According to statistics provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), 1.9 million robberies resulting in property loss occurred in the United States in recent years, 59% of these intrusions resulted from forced entry, and a staggering 74% happened during the day. The good news is a good quality deadbolt will improve your security by providing an added layer of resistance to prevent home burglaries. Remember, almost three-quarters of home robberies occur when intruders use force to gain entry to your property. A deadbolt is designed with a steel bolt that extends into the door jamb via a strike plate attached to the door frame. Although simple in design, the bolt and strike plate combination makes it much harder to enter your property using force. If your deadbolt is working correctly, burglars will be deterred, and your home will be safe.
Anatomy of a Deadbolt
A deadbolt is comprised of three parts, a cylinder on the exterior of the door, which can be locked with a key, the bolt or throw that slides in and out of the door jamb, and the thumb turn that allows you to control the bolt from the interior of your home manually. Choose a deadbolt made from bronze, brass, or steel and avoid die-cast materials that are prone to breaking. First Lock & Security Technologies outlines the different types of deadbolts below.
Single Cylinder Deadbolt
Single cylinder deadbolts are the most common type of deadbolt used in homes and comprise a keyhole on the exterior and a twist knob on the door’s interior. The bolt is manually moved in and out of place with the key or knob.
Double Cylinder Deadbolt
A double cylinder deadbolt is often used on a door with a glass panel because it requires a key to lock and unlock the bolt from the inside as well. That being said, it is essential to understand that a double cylinder deadbolt can also pose a safety risk and stop you from exiting your home in the event of a fire or other emergency if the bolt is locked and the key is not easily accessible. Some building codes forbid the use of double cylinder deadbolts. Consult with your First Lock & Security Technologies expert to discuss the right option for your home.
Difference Between Horizontal & Vertical Throw (Deadbolt Bolt)
Your deadbolt’s bolt is also referred to as the throw, and understanding the difference between a horizontal throw and a vertical throw will help you select the best option for your home. A standard horizontal throw, for example, extends approximately one inch beyond the edge of the door and into the door jamb which may not provide the support necessary to withstand a forced entrance. These types of locks are commonly referred to as a rim lock or a rim latch. On the other hand, a vertical throw engages by working in conjunction with a set of metal rings affixed to the door frame. These rings render the bolt pretty much pry proof making a vertical throw the best choice for many homeowners. Vertical throws are often referred to as a jimmyproof lock.
Exterior Door Construction
Along with your deadbolt, you will need to make sure that your door can provide you with the security level required to provide resistance during a breakin. A standard residential steel door is comprised of 24 gauge steel with a wood core. The stronger the door, the more likely it will be to withstand a battering with a ram or a hefty kick. The same goes for your strike plate which can be easily manipulated and broken if it’s not screwed in properly. To prevent a breach, sturdy 3-inch screws are ideal for reinforcing the strike plate into the studs of the frame