Tuesday, August 27, 2013

How to Choose a Lock

How to Choose a Lock

With so many different high-security products in the market, it can be difficult to choose the right lock system for your home or business. But your safety relies on it—so you have to be careful with your decision. How do you go about choosing the right lock from such a big selection? There are certain key factors to look at that can help you determine how to choose a lock—and we’ve outlined them for you!

Type of Door

The first thing you should consider is what type of door you have. If you have a solid door, you should choose a lock that can fit in it the way it is. If you have a flimsy door that could easily be kicked in, you may need to think about installing a new door or having alterations done. After all, a high-quality lock can only help so much when you don’t have a sturdy door (or window) to go with it.

Lock Grades

Once you’ve made a decision regarding your door, you can begin to compare different locks. Be sure to choose a lock with a Grade 1 classification. Why? Lock grades signify strength and durability—and according to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), which are upheld by the Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association Inc. (BHMA), a Grade 1 classification is used to identify the strongest and most durable products.

Key Control

Once you’ve narrowed down your selection based on lock grades, check for key control. What does that mean? Key control gives the homeowner (or business owner if you’re getting office locks) control over how many copies can be used to open your locks; only the key manufacturer itself or certain designated locksmiths can make duplicates. This means that your keys can’t be copied just anywhere, reducing your chance of burglary through replicated keys. Though key control can be expensive, it’s worth the extra cost to keep your building secure.

Lock Brands

Next you’ll want to look at lock brands. Make sure you purchase a lock from a well-known manufacturer with a reputation for producing highly secure products. Some brands to consider include Schlage, Kwikset, and Sargent. At the same time, avoid discount locks that come with low costs but tend to be less secure than their more expensive counterparts.

Of course, the locksmiths we can provide you with more specific recommendations and advice on how to choose a lock. While we typically suggest deadbolt locks for their advanced security capabilities, we can also provide you with ideas regarding other types of lock systems—and we can install them in conjunction with alarm systems or other electronic security solutions that will work together to protect your home.

Visit one of our 18 lock shops to see our product selection or contact us for help choosing and installing a lock in Maryland, Washington, D.C., or Virginia.