Deadbolt Locks

Deadbolt Locks 101: What You Need to Know About This Common, Effective Locking Mechanism

When it comes to home or office security, the addition of a deadbolt lock is one of the common preventative measures against forced entry. You likely have at least once deadbolt lock protecting your home as it is now and many businesses also have them installed as an added security measure beyond just the standard door lock. If you don’t, and are concerned about home security, it would be a good thing to look in to.

Just what is a deadbolt lock? Specifically, it’s a locking mechanism that operates without a spring. Because a deadbolt door lock isn’t spring activated, it can’t be picked open with a knife or similar object to gain entry and it generally keeps homes and facilities more secure.

The origins of deadbolt locks actually date back to the 1800s when banks began using key-operated deadbolt locks to protect their safes. Back in those days, thieves saw bank safes as easy money, as it wasn’t difficult to smash the lock on the safe and steal the contents inside. As it was, a bit of a “safe race” was on between bankers and crooks. And while safe crackers, or “yeggs” as they were called back then, largely prevailed in this safe race, this deadbolt concept eventually evolved into the various models that are available today for protecting homes and businesses.

A deadbolt lock certainly isn’t thief-proof, and it doesn’t replace a security system or other security measures, but it cannot be easily battered or bored – and that’s why these types of locks have become so popular.

Types of Deadbolt Locks

  • Single Cylinder: These are the most basic of deadbolt locks, which require an entrant to access a door by using a key. However, on the other side of the deadbolt, the lock can be activated manually. These types of locks are best utilized on the doors of homes and businesses where there are no windows or breakable glass nearby, as a thief could potentially break the glass, reach in and unlock the deadbolt from the other side to gain entry.
  • Double Cylinder: These are a step up in security from the single cylinder deadbolt lock, as a key is required to access the lock from both sides of the door. It’s ideal for installation on doors where there’s breakable glass nearby. However, one disadvantage to the double cylinder deadbolt is that it can slow evacuation from a home or office in the event of an emergency.
  • Jimmy-Proof: Also referred to as the “vertical deadbolt,” the origins of this deadbolt lock dates back to the early 20th century when New York City police detective Samuel Segal conceived it as a way to keep residents safer, while cutting down on burglaries. It consists of an interlocking vertical bolt, with the lock set installed into the door’s interior surface. Two interlocking vertical bolts engage the strike plate to secure the pieces, thereby preventing the prying open of a door. There are several different variations of this jimmy-proof deadbolt, but all operate with the same basic locking principles.
  • Keyless Cylinder: Instead of a key, a keyless cylinder deadbolt lock is accessed by scanning a fingerprint or entering a password or passcode. It’s by far the easiest type of deadbolt lock to access, but one drawback is that it’s also often more expensive than the other types of deadbolt locks on this list.

Deadbolt Lock Advantages

We already covered some of the big safety and security benefits briefly in the opening to this blog, but they’re worth mentioning again in greater detail. With that being said, here’s a look at some of the big advantages of using a deadbolt lock:

  • Optimal protection from a forceful physical attack: As long as the bolt extends to at least 1 inch in diameter, is made of solid steel and the cylindrical lock collar is properly tapered and free spinning, deadbolt locks are a great additional safety and security measure.
  • No spring mechanism: Standard locks operate on a spring mechanism, so all that one needs to do to access it is to trigger this mechanism for entry. Hence, knives, keys, even things like paper clips and credit cards can be somewhat easily used to access locks of this kind. Deadbolts are much more secure and difficult to break.
  • Thief deterrent: Deadbolts aren’t impossible to access without a key, but it can be very time consuming to do so. In this regard, not only do they provide extra security, but they’re also somewhat of a thief deterrent, as a potential crook will have to decide whether it’s worth it to spend the time and effort manipulating a deadbolt lock. Most crooks are unwilling to invest excess time in this regard, as it increases their chances of getting spotted and apprehended.

Cost of Deadbolts

The typical deadbolt lock should run between $30 and $50. While it’s true that there are cheaper variations on the market, consumers should beware of choosing these more affordable options over the name brand, yet more costly, models. This is largely due to product quality, as one of the key areas where manufacturers skimp on deadbolt construction is in the material it’s made of. Remember, the most effective deadbolts are those that are made of solid or high-strength steel. Anything less, and you might be selecting a lock that’s not only easier to pick, but where the strength of the bolt isn’t as strong as it should be to deter theft.

It’s worth noting that deadbolts won’t 100 percent safe-proof a home or business. But then again, nothing truly well. Where deadbolts truly shine is in adding that extra bit of security that a standard door lock can’t offer. And being that deadbolts don’t operate on a spring lock system, this type of lock is much more difficult for a thief to manipulate. For more information on the value of deadbolt locks, or to have a deadbolt lock installed or repaired at your home or business, contact us today at (610) 644-5334 or send an email to [email protected]

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