locks on exterior doors.
Maintenance Is Key
Another important thing that property owners need to be aware of, is that every lock needs to be properly maintained to ensure its longevity and continued effectiveness. Much like anything else in life, proper care and maintenance go a long way to help people get the most out them. There isn’t any rocket science that goes into maintaining locks, but you do have to know exactly what you are doing and how to go about it so that you do not end up damaging your locks instead.
Locks should be cleaned every few months (at least every three months) to make sure that the buildup of grime and dust does not impair their core functions. In addition to regular cleaning, oiling the lock will help increase its efficiency and lifespan, so that you effectively end up spending less money frequently replacing your locks.
A majority of property owners never take advantage of the fact that they can make additions to their locks to improve their security. The reason why most people do not take advantage of this is that they do not know that this is even an option. In most cases, it will require the expertise and knowledge of a professional residential locksmith to make these additions, but it is still a possibility.
These additions can range from the inclusion of additional security pins to the variation of the material used for the springs within the lock. Most of these minor additions go a long way to help make your lock withstand picking and other bypass methods. There are more handy property owners who might be able to make these changes by themselves, but make sure that you consult with a locksmith or security professional to avoid any damage and additional costs.
Locks Are Not Impervious
Now, this is extremely important for every property owner and/or occupant to know. Locks are not impervious to damage. The simple truth is that every lock can be bypassed if the right amount of force is applied to it. For example, even if you have four Grade 1 deadbolts securing your front door, someone will still be able to break it down if they have access to a battering ram and if they have enough time on their hands. Your locks are not meant to serve as impenetrable gatekeepers, but they are meant to impede burglars and people who wish to gain unauthorized access to your home. This is the reason why home security is a mechanism with many moving parts: none of them are strong alone. It is important for property owners to make sure that they build an adequate home security system and protocols around their locks so that these mechanisms can work with each other and bolster your security.
There is a lot that goes into locks and security and the way they work together to keep homes and property safe. The points listed and discussed above are meant to give property owners some insight into the way that locks work, but they are not a definitive guide to locks and everything that you need to know about them. In order to make sure that your locks and your security are constantly up to date, property owners have to make sure to always pay close attention to the way their locks function as well as security advancements that might crop up along the way.
Check out more articles by Ralph Goodman at http://united-locksmith.net/blog/author/ralph.