Choosing the Best Deadlock

Installing a deadbolt with a power tool

Good lock sets on exterior doors to keep intruders from entering our homes are important to most of us for home security, but often we fail to consider the importance of a deadlock. Unfortunately, even if you have the very best of lock sets on your exterior doors, these locks can be completely ineffective if an intruder is intent on breaking into your house. For the greatest security on your exterior doors you should consider adding a good deadlock, or deadbolt, to your exterior doors. The following tips will guide you in knowing what type of deadlock to consider.

1. Quality

installing a deadbolt

When home security is an important issue to you in choosing your deadbolt, choose one of higher quality. You’ll find that inexpensive bolts may look as reliable as those of a higher quality and price, but they often do not offer the same safety assurance as those that may be more expensive. Make sure the deadbolt you choose has a hardened steel bolt that extends at least an inch into the doorjamb.

2. Consider the Door Type

When evaluating competitive deadbolts, you should consider both the single cylinder and double cylinder bolts. The type that will be best for you will depends on the door you install it on.

  • Single Deadbolt: If you have a wood door, a metal door, or a door solid core door, then a singular dead bolt is your best choice. Avoid locks with a thumb latch on the inside, if you have sidelights on your entryway or glass in your door. The reason for this is that an intruder could easily unlock the door after breaking the glass.
  • Double Deadbolt: If you have glass in your door you can install a double cylinder deadbolt that requires you to use a key both inside and outside to gain entrance through this door. This will give you better protection, but you may also want to consider the inconvenience factor. You will have to use a key to enter from either the inside or the outside. In addition, you'll need to use a key to close it. This type of deadbolt shouldn’t be installed on a fire exit door. In some communities, a double cylinder deadbolt is illegal, so before purchasing this type of deadbolt, be sure to check your local laws.

3. Hollow Doors

key hanging out of a door lock with a hand turning knob on other side

Avoid installing a deadbolt on a hollow core door. It will be a waste of time and money, because an intruder could easily kick the door. In selecting doors, you can tell one that is hollow from one that is solid, just from their weight. A hollow door will be lighter and will even sound hollow when you wrap on it.

4. Extra Precaution

When installing your deadbolt, the screws that you use to mount your strike plate, those included with the deadbolt, are shorter and are easier to pull out of the doorjamb. You'll be safer using screws that are at least three or four inches in length.

5. Other Security Measures

If you wish additional security measures, consider metal deadbolt wrap-arounds that add greater protection to protect against your door being opened by force.