This post is contributed by Ralph Goodman, security expert and lead writer for United Locksmith.
There are a variety of locks that homeowners can take advantage of to give themselves and their property better privacy and security. All of these locks are important, and when they’re not functioning or are being used incorrectly, the risk of disaster increases. Broken locks are, of course, one of many repairs homeowners shouldn’t overlook, but homeowners should also ensure they have the right kinds of locks.
First, it’s important to know what you’re trying to accomplish with each lock. If you’re looking for better security, make sure the lock has a high metal content. This is a difference you can feel since it makes the lock physically heavier.
There are also a few things you should know about the types of locks you need in your home. Each lock type has certain considerations, and not every lock is meant to provide security. Here are 5 locks to consider.
1. Front door locks
The most common entry point for burglars is the front door, so this should be your most secure boundary. Always use a deadbolt on your front door as this is the most secure type of residential lock. Door handle locks can be used in conjunction with a deadbolt, but it’s significantly more important to have a deadbolt on your front door. These locks cannot be opened with a credit card and hold up better to violent entry, which makes them ideal in helping protect your property from burglars.
2. Backdoor locks
Much like front door locks, backdoor locks should always include a deadbolt. Make sure that you choose from a trusted door lock brand so your lock isn’t vulnerable. Also, backdoors may have glass or dog doors, so a double-cylinder deadbolt (which is keyed on both sides) is often a better choice. This type of lock prevents a criminal from reaching in through a broken window or another opening to manipulate a thumb turn.
3. Bathroom door locks
For most bathrooms, you’re not looking to protect your property — you’re looking for privacy and safety. A lock that’s too secure may actually threaten your safety because bathrooms are a common place for home injuries. One option is using privacy locks, which are handles or knobs that use very light metal, spring-loaded latch bolts, and simple locking mechanisms. These can be manipulated open very easily in times of emergency, but do a good job keeping people from mistakenly walking into an occupied restroom.
4. Bedroom door locks
The best type of lock for your bedroom door depends on the level of security or privacy you want. You can use the same type of locks you would use on a bathroom if you just want people to remember to knock, or you can lock your door with a key if you’re looking to keep out roommates or young children. You can also use a high-security lock to add more security if the room contains a safe or you want to protect property that’s hidden in the room. Just be sure that your bedroom locks open from the inside so you can evacuate during an emergency.
5. Personal effects locks
Locks on desks, cabinets, and dressers are usually meant to provide additional protection for particular personal effects. These might be to keep children from gaining access to alcohol or firearms or to provide an additional level of security for jewelry, cash, or electronics. You can install new locks or use the locks that come preinstalled (though preinstalled locks are likely low-security). If you’re concerned about the people at home trying to open these locks, consider investing in high-security locks instead.
Choose what’s right for you
As long as you keep these things in mind, you can help protect your property and the people inside it. No security is ever perfect, but if you know what your goals should be, any security can be improved. Be sure to consult a security professional if you’re worried about your vulnerability to theft, break-ins, or home invasions. And for better piece of mind, protect your property with homeowners insurance.
Ralph Goodman is a security expert and lead writer for United Locksmith, which is a great resource to learn about locks, safety, and security. They offer tips, advice and how-to’s for consumers, homeowners, locksmiths, and security professionals. Ralph has been featured widely throughout the web on sites such as Business Insider, Homes.com, Zillow, Bluetooth, Apartments.com, CIO, and Safewise.