Let’s start by repeating that old saying: if a thief really wants to get into your home, he will. This is, of course, very true, but you should remember that a thief will target the home that is easiest to get into. When choosing the type of lock for your doors – and windows, let’s not forget – you should look at it from the burglar’s point of view: what sort of locks make your house less attractive to him than the one next door?
Start by looking at the locks your doors are fitted with; the chances are that they will be standard type spring latch locks. These are the type that has a short latch that fits into a cavity in the door frame. A burglar will be through the door in seconds if this is the only protection fitted; a hard kick will likely open the way with no trouble at all.
You need to upgrade to new locks, preferably dead bolt locks. These are locks that send a longer, stronger bolt into place, allowing for greater security and strength; good dead bolt locks – particularly double dead bolts – can only be locked from the inside, and are therefore even more secure. This does, however, pose a problem: how do you get in when you get home?
There are mortise locks that can improve your home security, and they are not expensive. Fitting a suitable mortise lock is not a difficult job, and can be done by a competent DIY fan. However, as with many jobs that are aimed at security, locks should be expertly fitted in all cases. This is why it may be best to talk to a locksmith about your lock requirements, as they will be able to advise you on all aspects of your home security needs.
You also need to consider the peripherals that go with a lock; the lock will be fitted with a strike plate, and this will most likely be fitted with one inch screws. For added security it is advised that you use longer screws that reach through the door lumber – which is vulnerable to attack – and into the actual surround, adding security and strength to the door frame and the door itself. The same should be done with the door hinges, which are also vulnerable to attack and damage.
Modern locks such, such as electromagnetic lock systems, can also make your home less attractive to thieves, as can a CCTV camera and a visible, top quality alarm system. Window locks are also a must, and should be used all the time. If you are going to fit a dead bolt to one door, make it the one where a burglar is least likely to be seen – around the back of the house, for instance, or a side entrance – and fit dead locks both onto the side of the door and, for added security, into the floor. For the main entrance, use top quality mortise locks, or ask your locksmith for advice on how best to secure your home.