Burglars break into homes using the easiest, fastest method possible. If a door is unlocked, they get in that way. Windows and cheap door locks are entry points almost as easy to get through as unlocked doors.
Your goal with home security is to intimidate burglars, making your house too tough to tempt them. Even the best security system installation still depends on strong locks to discourage burglars. To select the best lock for your home, you have to choose between mechanical locks and modern electronic versions.
Three basic designs have ruled the industry for centuries:
- Warded locks—Obstructions (wards) block all but the right key from passing into the lock cylinder and turning to lock and unlock your exterior doors
- Tumbler locks—Whether pin tumbler, wafer tumbler, disc tumbler or lever tumbler, they all work by moving pins, discs or levers against spring force to precisely line up and release the lock
- Deadbolt locks—Here you can select single cylinder, double cylinder, or vertical deadbolts. These are “dead” because no springs make them lively; once thrown, either a key or knob is needed to release a deadbolt.
Electronic locks are modern enough that they contain proprietary intellectual property, so are patented and sold under their brand names. These new burglar bafflers feature internet connectivity, radio frequency operation, keyless entry and other options. Three of the best:
- Kwikset SmartCode—Keyless entry by code, keyed entry, and internet connectivity through your smartphone are all attractive benefits of the Kwikset’s SmartCode lock. You can set temporary access codes for expected visitors (pet sitter, house cleaner, and repair people) while you are away. The simple front door code can also adjust your home’s thermostat and turn on the front porch light. Ready to turn in for the night? Take care of all the routine buttoning-up steps from the comfort of your bed, using your smartphone and the Kwikset SmartCode lock.
- August Smart Lock—No keys for this one. Slip the interior workings out of your deadbolt and slip the August Smart Lock in. Your smartphone locks and unlocks your door, automatically as you approach it. No power? No problem, because the August lock is not part of your home’s power system.
- Goji—Your home in Atlanta may or may not be locked. You are in Reykjavik, Iceland. No worries. With the Goji Smart Lock, you can lock your front door from anywhere in the world. The Goji replaces your front door’s deadbolt. The battery-operated Goji Smart Lock, however, has several advanced features:
- A camera on the outside portion sends a picture to your smartphone, showing you who is at your door
- Send temporary access codes for visitor access with timed access down to the minute
- Keyless or keyed entry so children without telephones can still get in
- An activity log informs you of the comings and goings, whether by key or keyless, so you know who is entering and leaving, and when
As an alternative for gutting your deadbolt, Lockitron fits over the deadbolt lock and is also operated by your smartphone. It also receives text messages in case senior or very junior family members do not have smartphones.
Whether you replace your old keyed lock with another mechanical lock or leap into the future with an electronic lock, remember the best lock can still be defeated. Your goal is not to create a fortress, but to deter burglars so they practice their “profession” elsewhere. Sturdy locks are one small part of a complete security system installation. To learn more about how best to protect your Atlanta-area home and your family, contact us at Actio Security.