Secondary Security: Install Extra Locks On That New Door

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If you're getting a new door installed, either interior or exterior, you may want to add some secondary security to the door in the form of an interior lock. These add some peace of mind because they allow you to block out anyone who gets through the deadbolt and doorknob lock on the other side. However, there are a few different types of locks that you can get, and each has its advantages. Here is a look at five different interior locks and how they might help you.

Chain

This is the classic interior chain lock that lets you open the door a few inches and that keeps the door from opening completely. These are highly inexpensive locks that are easy to install. The drawback to these locks is that the parts to the lock are installed in such a way that a strong push could yank the lock's screws out of the door jamb. Plus, the chain can break if the links weren't manufactured well.

Swing or U-Lock

This is similar to a chain lock, but instead of having a chain that fits into a bracket, you have a solid U-shaped attachment that rests over a knob attached to the door jamb. These locks are overall a little stronger than chain locks because there are only two parts to the lock, both solid, instead of having many links in a chain. The drawback to this lock is that it can swing shut in an earthquake, locking you out of your home if you're outside when the quake hits. To solve that, you have to remember to place some quake or poster putty on the wall and press the swinging part of the lock into the putty when you leave the house.

Jimmy Proof

This lock has two panels attached by a hinge. One panel is installed into the side of the door jamb, so it's covered by the door when the door is closed, while the other flips from side to side. It's flipped away from the door when you're not home, and when you're home and want to use the lock, you flip the second panel over the first so the second panel blocks the door. This lock does not allow the door to be opened at all when the lock is in use. The drawbacks to this lock are:

  • The lock can flip over during a quake, so you need to anchor the moving flap with putty when you're not home.
  • The lock can form a rather tight fit, and if the house settles and pushes the door out of alignment even slightly, it can make the lock tough to use properly.

Interior Bolt

These are small bar locks that you slide into a bracket attached to the door jamb. They do not allow the door to be opened when in use. These are sturdy locks that offer good security, but watch out -- when installing them, measure several times to ensure that the bracket is installed at the right height for the bolt. Otherwise the bolt won't slide into the bracket.

Keyless Deadbolt

This is the interior half of a regular deadbolt lock. There's no exterior portion, so no one can pick the deadbolt and open the door. This is one of the best forms of secondary door security you can find. The drawback is that you have to take out a chunk of the door without cutting all the way through the door to install the lock.

If you'd like other options for protecting your new door, talk to a door installation company like Welty Custom Exteriors, Inc about types of locks and which ones the staff have noticed as being better than others. You have a range of options, so you'll find one that works for you.

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