Times Have Changed
There was a time when we did not feel the need to lock the doors of our homes. As times have changed, so has the need to use locks for protection and to seek better locking technology for our homes and businesses. Deadbolts emerged on the market during the 1960s and gained popularity through the 1970s as a way to add additional security to a door. Today even newer technologies are available to further enhance security appropriate to the societal risks. According to the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC), burglars look for homes that are easy targets. More than ever, locks are the most critical element in protecting your family and possessions.
Locks Have Changed
Not all locks are created equally. As you shop the lock aisle of your local hardware store, you quickly become overwhelmed with the options. There are three things you should consider when buying a lock:
- Key Control: If you give your keys to anyone else, even for a short time, will they be able to make a copy without your knowledge or permission?
Keys are protected against unauthorized duplication by utility patents. This offers additional protection against such physical attack as drilling, prying, pulling, wrenching, or kicking. Locks are generally UL437 listed. Key Control Only
Keys are protected against unauthorized duplication by patent. These systems offer to significant protection against physical attack. Standard Locks
Offers the minimum level of security available. Keys can be copied at over one million locations in the U.S. Some keys are stamped “Do Not Duplicate,” but offer no legal protection against unauthorized duplication
- Physical Strength: How well will the lock withstand abuse such as kicking and jimmying? In addition to strong locks, the strike needs to have reinforcement to the door frame with 2″ – 3″ screws.
- Durability: Will the lock stand up to years of use without failing or becoming difficult to operate?Common Misconceptions
- High security locks are too expensive… What did you pay for your last pair of running shoes? We have become accustomed to paying high prices for certain items, but because of the inexpensive imported hardware we have allowed to become “standard” in our homes, we often overlook the true value of a good lock. Be willing to pay at least as much for a lock as you do for your shoes.
- If a thief wants in, he’ll just break a window… More than half of all residential break-ins occur through a first floor door. Less than a quarter occur through a window. Thieves don’t want to make the noise required to break a window, nor do they want to risk personal injury from the broken glass. A thief’s preferred method of entry is by quickly getting through a vulnerable or unlocked door.
- I don’t have anything to protect… The average residential break in creates about $1,500 in losses, much of which the homeowner pays due to insurance deductibles and non-covered items. The emotional stress of having a home violated is an element that is often overlooked but is terribly traumatic for most crime victims. The risk of accidental or intentional injury to an inhabitant of a house during a break in is also very great. Don’t underestimate the value of your health or even your life!A Dream – Shattered
- Every 13 seconds a home is burglarized.
- In over half of all residential burglaries, entry is gained through a door.
- 85% of break ins are committed by non-professional burglars, who are desperate and dangerous individuals.
- Half of all burglaries occur during the day.Conclusion
Locks represent a significant part of your comprehensive approach to home security. NCPC recommends that homeowners should also keep their shrubs trimmed, so that burglars cannot hide behind them, and install and use appropriate lighting to illuminate entrances and walkways.
Remember that your security is only as good as the weakest link in your security strategy. All elements must be considered in concert with one another for the most reliable system. Don’t rely entirely on an alarm for security. An alarm notifies police and neighbors AFTER the crime event. Most burglars realize that even after the alarm sounds, they have at least 10 minutes before the police arrive. Good quality locks can prevent the burglary from occurring and should be considered as a key element of a homeowner’s prevention strategy.
Sources: “Locking Your Home” ©2005 National Crime Prevention Council and Medeco High Security Locks, Inc. and “Protecting What You Value Most” ©2004 Medeco Security Locks