Any lock can be defeated under laboratory conditions, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to thwart most would-be burglars and thieves. There are a number of features that can render a lock virtually impenetrable to most attacks, and you can even purchase a few accessories that will shore up your current defenses.
If you want to buy the best high security door lock for your home, you need to find a unit that’s capable of standing up to both brute force attackers and skilled lock-picking.
Kick in Resistant – Most burglaries and home invasions are the result of brute force attacks, and the easiest way for a thief to defeat a lock is to kick in the door. That’s why it’s vital to find a high security door lock that has a robust strike plate, which is the component that typically fails during a kick attack.
If your high security lock doesn’t have an adequate strike plate, you can typically purchase an upgrade kit. A high quality strike plate should have at least four screws, and they should also be staggered. If the screws are properly staggered, they won’t all all screw into the same wood grain in the door frame.
Hardened Tumblers – Drilling out lock tumblers is another brute force method that’s commonly used to defeat locks, but there are two specific features that can thwart these attacks. The first thing to look for is a hardened lock. These locks are significantly more difficult to drill, so many would-be thieves simply move on to an easier target.
Some hardened high security door locks also have additional features that can thwart a drill attack. These locks can be destroyed by drilling out the cylinder, but they remain locked. That means you’ll have to replace the lock, but the thief will be denied access to your home.
Lock Bumping – Bumping is a technique that involves some advanced planning, because it requires a specially cut key. The key is inserted into the lock, and the burglar bumps it with a screwdriver, hammer, or other tool. Most locks are highly vulnerable to bumping, so you need to look for a unit that is either bump-resistant or bump-proof. Some locks use a manual latch to prevent bumping, so they’re only effective when you’re inside the house.
Skilled Attacks – It’s impossible to build a lock that’s completely immune to picking, but there are some features that dissuade would-be thieves. Some high security door locks come with sidebar wafers and other features that can make them extraordinarily difficult to pick outside laboratory conditions. Relatively few thieves are capable of picking difficult locks, so you may want to consider looking for a unit that has those additional security features.
The Big Picture – Home security is a complex subject, and a high security door lock is only one piece of the puzzle. Since most would-be burglars use brute force attacks, you need to find a lock that can stand up to kicking, drilling, prying and other physical assaults. Your high security door lock is only as strong as the door that it’s installed in, so it’s also vital to make sure that the door jam, door frame, and the door itself can withstand brute force attacks. Other features, such as panes of glass in or next to a door, can also render a high security door lock utterly useless. That’s why it’s vital to look at the big picture when you install a high security door lock.