What really makes a lock secure?
Tuesday, April 27, 2021
Here's what you need to know to choose the right deadbolts and locks for each door of your home.
Door hardware grades
The first step to finding the most secure exterior door hardware for your home is to look for hardware that has been tested against the highest industry standards, like the BHMA grading system. BHMA is a group of industry experts that grades residential door hardware performance in the categories of Security, Durability and Finish. A grade of ‘C’ is good, ‘B’ is better, and ‘A’ is best. A grade of AAA means the door hardware has earned the best possible rating in all three categories.
1-inch bolt with spinning pin
Schlage locks come with a solid zinc 1-inch bolt. This is larger than many bolts on the market, and it does make a difference in security. It helps to protect against attacks by kicking, sledgehammer and similar impacts.
Schlage bolts also include a hardened steel pin inside that spins in response to sawing attacks, so it can’t be cut through. Plus, a half inch of the bolt remains in the housing when locked for even more kick-in resistance.
Schlage offers a strike reinforcement plate with 3-inch screws. These add even more impact resistance. Be advised, though. If you have a sidelight (a window that runs parallel to your door on the side that latches), the 3-inch screws may be too long to use. This is one of many reasons that sidelights are a security liability and should be avoided.
A low-profile face on a deadbolt makes it more difficult to grab with a wrench or pull off.
Schlage smart locks like the Schlage Encode™ Smart WiFi Deadbolt come with an integrated anti-pick shield to provide added security. The shield doesn’t affect the look of the lock, but it does strengthen it against lock pick attacks.
Some locks, like the Schlage Touch™ Keyless Touchscreen Deadbolt, don’t come with a key cylinder. That means there’s nothing to pick and no way to use a fake ‘bump’ key to bypass it.
Many homeowners feel comfortable having a backup key option, but the truth is that once you adopt an electronic lock, it is unlikely you’ll need a key again. Most electronic lock users stop using keys completely, given how easy it is to share access electronically or with an access code. With a low battery indicator across our electronic locks, you don’t have to worry about getting locked out and needing that key.
Even if you don’t go completely keyless, electronic locks make it possible to eliminate the need for spare keys that can easily fall into the wrong hands. Just use access codes that can be easily created and deleted as needed. Plus, with no spare keys floating around, there’s no need to ever rekey the lock.
Our smart locks feature the same type of encryption used in online purchases. In other words, if you’re comfortable ordering from Amazon, you can trust that the connection between your Schlage smart lock and your smartphone is just as secure. Schlage is committed to offering electronic options that add convenience without sacrificing security, and that’s why we always design our products with data privacy and encryption needs top of mind.
Lastly, when choosing between smart locks, consider features that create a sense of trust that everything is working like it should. For example, with the Schlage Encode deadbolt and Schlage Sense™ Smart Deadbolt, you can use the Schlage Home app to check the status of your lock remotely. Did you remember to lock the door before you left the house? Just confirm from your smartphone without running back home. And if you did forget, you can lock the door from your phone. You can also set up notifications so you know when access codes are used. That means you can track who’s been to the house and when, even while you’re away.
When choosing products that are meant to protect our homes and families, it’s important to look for the best. Keep an eye out for these features the next time you’re updating your door hardware. Learn more about Schlage’s commitment to quality at our Security Center.