Protect Your Home with High Security Locks

I have heard so many people say, “If they want in, they’re going to get in,” and I believed that, too. When we moved into our current home, one of the first things we updated were the locks and doors. While shopping online for new locks, I was horrified when I saw a video explaining how to pick–in about three seconds–the brand new “secure” locks I had just ordered. I promptly returned those locks, continued researching, and discovered high security locks.

I’ve discovered that builder-grade deadbolts are everywhere, even on expensive homes. I recently showed 26 houses priced around and above $1 million, and only ONE had a high-security deadbolt.

Criminals most frequently break into homes through doors, by kicking them in or breaching the locks. The most common ways to breach a deadbolt are by “bumping” or picking, drilling, or simply breaking it off the door. Deadbolts that are commonly installed by builders or by homeowners that come from a big-box store are easy to pick, easy to drill, and easy to break. The internet is covered with how-to videos and “bump keys” for sale that show criminals how to basically walk right into any home that is secured by common locks. High security locks can also be defeated, but it is much more difficult and takes longer. A high security lock can deter a skilled criminal, or slow an amateur criminal long enough to frustrate him. They generally have an extra security pin, weigh more than other locks, and are more difficult to drill. Also, keys cannot be duplicated for high security locks without an owner registration card.. When you compare the key that opens a standard builder-grade deadbolt to one that opens a high security lock, the difference is obvious:

high security locks

This picture compares a builder-grade deadbolt key to a high security lock key. There are several high-security locks on the market, at a variety of price points with a variety of finishes.  If there are glass sidelights near your door, consider a double-cylinder deadbolt or a hybrid captive key.  While you are keeping criminals from coming in, make sure you can get out during an emergency.  High security locks are very reasonably priced and can be installed by handy homeowners or licensed locksmiths.

The information I learned while researching deadbolts led to a whole strategy for protecting our home that I’ve nicknamed “home fortressing.”  In addition to using high-security deadbolts, there are several other products and techniques that are very inexpensive but very effective at keeping criminals out of your home.  While the traditional home security system is a component of the strategy, its primary function is to alert the police–not stop criminals from entering your home.