Printer Friendly

Home security.


The five mechanical types of key-operated locks are pin tumbler, lever tumbler, disc tumbler, warded and combination locks.

* Pin tumbler locks with five or more pins offer greater resistance to picking. Depending on the number of pins, this lock offers many key changes. These locks can be made with as few as three pins, but better locks have five or more. Pin tumbler mechanisms are used in padlocks, deadbolts, cabinet locks, locksets and more.

* Lever tumbler locks are slightly less expensive than pin tumbler locks, offer good security and many key changes. Lever tumbler key blanks are rarely stocked. These locks are usually found on doors of older homes.

* Disc tumbler locks are medium-priced locks offering minimal security and many key changes.

* Warded locks feature low cost but superior weather resistance because of simple construction and lack of rotating internal parts. However, they provide only token security.

* Combination locks offer good security and a wide price range to appeal to homeowners end commercial users. Uses vary from bicycles to bank vaults.


Bored locksets are part of the basic door hardware, with the locking mechanism built into the doorknob and latch. They are classified as entry locksets (front/back), passage locksets (hall/closet) and privacy locksets (bath/bedroom).

* Entry locksets are locked or unlocked from the inside by turning or depressing a small button on the inside knob. A key is required to unlock the pin tumbler mechanism from the outside. Sets requiring a key on both the inside and outside are available for added security.

* Passage locksets are primarily used for hallways or closets between rooms where privacy is not important. These non-locking locksets merely latch the door in the closed position.

* Bathroom and bedroom privacy locksets are designed for privacy rather than security and are equipped with a locking button on the inside but no key device on the outside. In an emergency, the lock can be opened from the outside by inserting a narrow object through the small hole in the outside knob and either depressing or turning the locking mechanism inside, depending on the type of lock.

* A deadlatch is a positive locking latchbolt used on most quality locks for entry doors. The latch bolt, which is similar to a common springlatch, has a small auxiliary bolt along its side that when depressed, blocks the main bolt from being forced. Because a regular latch is angled to the outside of the door, an intruder can depress it by sliding a piece of stiff material between the door and the frame. The deadlatch actuator is generally located in the rear of the regular latch and prevents the bolt from being depressed in this manner (when installed properly).

* A panic-proof lockset that automatically un-locks when the inside knob is turned is good for the homeowner who wants to be able to make a quick emergency exit or who doesn't want to lock himself out of the house or one of the rooms. In some cases this might not be a desirable feature, but if both types are available, the difference should be pointed out to the customer.


Remote keyless entry systems provide advanced home security and convenience. Audio and visual indicators confirm the lockset has been activated. Anti-theft rolling code feature ensures the same code is never used twice. Keyless entry systems are compatible with some brands of overhead garage door openers so only one remote is needed.


A deadbolt lock backs up a lockset on entry doors to provide maximum security. The word "dead" refers to the fact that there are no springs to operate the bolt. It is locked or unlocked manually by a key or thumb turn from the inside.

There are a number of configurations for deadbolts, including those incorporating deadbolts into conventional key-in-the-knob locksets. Better units have a stainless steel bolt with a roller insert to resist sawing and cutting. The industry standard requirements are 1" for bolt throw (length extended from lock housing).

The bolt locks the door to the frame, and the extra long bolt gives deeper penetration into the doorframe and helps the door from being pried open. Deadbolts with throws 1" or longer give greater security. Mounting a 1" or longer throw deadbolt with 3" screws to secure the strike plate to the wall stud increases the security. The housing should also resist hammering or wrenching.

A single-cylinder deadbolt is key operated from the outside and a turn of a button on the inside. It is fine for solid metal or wood doors.

Doors with glass in or around them require a double-cylinder deadbolt with key operation both inside and out. This prevents someone from breaking the glass, reaching in and unlocking the door.

Anyone purchasing a double-cylinder deadbolt should be cautioned to always keep the inside key in the lock when they are home. In case of fire or other emergency, the danger of a double-cylinder lock is that the key will be missing. (Double-cylinder deadbolts are not permitted in some areas of the country because they may delay escape from the house during an emergency.)

Locks are designed to fit specific size holes and backsets. Backset refers to the distance between the edge of the door and the center of the handle.


Mortise cylinder locks have a pin tumbler locking mechanism in a cylinder. The latch can be operated from either side except when the outside knob is locked. A deadbolt is also used and operates by a turn of the inside knob. A key from the outside can operate both deadbolt and latchbolt.

Mortise cylinder locksets are used in new installations and as replacements; they are mortised into the frame of the door. They can be used on many types of doors, from heavy entrance doors to apartment buildings to residential doors. Some of these locksets can be used on vestibule doors; in this case they have a latch and deadbolt or latch only.


Jimmy-proof locks use an interlocking bolt mechanism to give maximum security. Additional security comes from two interlocking vertical bits that engage the strike when the lock is closed. This means the door cannot be pried open because there is no room between the jamb and the door for a pry bar.

There are two styles of jimmy-resistant locks: single and double cylinder.


Hasps consist of a metal hinge and an anchoring bolt (loop), so locks can be secured to gates, sheds and garages. High-security hasps will have anchored eyebolts, pinless hinges, hardened steel anchoring loops and hidden screws. A padlock is inserted through the bolt and locked to secure the hasp. Some hasps--called hasplocks--have padlocks attached to them. This makes it impossible to lose the locks when gates or doors are opened. To unlock the hasplock, the padlock portion is operated by a key and turned a quarter turn.


Night latches have an automatic locking feature. The lock bolt is made on a 45[degrees] angle and retracts inside the case when hitting the keeper, thus locking the latch automatically.


Barrel bolts are a sliding luck mechanism to provide security for average weight doors. They can also be used on windows and are available in decorative finishes and with surface or universal strikes. Some have spring action to hold the bolt in place, and some bolts are lockable.


A keyed sash lock mounts like a regular sash lock, but with one-way screws to discourage removal. The lock can be released only by the key. If the window is broken, the sash still cannot be opened. They can be supplied with master key arrangement.


These locks are used on windows for security purposes and can allow a slight opening for ventilation if necessary. They are easily installed and can be used on sliding doors, double-hung windows and sliding windows regardless of swing direction.


Reinforcement hardware are U-shaped metal channels designed to give additional strength to door, deadbolt and key-in-knob locks. The plates are installed around existing locks. The plates are designed to prevent forced entries by making critical stress areas around the door and framing more secure.


Strikes are the metal plate the latch slides into on the door jamb or frame. The plate is applied over a recess in the jamb, into which the bolt or latch slides.

Even though all new locksets come with strikes, there is a need for additional high-security strikes and also replacement and repair strikes due to damage of the mounting area in the frame. There are many one-piece, heavy-gauge steel strikes available with long, hardened screws to secure the strike to the frame stud. Adjustable strikes are also available that provide 1/4" adjustment to allow for door and frame warpage.


Latch guards for in-opening doors help reinforce the door and frame and prevent spreading of the frame. A standard 7" latch guard fits all backsets, deadbolts and key-in-knob locks. A 12" latch guard for in-opening doors also fits all double locks, mortise locks and access control locks.

Latch guards for out-opening doors protect the latch or bolt. Several sizes and types are available, ranging from a 6" model designed to fit all backsets, deadbolts and key-in-knob locks; up to a 12" latch guard for out-opening narrow stile doors.


Padlocks provide portable security for movable objects--bicycles, motorcycles, boats etc.--and in locations such as storage sheds and gates where locksets are not practical.

Although weatherproof construction is important, high security is more important to the consumer who wants to protect expensive equipment.

* Laminated, pin tumbler padlocks provide maximum security for valuables. Laminated (layered steel) padlocks are virtually indestructible.

Hardened solid steel and steel alloys make better locks and shackles; solid extruded brass padlocks are more resistant to rust than steel, but can be damaged because brass is softer than steel.

Pin-tumbler locking mechanisms make padlocks harder for thieves to pick. Four-pin-tumbler mechanisms provide substantial security for most applications; and padlocks with five or more pin tumblers offer increased security against picking and are probably more secure than combination locks.

* Rekeyable padlocks are generally used for commercial and industrial security needs.

* Tubular cylinder padlocks offer many key changes by replacing the cylinder. Although most often used in electronic security systems, owners of motorcycles and expensive bicycles also use tubular cylinder padlocks.

Cable, chain and long shackle padlocks are commonly used as bicycle locks but may not provide adequate protection for expensive bikes. A cable or chain with a separate lock could be recommended for greater protection.

Padlocks with chain or cable permanently attached to the shackle are versatile locks, but cable or chain and shackle must be matched in strength and diameter to the lock.

* Gunlocks fit over the trigger housing of guns to prevent firing of the weapon. They are more for safety than security. Some models have a sound alarm to warn that the gun is being tampered with. Some have tamper-evident devices to alert owners that the gun has been disturbed. Some are designed to lock up several guns with one lock.
COPYRIGHT 2006 National Retail Hardware Association
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2006 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Hardware & Fasteners
Publication:Hardware Retailing
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 1, 2006
Previous Article:Batteries.
Next Article:Gas, smoke and fire protection.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters