Why Deadbolts Are Important for Homeowners

While many types of locks exist, deadbolts have an enduring popularity due to their relatively low cost and the strong security that these simple locks offer. Deadbolts are almost always found on external doors, especially front doors. Criminals who are looking to gain entry to your home want to find the easiest way possible into your home that won’t draw attention to their unlawful activities. The presence of a strong, secure deadbolt can create an effective deterrent that makes them move onto the next house. Read on to find out more information regarding this common type of lock.  

What Are Deadbolts?

Unlike the spring-loaded mechanism in a knob or level lock, deadbolts employ a sturdy bolt that slides into a secondary part of the lock. While sometimes deadbolts use spring mechanisms as well, deadbolts can only be opened by rotating the key to the unlocked spot. Without the correct key, a deadbolt is very difficult to open.  

Deadbolts locks have become commonplace on homes across the country for good reason—they provide effective security for a relatively low cost. They’re quick and easy to install and available in a variety of styles to complement the appearance of your home. Experts recommend that an exterior door always have a deadbolt accompanying the knob or level lock, as the latter type of lock offers inadequate protection against criminal threats.  

So how do you choose the best lock protection to give your belongings and your family the security advantage they deserve? An experienced professional locksmith technician can provide you with the latest options and help you decide which type of deadbolts are best for your home.  

Deadbolts are a very effective type of locking mechanism. However, like any type of lock, it’s only as good as its condition. If your deadbolts are older than a decade, showing signs of wear and tear, stick when you’re using them, or show other signs of damage or aging, it’s time to consider replacing or upgrading your current deadbolts.  

Types of Deadbolts

Five main types of deadbolts are available, each with their own specific features. While other types of deadbolts do exist, this post focuses on the most commonly found types. While different innovations in keyless technology are being introduced all the time, the most commonly-found types of deadbolt locks still feature physical keys. 

Single-Cylinder Deadbolts

Single-cylinder deadbolts are the type most commonly found on residential properties, for their combination of security against crime and convenience for the homeowner. Single-cylinder deadbolts feature a keyed lock on the exterior-facing side of the lock, and a thumb-turn lever on the interior side of the lock for easy locking and unlocking when you’re inside your home. A thumb-turn allows for quick locking when you need to. 

Double-Cylinder Deadbolts 

Double-cylinder deadbolts are installed the same way as single-cylinder deadbolts, but the difference is that they can only be locked and unlocked with a key. Instead of a thumb-turn on the interior side of the door, there is a keyhole. Double-cylinder deadbolts require caution if you decide to install them in your home, due to the fact that you always need a key to open the door, even from the inside. When time is of the essence, such as during a fire or other emergency, this could have impeded you from safely exiting your home and could potentially result in tragedy. For this reason, it’s generally recommended to not install a double-cylinder deadbolt on your exterior home doors. One option if you do have a double-cylinder deadbolt in your home is to keep the key nearby and easy to access for those in the home.  

Rim Deadbolts 

Rim deadbolts, sometimes referred to as merely rim locks, are affixed to the inside of your door. Rim deadbolts are designed to lock automatically whenever the door is closed, which could be a pro or a con depending on your lifestyle. Rim locks do not provide a very strong level of security, so this somewhat old-fashioned type of deadbolt installation is discouraged from being used in modern homes.  

Keypad Deadbolts 

Keypad deadbolts are a modern twist on single-cylinder deadbolts. They use a keypad instead of a keyed lock on the exterior face of the door. There are many benefits to this form of keyless entry. While keypad deadbolts are more expensive than regular deadbolts, many homeowners find this expense more than worth it for the additional security keypad deadbolts provide. The combination can also be changed as frequently as you wish for additional protection, or to create a temporary passcode for workers to come in and out of your home as necessary.  

Jimmy-Proof Deadbolts 

Jimmy-proof deadbolts, also known eponymously as Segal locks, employ a vertical bolt instead of a horizontal one. This type of deadbolt is most likely to be found on apartment buildings or other multi-family dwellings. A jimmy-proof deadbolt turns the vertical bolt down into the other half of the mechanism. They provide great protection against brute force attacks on the door onto which they are installed. They are installed on the top of the door so that they can’t be “jimmied” like horizontal deadbolts. Jimmying refers to a technique used by intruders that involves a crowbar slid between the door and the door jamb and used to force the door open.  

Deadbolt Installation   

When you need to have one or multiple deadbolts installed or replaced for the exterior doors on your home in Oak Forest, IL, the proper place to turn to is an experienced, professional locksmith company, such as Andy’s Locksmith. A professional locksmith company should have a wide selection of different types and models of deadbolts for homeowners to choose from, as well as affordable installation services. Every exterior door on your home should be fitted with a high-quality deadbolt for maximum security protection. While this requires a modest amount of money spent up front, the protection that high-quality deadbolts afford your home are one of the most cost-effective and smart investments you can make.