Spring latch locks, also known as slip bolts, provide minimal security, and are the least expensive and easiest to install. They work by locking the doorknob of the door, thus preventing the release of a spring-loaded latch that fits into the doorframe. The downside is that these are easy to break through with a hammer or small crowbar. A metal plate may slow them down, but not prevent intrusion. These are typically made with a metal alloy blend to keep costs low, but you can purchase them in steel as well.
Better Quality: Deadbolt locks
The deadbolt lock most common for doors in Calgary and area households. When inserting and turning the key, the bolt cylinder slides to the right about one inch into the slot in the metal-plated door jamb. On the interior side, a knob simply moves the bold, securing it at night. These locks are either made of brass, metal alloy or solid ply steel. These are more durable than spring latch but still stand a chance of being disengaged with a prying tool.
Best Quality: Cylinder Deadbolts
A better and more serious investment on your new door is the a deadbolt (single or double cylinder) mounted vertically or horizontally. The difference is that there is a separation of the lock from the door’s jamb and when the bold is turned, it locks into a set of strong metal rings that are in the frame of the door. These ensure pry-proof protection. The double cylinder provides the opportunity to lock with a key on both sides of the door–so that if a burglar breaks a window next to your door, they can’t turn a latch and make their way in. You may need to consider the safety involved in this dual key option, as it can prevent easy exit in a fire or other emergency.
These types of locks can be very fancy or very simple. It’s up to you to determine the best look for your front-entry’s impression.
Now, let’s explore digital locks and systems:
Smart or electronic/digital lock and security systems can give you some really advanced options to control traffic into your home, even while you away. They come equipped with RFID (Radio Frequency Identification–a second choice for entry which uses a fob or swipe card) , PIN Keypads, Bluetooth,or Fingerprint (biometric) capabilities. Some electronic locks also have a key option for a backup. Sounds slick and complicated, but once programmed, it’s easy to maintain and more controllable in several situations. In case the keyboard fails in electronic locks, apps on your cell phone can cut to the chase and automatically unlock or lock the system whether you are in the house or across the world. If the kids come home and are locked out because they have lost their key, you can unlock the door digitally and with small motion detecting cameras installed, you can keep an eye (and an ear) on who is coming and going. It’s a good tool to have if there are deliveries at your door as well.
Smart or Automated Home Systems also complement your locks by having invasion sensors at key traffic areas, and can also be programmed to detect flooding, fire, or health issues. You can even control heating and cooling in your home, programming it to warm up or cool off just before you arrive, saving on it running all day while no one is home.
These systems can be easily installed as stand-alones, or part of a whole-home automation package.