Home security is one of the top concerns for just about every homeowner. After all, your home is there to keep you and your family safe. Of course, every lock on your home matters, whether we’re talking about doors, windows, or even the garage door security. Yours can hardly serve its protective purpose if it’s as easy for a burglar to get in as it is for a fly. Studies and statistics on home burglaries have shown that your door locks can have a big impact on whether or not your home will be targeted. If you’re looking for ways to improve your home’s security, take some advice from your local locksmith: it’s time to go back to basics and take a look at your locks.

Deadbolts and Doorknobs

Most of you probably recognize that a doorknob lock isn’t the most secure option, but here’s the thing that most don’t realize: a standard deadbolt lock is one of the better lock options out there. However, that statement comes with a big caveat. In order for a deadbolt to uphold its end of the bargain and protect your home as thoroughly as possible, it needs to be installed correctly. This means the strike plate on the door frame will need to be installed with at least three-inch screws. It also means you’ll need to ensure the throw—the actual bolt part of the deadbolt—goes at least an inch into the door frame when the door is closed and locked. The throw and the strike plate are what work together to ensure a door is hard to force, which is why you can’t skimp and use shorter screws or consider it “good enough” if the throw only goes in three-quarters of an inch. Unfortunately, one of the biggest problems with deadbolts isn’t the lock itself, it’s how the lock was installed. Many home builders and contractors will cut corners and use shorter screws, which mean your door can be forced open more easily, so if you’re looking to improve your security, start by checking your deadbolt.

Higher Security Locks

The issue with a standard deadbolt is that any door with decorative glass windowpanes poses a potential risk because a burglar can simply break the glass and reach in to turn the deadbolt. If you feel a standard deadbolt isn’t quite up to the task of protecting your home, there are plenty of options out there that will give you an additional boost of security. A double cylinder deadbolt—one which needs a key on both sides of the lock, not just the outside—will give better security than a standard deadbolt. In fact, this is actually one of the most secure options, according to Consumer Reports.

However, ditching physical keys entirely is an even better way to improve security for your external doors. Keyless entry door locks offer the physical security of a deadbolt, many of which also include the added security of a lock-controlled doorknob. With a keyless entry system, you can program in a code (or multiple codes), and only those who know the code can disengage the lock. Keyless entry and smart home door locks are a great option because they offer the same level of physical security as a deadbolt, plus they generally stop a doorknob from turning without the proper code. Even better news? Most keyless entry locks are harder to drill or force (when installed correctly), which gives them a leg up over other door locks.

The one common factor between all door locks is that they must be installed correctly for the lock to actually do its job. If you’re looking for lock installation or other home security help, trust to your local lock and key experts. Contact Top Notch Locksmith for help in the greater Philadelphia area today!